by Ken Brown
ORLEANS – The Danville-Twinfield-Cabot (CCSU) girls’ soccer team kicked off the postseason with a major upset over Lake Region last week, before bowing out against a red-hot Windsor squad in the second round of the Division III tournament.
Eliska Siebenbrunner buried a feed from Hazel Abetti late in the first half to lead CCSU to a 1-0 first round road upset over Lake Region last Tuesday. The sixth seeded Lady Rangers blitzed the visitors early behind the physicality of their leading scorer Madison Bowman, who along with left winger Isabella Hanover, pressured the Lady Bear defense with an 8-3 shot advantage in the first 15 minutes of the match.
CCSU goalkeeper, Leah Klark, was the difference-maker early, turning away every shot, including a spectacular diving save to her near post midway through the half. Klark and the defense gave the Lady Bear attackers time to settle into the pace of the match and with 10 minutes left in the first half, Abetti chased down a beautiful chip from Alice McLane down the right wing and found a streaking Siebenbrunner in the box for the eventual game winner.
Klark was impenetrable the rest of the way, making 20 stops on the day for her fourth straight shutout. Sylvia Brownlow recorded six saves in the loss as the Lady Rangers ended their season at 8-6-1. It was the first Division III tournament win for head coach Spencer Morse, who shined in bringing together his CCSU team in their inaugural season of the cooperative membership between the three schools.
“Lake Region really poured it on for the first 10 minutes of this match. We weathered the storm and then started to play our game. While they won the shot battle, I felt that we matched them in quality chances. Our team defense was spectacular, starting with Camryn Hoffman, who had a fabulous game for us at sweeper and Leah really steadied the ship for us during Lake Region’s early onslaught. Jorja Washburn did a great job shutting down Hanover and Alice and Sloane Morse did great tandem work on their best player Bowman,” said Morse.
Olivia MacLeay scored a pair of first-half goals to power third seeded Windsor to a 4-1 quarterfinal win over the Lady Bears on Friday.
MacLeay went to work early, giving the Lady Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead five minutes into the match.
Alice McLane found Hazel Abetti nine minutes later for the equalizer and CCSU would battle the home favorites to a 1-1 tie heading into the break.
MacLeay struck again five minutes into the second half and Miah McAllister and Audrey Rupp added insurance goals late in the match to power Windsor into the Division III semifinals.
Klark made 14 stops in the loss as the Lady Bears’ season came to an end at 6-7-2. Sophia Rockwood turned away five shots for Windsor, who took an 11-match unbeaten streak into their Final Four match-up with seventh seeded Paine Mountain on Tuesday.
Morse will lose a talented core of seniors in McLane, Hoffman, Jasmine Reason, and Tieghan Perry, but the future looks bright for his up-and-coming program.
“We just didn’t quite have the game that we needed against a team like that in the second half. I have to tip my hat to Windsor, they played a very tough game. The most impressive thing about our team coming together from three different schools for the first time was how great they got along with each other all season. It made my job of meshing this team together so much easier. I tip my cap to the Twinfield-Cabot players for their dedication to playing soccer, while needing to learn a new system with added travel time. I am just sorry to see this season end. I had the most fun coaching this team,” said Morse.
Top seeded Fair Haven squared off against fifth seeded Stowe on Tuesday in the other semifinal, with the winner advancing to the Division III state championship match on Friday night.