by Ken Brown
ENOSBURG – Enosburg scored three first-half goals to hand the Twinfield-Cabot boys’ soccer team their third straight out of division loss of the season last week.
Landon Paulson scored twice to lead Division III Enosburg to a 3-1 home win over the Trojans on Friday. Peter Steibris also broke free in the first half for the Hornets, giving them a three-goal cushion heading into the break.
It was the fourth out of division opponent to start the season for a Twinfield-Cabot team that doesn’t have a home field this season due to flood damage and hadn’t played a match in over a week due to bad weather.
“We haven’t been able to get into a rhythm early on this season and it certainly showed against Enosburg. Having a nine-day gap between matches didn’t help us. Our tempo was too slow and we gave away the ball cheaply in the defensive third. You’re not going to get away with too many mistakes against a quality team like that. Enosburg had us on the back foot and we were slow to adjust. We weren’t happy conceding three goals before halftime,” said head coach Peter Stratman.
The Trojans won the second half, thanks to a converted penalty kick from senior All-Stater Meles Gouge, but the hole was too deep to dig out of.
Hunter Meunier made five stops for the Hornets in the win as they improved to 3-2 on the season. Enosburg is currently ranked fifth in the Division III standings, winning three straight since dropping their first two matches of the season. The Hornets have won 27 games the past two seasons, capturing the Division III state title in 2022.
“We made some critical adjustments during the break and the boys came out with a lot more intensity and focus. We won most of the 50-50 balls and controlled the tempo, but had trouble manufacturing many quality scoring opportunities. Ultimately, I was proud of how the boys responded,” said Stratman.
Since dominating Division II Lyndon Institute 10-0 in their season opener, Stratman’s squad has faced the past three Division III state champs in Peoples Academy and Enosburg. His Twinfield-Cabot program has won 22 games the past two seasons, including two straight trips to the Division IV Final Four. They will finally get a full slate of divisional games on the schedule this week as they start their climb up the Division IV rankings.
“We have three important games this week. Our goal is just to get better every single day,” added Stratman.
The Trojans traveled to Richford on Tuesday to take on a much-improved Rockets team that is currently ranked third in the division. They finish up a busy week with a pair of match-ups with crosstown rival Danville on Thursday and Saturday. Twinfield-Cabot is scheduled to travel to Oxbow next Monday.