Raptors Claw Into Semifinals
Barton, Vt. — Winning on the road in the playoffs is one thing. Scoring two goals in the final 13 minutes to erase a 1-0 deficit on the road in the playoffs is quite another. Yet that’s just what the Rivendell Academy boys soccer team did on Friday afternoon when the Raptors beat host Lake Region 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Vermont Division III playoffs.
The Rangers’ Alex Beauregard put the home team ahead with a goal in the 17th minute, and there the score remained until Rivendell junior Sam Emerson scored the equalizer. Emerson converted on a nice through pass from Scott Calhoun for the game-tying goal.
Kolin Huntington then had what coach Bob Thatcher called the biggest goal of the junior forward’s career for the game-winner, converting on another feed from Calhoun to put the Raptors in front, 2-1, in the 71st minute.
The final minutes saw the always tough Rivendell defense thwart any and all attacks by the desperate Rangers.
Goalie Josh Marshall anchored the backfield effort for the Raptors, stopping seven shots. Thatcher also credited the play of defenders Nathaniel Eastman, Sam Ivey, Jake Welch, Cole Stever and Chris Gendron. Midfielder Tim Stimson then stepped back to add an extra man in the backfield for the final seven minutes.
“They were physical, we were physical,” Thatcher said. “But we never lost composure. This group is a special group, they just keep grinding it out. The never, ever give up. Everybody played a part in this one.”
The win sets up a playoff rematch at top-seeded Stowe in the semifinals on Tuesday at 3 p.m. The Raptors fell 2-1 in double overtime to the Raiders in the semifinals last year in Orford. No. 5 Rivendell (12-2-2) has now won nine straight games; the Raptors did not face Stowe in the regular season.
Sharon 3, Black River 1
Sharon — Carter Blanchard had a pair of goals as the Phoenix (11-2-3) advanced to the Vermont D-IV semifinals with a win over the Presidents.
Blanchard broke a scoreless tie 15 minutes into the second half, scoring from six yards after picking up a rebound from a Max Buskey shot. Keeper Sawyer Levy again showed what a timely offensive weapon he can be with his third penalty kick goal of the season to put Sharon in front 2-0 with just five minutes left to play.
The Presidents got within one with a goal two minutes later before Blanchard secured the victory with a last-minute goal off a through pass from Camden Morrison. Levy stopped one shot in goal for Sharon.
“It was a good, strong team performance. We limited Black River to very few chances and we finished our chances really well,” Sharon coach Rob Stainton said.
The No. 3 seed Phoenix look ahead to a semifinal matchup at No. 2 Proctor at 3 p.m. on Tuesday.
Stowe 5, Thetford 0
Stowe — The defending champion Raiders showed off their title mettle Friday, ending Thetford’s season in the Vt. Division III quarterfinals.
“It was good experience for our guys,” said Thetford coach Sean Fitzgerald. “They know what it takes to get to the next level and they’re hungry to get there.”
Stowe took a 2-0 lead at the half and then tacked on three more scores after the break. Stowe had defeated Thetford earlier in the regular season, 6-0.
While Stowe held the advantage on the field and the scoreboard, the Panthers kept the game close, being outshot 12-5. Matt Perry had a number of quality runs throughout the game, but was denied by the Stowe defense.
“They capitalized on their shots and we didn’t,” said Fitzgerald. “That was a big difference.
Brandon Gray had seven saves in goal as Thetford closed it season 8-7-1.
Fitzgerald is already planning postseason workouts for his young team that will graduate just three seniors.
GMVS 2, Woodstock 0
Chester, Vt. — The Wasps’ season ended at the hands of Green Mountain Valley School in the quarterfinals of the Vermont D-II playoffs.
Woodstock (9-7) had a goal called back with 17 seconds left in the half, and then GMVS had a pair of goals after the break. Keeper Connor Fegard stopped 10 shots for the Wasps.
“The season went well. We’re very happy with where the program’s heading. I think the program is in very good shape,” Woodstock coach Tom Avellino said.
Woodsville 3, Hinsdale 0
Woodsville — The Engineers (14-1-1) closed the regular season with a dominant performance against the Pacers.
David Bazzell broke the ice with a goal in the second half, assisted by Jamie LoCascio. Jacob Frost then added a pair of goals with assists going to Dan Roy and Bazzell. Keeper Tom D’Angelo stopped two shots for the Engineers’ third consecutive shutout, their seventh of the year.
