by Ken Brown
MARSHFIELD – Twinfield-Cabot’s Meles Gouge snagged top Mountain League honors for a third straight year, capping off his high school career as one of the best soccer players in the state of Vermont.
Gouge earned a First Team selection last week for a third straight season after leading the Trojans to the quarterfinal round of the Division IV playoffs. The two-time All-State selection will undoubtedly make it a hat trick when the official roster is announced later this week. Gouge has been the engine for Twinfield-Cabot’s offense since stepping onto the pitch as a freshman and finished his high school soccer career with over 60 career goals. Gouge, under head coach Peter Stratman, helped turn a spiraling Trojan program that hadn’t won a playoff game in over a decade into a perennial divisional contender the last four seasons. The talented midfielder led Twinfield-Cabot to their first Final Four appearance in 21 years in his sophomore campaign and duplicated that same feat as a junior.
Gouge and the Trojans fell to two-time Division IV champion Winooski 1-0 in the quarterfinals last month and the program finished with 37 wins in his four years on the field.
Joining Gouge as Mountain League First Team selections were: Enosburg’s Landon Paulson and Peter Steibris, BFA-Fairfax’s Braydon Gillilan, James Benjamin, and Brandon Gillilan, Oxbow’s Andrew Barrett and Matthew Corti, Richford’s Daniel Blazevic, Carter Blaney, Lukas Kalo, and Oliver Pike, Winooski’s Abdoul Lailatti and Biladi Tresor, Cooper Hurley of Paine Mountain.
Twinfield-Cabot’s Silas Robbins, Cooper Bernatchy, Sam Russell, and Darshan Eddleman led Second Team selections. Robbins, Bernatchy, and Russell anchored the Trojan defense all season long and will leave big shoes to fill next season for Stratman. Eddleman had an outstanding sophomore season, tying Gouge for the team lead in goals with seven, while filling in admirably in net over a three-game stretch when the injury bug hit. Eddleman has found the back of the net over 20 times already in his young career and will be the catalyst for Stratman’s offense next fall.
Danville’s Landen Fournier also earned a Second Team selection. Caiden Hill also earned Honorable Mention honors for the Bears after leading their young up and coming squad in scoring.
Enosburg’s Landon Paulson was named Mountain League Player of the Year after the high scoring senior led the Hornets to an 11-win season, including a Division III Final Four appearance.
Hornet head coach Randy Swainbank also nabbed Coach of the Year honors.
Richford’s Oliver Pike and BFA-Fairfax’s Brandon Gillilan shared Mountain League Goalkeeper of the Year honors.
Winooski captured the Mountain League title after a 13-3-1 season that culminated in a 1-0 win over top-seeded Twin Valley in the Division IV championship match. The Spartans have won 28 matches and won back-to-back state championships since moving down a Division in 2022.