by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – Twinfield-Cabot head coach Peter Stratman and both of his star offensive and defensive catalysts capped off another sensational soccer season with the highest of Mountain League honors last week.
Meles Gouge finished off his junior campaign with Trojans this past fall by leading the team in scoring for a second consecutive season. He was rewarded with First Team honors for a second straight year. An effective striker a season ago, Gouge was asked to anchor the midfield this season and take on more of a leadership role with the talented group of freshman and sophomores around him. It led to a potent balanced scoring attack that found the back of the net 60 times against its opponents.
Joining Gouge as a First Team selection is junior goalkeeper Neil Alexander for Twinfield-Cabot. Alexander posted nine shutouts on the season for the Trojan defense and helped keep the ship afloat over a three week stretch where injuries decimated Stratman’s roster. Alexander and Gouge’s return for a senior campaign makes Twinfield-Cabot contenders for the Division IV title once again as they eye a third straight trip to the Final Four.
Rounding out the First Team Roster was Hussein Abdulaziz, Nuru Mami, Janvier Mufaume, and Emmanuel Omar of state champion Winooski, Landon Paulson, Danny Antillon, Peter Stiebris, and Silas Kane of Enosburg, BFA-Fairfax’s Braden Mathieu and Luca Chayer, Blue Mountain’s Cedric Schaefer and Cameron Roy, Andrew Barrett (Oxbow), Jonas Lagasse (Richford), and Danville’s Nate Despathy.
Juniors Cooper Bernatchy and Silas Robbins led Second Team selections for Twinfield-Cabot and will once again anchor a stingy Trojan defense in 2023. Danville’s Cooper Calkins, Caiden Hill, and Andrew Joncas were also Second Team selections after strong seasons for the Bears. Freshman Tej Stewart and sophomore Darshan Eddleman were Honorable Mentions after breakout seasons upfront for Twinfield-Cabot and will make their offense tough to defend once again next fall.
Stratman was named Mountain League Coach of the Year after leading the Trojans to a second consecutive trip to the Division IV Final Four and tying the school record set just last year, with an 11 win season. Stratman has navigated his squad through the Division III-heavy Mountain League successfully the past two seasons and will undoubtedly be one of the favorites next fall with a returning young core with even more varsity and postseason experience. Stratman has also helped nurture a true cooperative between Twinfield Union and Cabot in his four years at the helm, with players from both schools being major contributors to an impressive 39-17-1 record over that span.
Winooski took home honors for winning the highly competitive Mountain League and Emmanuel Omar was crowned Player of the Year after a sensational senior season for the Spartans.