GM soccer teams look solid for playoff runs

By Christian Avard
© 2021 Telegraph Publishing LLC

It’s that time of year again where the Green Mountain Union High School soccer teams vie for Division III state championships. According to the boys’ and girls’ varsity coaches, both teams have a great shot at winning it all, but one thing for sure is that the road to the finals won’t be an easy one for either team.

Boys’ soccer: Vying for third championship appearance

It’s been an epic season so far for the boys’ varsity soccer team (12-1-1). For starters, senior Everett Mosher scored  his 100th career goal for the Chieftains. The team won the Josh Cole Soccer Tournament and the Southern Vermont League, Division C title. They did not lose a regular season game at home and they also earned the top-seed in the Division III boys playoffs.

As a result, the Chieftains will not play in the first round of the playoffs, earning a bye, and they will play in the quarterfinals against the winner of eighth-seed Randolph and ninth-seed Thetford Academy at 3 p.m. Friday Oct. 29 at GMUHS.

Head Coach Jacob Walker was pleased how the 2021 season unfolded. Now comes their ultimate challenge: returning to the state championship for a third straight time.

In 2019, Green Mountain beat Mill River to win its first ever soccer championship. In 2020, the Chieftains returned to the state championship, but lost in a heart-breaker, 1-0, to Peoples Academy.

But going back to the championship this year may be more difficult than the past two. That’s because there’s a depth of great teams this year in Division III.

Winooski (second place overall) finished the season with an 11-1 record. Behind Winooski is third place Enosburg, which finished the season at 13-1. Vergennes finished in fourth place at 9-3-1 and last year’s champion, Peoples Academy, finished the season in fifth with a 9-4-1 record.

Walker thinks each team has a great chance to win, but any team can win or lose on any given day.

“I haven’t seen a bracket like this in a long time,” Walker said. “We knew it was going to be a dog fight towards the end of the season to see where everyone was going to end up, and we feel fortunate to end up where we did. But that being said, it is going to make the semi-finals very interesting for whichever teams are in it.”

The Chieftains are healthy going into the playoffs. No one sustained any major injuries and they will be ready for kickoff at 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Girls’ soccer: Chieftains earn a home playoff game

The Green Mountain Union High School girls’ varsity soccer team finished fifth in Division III with a record of 9-5. The team finished the season strong with a four-game winning streak, good enough to earn them the fifth seed in the tournament. The Chieftains will also host a playoff game at GMUHS at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 against 12th-seed Lake Region (4-10).

Head Coach Carolynn Hamilton said she was happy with the team’s success, finishing six shut-out wins, including big ones against Mill River (9-0), Otter Valley (5-0), and Sharon Academy (5-0), and had a strong team of upper class women leading the way.

“We have eight seniors this year. Last year we only had three,” Hamilton said.

The defensive line comprising Ava Svec, Mackenzie Martin, Berkley Hutchins, Maya Farrar and Clara Gignoux was also the team’s strong suit. They limited their opponents from scoring all season and they matched-up well against high-powered offense teams.

“We’ve got some ‘Never Give Up’ girls who will give everything they got for the full game,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been able to run multiple formations. We’re flexible and we switch things out depending who we play.”

Senior Kim Cummings was the team’s offensive superpower. Cummings scored 31 goals during the regular season and the team will be relying on her as well as Elizabeth Cavoto, Abby Williams and Linsey Miles to score more goals this postseason.

The unfortunate news for their offense was the loss of Riley Paul. Paul, a forward, broke her leg in the final game of the season last Saturday at Bellows Falls and she will be out for the playoffs.

“We’re still trying to figure out what our best course of action is going forward,” Hamilton noted.

Although their opponent, Lake Region, is seeded 12th in the tournament with a 4-10 record, Hamilton said the Rangers will be no walkover.

Last year, Stowe surprised everyone, winning the Division III girls’ soccer championship with just only a 2-6 record. According to the coach, Lake Region will not be taken lightly.

Lake Region “will be very solid,” Hamilton said.

“They play bigger schools and they used to be Division II. It’s going to be good soccer that’s for sure,” Hamilton said.

When asked what she told the team going forward, the coach said they need to play at their absolute peak and they need to make sure they are all on the same page come kickoff time on Wednesday.

“We’re going to play our soccer on the ground, use each other, and do it together,” Hamilton said. “We also need to make sure that we have fun doing it and enjoy these last few games. Let’s take it one at a time and see how far we can make this go.”

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About the Author: Christian Avard has been a journalist for more than 15 years, having written for Vermont publications such as The Deerfield Valley News, The Rutland Herald, The Commons and The Chester Telegraph. He also edited The Message for the Week and The Vermont Standard. Avard, who currently lives in Lebanon, N.H., is also a sports correspondent with The Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus.

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  1. Dan Tyrrell says:

    A shout out to the two senior girls on the roster that are not mentioned in the article. Grace Tyrrell, and Hannah Robinson, both girls being an integral part of the team’s success. They play both offense and defense as midfielders, and rarely get the spotlight for their efforts, but anyone who’s watched a game knows they always put in 100%, and have always been a part of the team’s accomplishments. GO GM!!
    Thank-you Christian Avard for including the roster for both the boys and girls teams in your article.

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