The win clinches the No. 1 seed in the upcoming New Hampshire D-IV tournament, the first top seed in coach Mike Ackerman’s 37 years as head coach.
Hopkinton 5, Kearsarge 0
North Sutton — The first-place Hawks proved their worth at the expense of the host Cougars, who finished the regular season at 10-5-1.
Keeper Mike Sullivan stopped 10 shots for Kearsarge, which now awaits its postseason seeding in the New Hampshire D-III playoffs, starting next week.
Thetford 5, Leland & Gray 2
Thetford — After a first half of missed opportunities, the Panthers blew the game open within a three-minute span of the second half to move into the Vermont Division III semfinals on Tuesday.
“We had good looks and we had good opportunities, but we just couldn’t put the ball in the goal,” said Thetford coach Mark Weigel. “In the second half we found some holes in their defense and capitalized.”
Shyann Josler got Thetford going early just 3:30 into the opening half with a header off a corner by Abby Osheyack. But the Rebels came back to tie the game before the break.
The tie didn’t last long. At 4:30 Michaela Pomeroy scored off a Regan Covey feed. Ninety seconds later Covey scored unassisted. And 90 seconds after that Pomeroy scored to turn the game into a rout.
Pomeroy later picked up the final score to complete her hat trick.
Ella Chapman and Patience Kasten combined in goal for three saves.
Woodsville 6, Hinsdale 0
Woodsville — Dee Martin had four goals as the Engineers closed their unbeaten regular season in style.
Julia Bowman and senior Meghan Levreault also scored. Levrault’s goal was the first of her varsity career. Louisa Noble added four assists while Cassidy Townsend had one helper. Keeper Tori Clough stopped one shot for the shutout.
Woodsville (15-0-1) awaits playoff seeding; as it stands now, Hinsdale may be visiting the Engineers to open the postseason on Wednesday.
Oyster River 1, Hanover 0
Durham, n.h. — The Marauders ended the regular season once again searching for goals despite getting the better of the play.
Hanover, which outshot the Bobcats 12-5, closes the season at 8-3-5. The Marauders likely have a home playoff game to open the New Hampshire D-II playoffs next week.
Hartford 2, Burlington 1 (ot)
White River Junction — Allison Courtemanche capped a tight game with a goal seven minutes into overtime to lift the host Hurricanes into the Vermont D-I semifinals.
After a scoreless first half, Megan Newton scored off an assist from Rachel Fogg 10 minutes into the second half to put Hartford in front, 1-0. Burlington pushed across the equalizer with just over four minutes to play in regulation.
The game winner was setup by Courtney Murray, who took possession at around the 50-yard line, beat a few defenders up the field and took a shot. The Burlington keeper made the save, but Courtemanche was there for the rebound in the right place to slam home the game-winner.
Keeper Rachel Loseby stopped seven shots for the Canes (11-4). Coach Heather Scudder praised the strong play of Jenna Yee and Casey Ostler. The Canes visit South Burlington for the semifinals on Tuesday at 4 p.m.
Lebanon 30, John Stark 7
Lebanon — The Raiders dominated the Generals, improving to 3-5.
Senior Lucas Gerow led the Lebanon offensive attack with three touchdowns, two received and one on the ground. Gerow finished with 92 yards rushing on 15 carries. Quarterback Joe Flanagan was 9-for-14 through the air with 167 yards passing and three touchdowns. Austin Pelletier caught the other scoring toss, connecting with Flanagan for a 45-yard score.
Pelletier also had an interception, his seventh in eight games so far this season. Coach Chris Childs praised the work of his run-stuffing defensive front, led by Dominick Morrill, Grayson Hardy, Jacob Mellish and Tavion Tobin.
Lebanon closes the regular season at Kearsarge on Friday night.
Monadnock 41, Kearsarge 14
East Swanzey, n.h. — The Cougars dropped to 2-6 with a blowout loss at the Huskies (8-0).
Kearsarge scored on a pair of big plays, including a 61-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Stanley to Elliot Lukaitis in the first quarter and a 62-yard run by Riley Antle in the fourth. Christian Marsh was 2-for-2 in extra point attempts.
Antle finished with 106 yards rushing on 14 carries for the Cougars, who host Lebanon on Friday night.
Plymouth 42, Hanover 14
Hanover — The Marauders fell to 1-7 and close their season at Portsmouth on Friday night.