Raiders Shut Down Souhegan
Lebanon — It wasn’t rope-a-dope, but it was close.
The Lebanon High boys soccer team spent the first half of Friday’s match with Souhegan trading dangerous scoring opportunities, largely because of the Sabers’ ability to pull the Raiders forward. So the hosts decided to lag back, welcome Souhegan into reach, and counterpunched to the tune of a 3-0 win at Lebanon High.
An even (and scoreless) first half yielded a Raider assault on Souhegan goalkeeper Teigue Young in the second, with the home team firing 15 shots Young’s way. Lebanon’s Tate Singleton, GW Wells-Bogue and Kuda Muhlauri converted, helping the Raiders (8-2) shake off the dregs of a disappointing overtime loss at John Stark earlier in the week.
The foes had no lack of quality chances in the first 40 minutes. In fact, each could have — and maybe should have — scored in the first three minutes: A long Will Merchant throw forced Young (10 saves) to stuff a shot at Muhlauri’s feet in the first minute, and the Sabers’ Jack Facey missed a half-volley high in the third when Lebanon goalkeeper Kenny Weitzman (two saves) hesitated on a Jasper Jones cross.
“They clearly had a plan to get that ball wide of the penalty area, deep in the penalty area, see if we can get Lebanon stretched out and see what happens,” Lebanon coach Rob Johnstone said. “Our response to that at halftime was, in soccer teams, the line of engagement. They play short, short, short, short. … The natural reaction is to chase it down, which is what we did in the first half. That pushed us too far forward.
“What we talked about at halftime was when they switched the point of attack, let them out of their own end. We need to be compact when we defend. … The other end was by letting them out, luring them out, it opened up space behind them. We’re letting them out and absorbing pressure, but we’re absorbing pressure in non-critical areas of the field.”
Injuries to strikers Austin Whaley (hip) and Martin Gradijan (concussion) have opened opportunities for others on the Raider bench. One sophomore, Jacob Armstrong, took advantage with significant minutes at wing midfield and two assists to get Lebanon on the scoreboard in the second half.
Singleton broke the draw at 57:37, following a quality shot from Armstrong. Tanner Singleton began the sequence with a through ball to Armstrong on the left flank, which Armstrong turned into a low burner that Young lunged to his left to stop. The Souhegan netminder couldn’t corral the rebound, however, and Tate Singleton slid in to poke the ball home.
Lebanon’s next shot, nine minutes later, turned into a 2-0 lead. Armstrong sent a rolling cross from the left that eluded two Souhegan defenders and left Wells-Bogue an easy finish from eight yards at 66:42.
“He’s magic with the ball, so comfortable with the ball, so comfortable running at people, which is a rare thing,” Johnstone said of Armstrong. “You can be fast and you can be strong, but to have it on your foot as a guy’s defending you and you’re still thinking, ‘It’s my advantage,’ that’s what he has.”
Young made two superb saves to deny Jeff Purdy on a penalty kick and rebound in the 79th minute, but Lebanon clinched the victory moments later. Tanner Singleton flicked a Merchant throw into the goal area, and Muhlauri knocked it home inside the left post at 89:13.
Weitzman wasn’t required to do much for the shutout, but he was solid when he needed to be. Souhegan’s Aaron Hinton threatened to put the visitors on top just before halftime with a 16-yard bender around a Lebanon defender, but the Lebanon netminder made a diving tap save around the right post. “That was the save of the game,” Johnstone said.”
The Raiders will play five of their final six matches on the road, starting with a trip to Trinity on Tuesday.
— Greg Fennell
Thetford 2, Union-32 1 (OT)
East Montpelier, Vt. — The Panthers (6-3-1) spotted the Raiders a goal in the second minute, then spent the rest of the afternoon — and then some — rallying for the victory.
Goalkeeper Brandon Gray earned a rare assist on the tying strike. After making a save, Gray initiated a counterattack with a throw to midfield, which Matt Perry took from there to draw Thetford level in the 11th minute. The game stayed that way until the sixth minute of overtime, when a Colby Richardson corner kick found Cole Chapman for the conversion.
Gray stopped four shots for TA, which entertains Lyndon on Tuesday.
