SOCCER PREVIEW: For Green Mountain soccer, it’s a numbers game for varsity squads

By Greg Hart

Soccer is generally not a game of numbers, certainly not the way that sports like baseball and football are driven by statistics to quantify and evaluate performance of teams and individual players. Typically the only numbers that matter in soccer are goals scored, final score and a team’s won-loss record. However at Green Mountain one other number has become crucial for both the boys and girls teams. That number? Eleven.

A soccer team needs 11 players on the field. Over the course of a 60-minute game of near constant running, having four or five substitutes waiting on the bench as reinforcements is a near necessity. So, ideally, a typical squad will have at least 15 players.

GM girls coach Julie Walton has 28 players coming out this fall, a pretty good turnout except that is her total pool of players for both varsity and junior varsity. Twenty players will earn varsity status, and eight will be JV only, necessitating a shuttle squad of six to eight girls who will play on both teams. Read more about the Lady Chiefs’ teams including rosters and game schedules.

Walton will coach the group as one as much as possible, with an assistant  — to be named — who will manage practices in her absence on game days.

Boys coach Scott Walker (GM ’82) has an even bigger issue with numbers: With only 19 players, fielding both varsity and JV squads is simply not possible.

Even though the varsity and JV game schedules allow for it logistically, state of Vermont high school athletics regulations prohibit players from playing in more than 28 halves of soccer per season. For more on the Chieftans’ team including roster and game schedule, click here.

Walker would love to field a JV team and is feeling pressure to play the limited six-game JV schedule that is in place, but just can’t make it work due to the regulations. “Show me how I can make it work and we’d do it. But with the numbers of players, and games on both schedules, it can’t be done without ending up with ineligible players for the Varsity schedule.”

Unless there is a sudden increase in numbers with the start of school, the 2012 boys JV schedule, like last year, looks doubtful.

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Filed Under: FeaturedSoccerSports News

About the Author: Chester native Greg Hart is a 1985 graduate of Green Mountain Union High School. He earned his bachelor of Science at the University of Vermont and returned to the Chester area in 1994 to start a business and a family. He lives in Chester, owns Blue Sky Trading Co. in Ludlow and is the proud father of three. He can be reached at

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