by Ken Brown
HARDWICK – Head coach Harry Besett and his Hazen Union girls’ soccer team did their part in promoting sportsmanship in high school soccer last week as they hosted Craftsbury Academy (CA) in the first edition of the OSSU Derby.
Sophia Augsberger, Sadie Skorstad, and Ida Eames all found the back of the net, making the Lady Chargers reigning OSSU Derby champions last Wednesday with a 3-1 road win over Hazen Union. Caitlyn Davison scored the first goal of the match for the Lady Cats and Madeline Kaiser made five stops in the loss. Rachel Bailey made 14 saves for CA as they improved to 3-10 on the season. Captains from both teams spoke to the crowd before the match about what sportsmanship and community support means to them. It has been a hot topic this fall, with poor sportsmanship and behavior from players and fans affecting several teams around the state.
The match also featured CA graduate Tom Stames and Hazen Union graduate Mike Clark, who officiated the match and were recognized before kickoff for their storied careers and lifelong contributions to the game of soccer. After the match, both teams applauded each other’s efforts in a show of respect and finished the evening with a joint team picture.
“Both teams fought hard in the second half, and we pushed and pushed the last ten minutes but couldn’t break through their back line. Hopefully, people got a chance to watch the match and we’ll continue the tradition for years to come. We look forward to the opportunity of taking the trophy back next year at their place and we’ll continue to work hard towards getting our first win,” said Besett.
Kylie Taylor scored twice to lead Rivendell Academy past the Lady Cats at home on Saturday, 5-0. Ahaylee Carter, Olivia Parker, and Iris Fukushima all scored a goal apiece and Savannah Gray made two stops to earn the shutout. It was the third straight win for the Lady Raptors as they improved to 6-4-1 on the season. Madeline Kaiser continued her solid play in net for Hazen Union, recording 18 saves in the loss.
“This was one of our poorest performances as individuals and as a team. Players made uncharacteristic mistakes and had a hard time keeping up with play. We will look to bounce back this week in our last home game,” said Besett.
Hazen Union hosted Richford on Tuesday and will wrap up the regular season on Friday at Twinfield-Cabot.