Trojans Navigate Injuries and Rugged Schedule

by Ken Brown

BRADFORD – The Twinfield-Cabot boys’ soccer team blanked Oxbow last week before struggling offensively in out of division matchups against Division II Hartford and Division III BFA-Fairfax, falling to 8-4 on the season.

Meles Gouge and Sam McLane provided the scoring in each half for the Trojans last Monday in a hard earned 2-0 road win over Oxbow last Tuesday. Gouge returned from injury to spark Twinfield-Cabot’s offense with his team-leading sixteenth goal and freshman Sam McLane added all of the insurance the defense needed in the second half. Neil Alexander made one save on the day to earn the Trojan defense their seventh shutout of the season. Dakota Goodridge made 11 stops for the Olympians as they fell to 2-9 on the season.

Tighe Hrabchak, Joey Beggs, and Nolan McMahon led a balanced scoring attack for Hartford last Thursday in a hard fought 3-0 road win over Twinfield-Cabot. Hartford broke free 14 minutes into the match to make it 1-0, but Alexander and Trojan defense stiffened the rest of the half to keep it a one goal deficit heading into the break. The Hurricanes got the benefit of a close call midway through the second half, converting a back-breaking penalty kick to make it 2-0 and never looked back. Alexander was spectacular once again, making seven stops in the loss. Blaine Gour made one save to earn his third shutout of the season for the Hurricanes. Hartford improved to 11-1 on the year, keeping pace with Montpelier at the top of the Division II standings.

“Hartford played well, controlled the time of possession, and we had trouble mounting counterattacks. We are missing several key players due to illness and injury and it shows as our offense is struggling to find rhythm. The defense held strong for most of the match, but suffered a couple of critical lapses that led to scores. The handball that led to the penalty kick was close and a tough call and you could feel the energy fall off a bit after they converted. Still missing two starters from our back line, I’m proud of how the guys adjusted and worked hard in losing to a very good club. Neil made some incredible saves and showed why he is one of the best goalkeepers in the league,” said head coach Peter Stratman.

BFA-Fairfax remained one of the hottest teams in division III after knocking off the Trojans 3-1 at home over the weekend. Meles Gouge scored the lone goal for Twinfield-Cabot and Alexander made three saves in the loss. Chayer Luca scored all three goals on penalty kicks for the Bullets as they won their sixth match in eight tries, improving to 8-5 on the season.

“The game was tight for most of the first half and Meles broke through their stingy defense to equalize with an impressive dribbling drive. He brings so much energy to the game. I’ve never coached a match where we lost because of three handballs in the box. It was tough to swallow and in the end we beat ourselves today. Soccer is a crazy game sometimes and despite the pk’s, our defense actually had a solid game, limiting them to very few scoring opportunities with some brave tackles. We are still missing two veteran players from the back line and our young guys stepped up and played big! We are hoping to get everyone back this week,” said Stratman.

The Trojans are still hanging on to the fourth spot in the Division IV standings and will look to end the regular season on a high note on Wednesday with a trip to Craftsbury Academy.