Chieftains earn finals berth with 4-2 win over Terriers in Cole Tournament

By Greg Hart

Ludlow, Friday, Sept. 14

Green Mountain dominated most of the game, winning by a 4-2 final as they faced the Bellows Falls Terriers in the opening matchup of the Josh Cole Memorial Tournament at Dorsey Park in Ludlow on Friday, Sept. 14. While GM coach Scott Walker was happy to have the win and earn a berth in Saturday’s final against Leland & Gray, he was not at all satisfied.

From left, GM’s Chad Leonard drives past a Bellows Falls defender/Photo by Lisa Schmidt.

“We played too much up and down and I told these guys at halftime that we need to swing the ball side to side. We didn’t do that.” Mentioning how this style of play earned the team a big win against Long Trail School in Dorset last week, Walker contrasted it with the Chiefs’ play against the Terriers Friday. “We were much more patient (against Long Trail); we probed forward and if it wasn’t there, we pulled it back, swung the ball to the other side and tried again.” In Friday’s game against BF, Walker felt the team lacked that patience, pushing forward even when there was little opportunity and gave up possession too readily.

While the coach wants more, the GM fans in attendance were pleased with the effort. After several good chances in the opening minutes, GM broke through 22 minutes in with a goal from junior striker Jake Cavacas. Two minutes later, it was a 2-0 lead for the Chieftains after a blast from Chad Leonard was deflected by the Terrier goalie, and Cavacas cleaned up the rebound for his second goal.

With 11 minutes left in the half, GM got another goal on a sweet assist from freshman Cooper McCoy, centering the ball from the right wing to Cavacas in the middle, putting the ball past BF keeper for a hat trick, his second in just over a week, and a 3-0 lead. Only a minute later, senior midfielder Ryan Williams got in on the scoring for the Chiefs, cleaning up a loose ball turnover just inside the box for a 4-0 Green Mountain lead at the half.

“We played too much up and down and I told these guys at halftime that we need to swing the ball side to side. We didn’t do that.”
Coach Scott Walker

Maybe the Chieftains felt a little too comfortable with a 4-0 lead. Maybe they didn’t heed their coach’s advice. Maybe it was the inexperience on the field as Walker emptied his bench. Whatever it was, it led to some uneven play in the second half.

There were opportunities in the Chiefs’ offensive end that weren’t converted and a few too many breakdowns on the defensive side when the scrappy Terriers finally converted with BF’s Liam Shaw getting past GM’s sophomore keeper Kyle Kemp, who hadn’t been tested much all evening.

With the score 4-1 and the clock winding down to two minutes left, GM freshman Matt Chambers went down hard in a collision with a Terrier defender, rose quickly but quite wobbly and went back down to the turf. He was checked by coach Walker, then evaluated by the on-site EMT team. After the game, Chambers said that he felt OK and that the EMTs determined he had not suffered a concussion but would be evaluated Saturday before returning to play.

After the injury to Chambers and with only a minute left to play, Shaw struck for his second goal for BF and a final score of 4-2.

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Filed Under: SoccerSports 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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