Hot Teams Slow Down Lady Chargers

by Ken Brown

RICHFORD – The Craftsbury Academy (CA) girls’ soccer team ran into a trio of red hot clubs last week in Richford, Hazen Union, and Blue Mountain, dropping their record to 3-7 on the season.

Kyrielle Deuso and Madeline Pike each recorded hat-tricks to lead Richford to a 7-1 home win over CA last Monday. Sadie Skorstad scored early in the second half for the Lady Chargers to pull them within two goals, but Richford scored four times in the last 10 minutes to put the match out of reach. Aubrey Fadden made 10 saves on the day for Richford as they improved to 7-4 on the season.

“There were large chunks of the match where we dominated possession and created chances and the score wasn’t indicative of how competitive it was. We made some nice adjustments at the break, took advantage of some match-ups, and had a few scoring chances go just wide or hit the post. With just one substitution, I think we were pretty gassed the last 10 minutes after going all out in the second half, but overall the girls played a really good half of soccer,” said head coach Patrick Houle.

Hazen Union scored a trio of goals in the last 12 minutes to down CA 4-1 on the road last Wednesday and capture the second annual OSSU Derby. Freshman Anika Leahy knotted the score at 1-1, 11 minutes into the second half, but the Hazen defense would stiffen the rest of the way. Ella Renaud made four saves for Hazen as they improved to 4-7-1 on the season. The OSSU Derby was created by Hazen Union head coach Harry Besett and former Lady Charger coach Tom Silva last season. Their goal was to create an annual friendly crosstown rivalry that celebrates competition, sportsmanship, and community in high school sports. Craftsbury took home the inaugural derby trophy last fall.

“Again, this was a much closer match than the score and Anika took a nice pass early in the second half and used her speed to break away. We had a couple of defensive breakdowns in the match and to their credit, they took advantage and capitalized on them late. This was my first year being part of the OSSU Derby and it lived up to all of the hype. Players compete and leave it all out of the field all the time, but this rivalry between the two schools is a great reminder that the game is also supposed to be about comradery, sportsmanship, and be fun along the way. The girls are really excited to be part of it and we look forward to it again next fall,” said Houle.

Jordan Alley and Karli Blood led a balanced scoring attack as Blue Mountain raced past the Lady Chargers at home on Saturday 7-0. Felicity Sulham and the Lady Buck defense recorded their third shutout of the season, improving to 9-3.

“We ran into a buzz saw over the weekend against one of the better teams in our division. They were experienced, deep, and very well coached. A program like that is what we aspire to grow into and the only way to get better is to experience playing good teams like that and learn from it. We have another tough week coming up against some really good competition and we have to keep challenging and pushing ourselves to get better as a team as the postseason approaches,” said Houle.

CA traveled to Twinfield-Cabot on Monday, hosted Division III Enosburg on Tuesday, and will wrap up the regular season at home against Division III powerhouse BFA-Fairfax on Friday.