Wolves Firepower too Much for Trojans

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by Ken Brown

DANVILLE – Division III soccer power Peoples Academy (PA) flexed its muscles against the Twinfield-Cabot boys’ soccer team last week, handing the Trojans their first loss of the young season.

The heat and PA’s offensive firepower was too much for the Trojans to overcome last Tuesday as they fell to the Division III defending state champs 4-1 at home. Jaiden Baird scored a hat trick and Max Kuhnle added a goal for insurance as the Wolves improved to 2-0 on the season.

“They moved the ball really well and punished us in transition. We had trouble adjusting to the pace of the match and got caught on the back foot,” said head coach Peter Stratman.

Sam McLane buried a feed from Meles Gouge for Twinfield-Cabot’s lone score and Dominick Hale made two stops in the loss. PA won the shot battle 6-4 and Sam Stutz made three saves in net to help preserve the win.

“Peoples Academy is a highly-skilled team with a lot of composure and talent and there’s a reason why they always seem to be competing for a state title,” added Stratman.

Head coach Angie Faraci has turned the Wolves into a perennial soccer power, becoming the first female coach to lead a Vermont boys’ varsity program to a state championship in 2020. Proving it was far from a fluke, Faraci’s team ripped off 13 more wins last fall, culminating in a 3-2 win over Woodstock to capture their second Division III state crown in three seasons. Faraci navigated the Wolves through the soccer powers of Stowe and Enosburg in the Mountain League and is now doing the same against the likes of U-32, Harwood, and Montpelier in the Capital League, reaching the Final Four, four out of the last five years. PA blanked BFA-Fairfax 2-0 over the weekend to stay perfect on the season.

Stratman is starting to build a perennial power of his own at Twinfield-Cabot, helping the program reach the Division IV Final Four for the first time in over two decades in 2021. His team duplicated that same feat last fall and they’ve won a school record 22 matches the past two seasons. Stratman wants his team battle tested come playoff time and this current four game stretch against Vermont soccer powerhouses PA, Winooski, and Enosburg should give the Trojans that and then some.

“Our team showed a ton of grit and determination to stay in the match against PA. They worked hard…battled the entire match. We lost to a better team today. We’ll learn from it and improve. It’s still so early in the season and we’re still finding our footing. This team has so much talent and potential and it’s going to be fun watching the guys create chemistry and develop together, especially against competition like this,” said Stratman.

Twinfield-Cabot completed their home and home with PA on Tuesday and will continue their brutal stretch by hosting Winooski on Friday. They’ll venture outside of their division once again next Friday with a trip to Enosburg. Those three soccer juggernauts have a combined four state titles between them since 2020.