by Ken Brown
FAIRFAX – The Hazen Union boys’ soccer team earned a hard fought road win against BFA-Fairfax in their season opener last week before struggling against Division II Harwood at home.
Cody Trudeau converted on a penalty kick in the second half that proved to be the eventual game winner as the Wildcats outlasted the Bullets on the road last Wednesday 3-2. Jadon Baker put the Wildcats ahead 1-0 early in the first half before Jackson Wilmette knotted the match at 1-1 on a breakaway five minutes later to end the scoring in the first half. Xavier Hill wrestled control of a loose ball off of a corner kick and buried a point blank chance to put the Wildcats back on top 2-1. After Trudeau cashed in on his penalty chance to make it 3-1, Luca Chayer pulled the Bullets within one score with twenty-two minutes left in regulation. Tyler Rivard and the Wildcat defense would stiffen the rest of the way for the win.
“It was a strong season opener for us on the road with one of our captains Jadon Baker setting the tone for us with a beautifully placed unassisted shot from distance. Xavier did a great job fighting to get his toe on a corner and Tyler captained our defense with a phenomenal game in net,” said head coach Allison Paradee.
Harwood’s goal scoring savant Jordan Shullenberger spoiled Hazen Union’s home opener over the weekend with a hat-trick to lead the visitors to a decisive 8-1 decision. Eamon Langlais added two more tallies for the Highlanders as they took a 4-0 advantage into halftime and never looked back. Shullenberger led Harwood to the Division II quarterfinals in 2021 with a team leading 29 goals. Captain Cody Trudeau added his second goal of the season for the Wildcats early in the second half, but the home team faced an uphill battle for most of the match as Rivard was ejected with a red card twenty minutes into the first half. Freshman Morgan Michaud held his own in net for Hazen, making 23 stops in his varsity debut. Liam Combs, Dylan Mauro, and Finnegan Kramer combined to make six saves for Harwood in the win.
“We knew this would be a challenging match going in against a very talented program, but being down a man and having only one sub on a very hot day proved to be too much. Morgan has been training with Tyler and did a great job and I was proud of how our team persevered and demonstrated just how hard working and strong they are. My defense worked tirelessly and if it had not been for our defensive captain Lincoln Michaud, Dan desGroseilliers, Eliot Rosendahl, and Jadon Baker moving back to help, it would have been a lot worse. We’re working with low numbers right now and it will be another week or so before we get back to full strength and we’ll have to fight through a couple of tough matches coming up,” said Paradee.
The Wildcats hit the road on Tuesday to take on powerhouse U-32 and will stay on the road on Friday in a match-up against North Country.