Hartford 3, Mount Anthony 0
Quechee — Connor Brooks’ hat trick propelled the Hurricanes (7-2) past the Patriots on the Quechee green and closer to a top-four spot in Vermont Division I.
Jed Sass set up Brooks’ first strike for a 1-0 halftime lead. John Borchert assisted on Brooks’ first goal of the second half, and the junior completed his trifecta with an unassisted tally to give him seven goals on the season.
Aaron Parker posted a three-save shutout. Hartford welcomes Rutland on Monday night for a contest at Hartford High School.
Rivendell 6, S. Royalton 1
South Royalton — Freshman Chris Gendron and senior Scott Calhoun each scored twice as the Raptors improved to 4-2-2.
Tim Stimson added a goal and two assists and Phil Dunn had his first varsity goal in the 79th minute for the Raptors. Calhoun, Luke Bell and Will Gardner had one assist each for Rivendell.
South Royalton’s lone goal came on a penalty kick from Alex Berk in the second half.
Josh Marshall made six saves for Rivendell, which plays the first of a home and home against Twinfield on Tuesday.
The Royals (1-6) visit Sharon on Tuesday.
KUA 2, Holderness 1
Holderness, n.h. — Kimball Union (5-0-1) remained unbeaten with a win over Holderness.
Charlton Muhlauri and Conor Higgins scored for the Cats, with Jack Doherty assisting on Higgins’ goal.
Maxwell Matel and Dyland Ward split time in net for the Cats, who visit Brewster on Wednesday.
Gorham 4, Woodsville 1
Woodsville — The Engineers (8-1-1) allowed four second-half goals to lose for the first time all season.
Mike Dennis scored the lone goal for the Engineers, assisted by Derek Maccini.
Tom D’Angelo made 10 stops for Woodsville, which plays at Profile on Monday.
Mill River 1, Woodstock 0 (2 OT)
North Clarendon, Vt. — A second-overtime goal on a potential offside play nonetheless gave the Minutemen the win over the Wasps (7-2).
Connor Fegard kept Woodstock in the match with his eight-save goalkeeping.
Woodstock plays host to Green Mountain Valley on Monday.
Rivendell 3, South Royalton 0
South Royalton — The Raptors (5-4) dropped a Haehnel-ful of offense in besting the Royals (2-6-1), getting two goals and an assist from Quenla Haehnel and a goal and two helpers from her sister Andrea.
Megan Winagle’s strong midfield play served as the fulcrum of the Rivendell attack, and Nicole Wurtz stopped both South Royalton shots that reached the Raptors’ goal.
Alexi Madore and Larissa Stride shared eight saves for the Royals, who picked up another solid effort from junior co-captain Jacqueline Fulcher at right midfield.
Oxbow 2, Enosburg 0
Bradford, Vt. — Unassisted goals on either side of halftime powered the Olympians (6-4) past the Hornets.
Amanda Wheeler put Oxbow on the board before the break, and Wren Smith doubled the advantage after the interval. Meaghan Williams earned an eight-save shutout for the O’s.
KUA 1, Holderness 0
Holderness, n.h. — Lindsey Landwehrle converted a pass from Morgan Walsh as two Kimball Union seniors combined on the only goal of the day.
KUA held most of the play, with a 10-2 edge in shots and an 11-3 advantage in corners. Shannon Walsh played well at forward for the Wildcats, as did midfielders Greta Hulleberg and Katie Decker and defender Katie Sanders. Keeper Katelyn Fowler backstopped Kimball Union’s fourth straight shutout.
KUA (6-1) takes on Brewster on Wednesday.
Kearsarge 1, Newport 0
Newport — Senior defender Sandy Brook scored on a direct kick in the 71st minute for the Cougars, who won their second straight game and improved to 3-6-1 with the win.
Mariah Chase made 10 saves for the Tigers (1-1), who host InterLakes on Friday.
Kesarsarge hosts Fall Mountain on Tuesday.
Gorham 0, Woodsville 0 (2 OT)
Woodsville — The Engineers (9-0-1) failed to earn a win for the first time all year despite a 40-11 advantage in shots on goal.
“The thing was we worked hard but just couldn’t get the ball in the net,” said Engineers’ coach Ann Loud.
Tori Clough manned net for Woodsville, which plays at Profile on Monday.
Stevens 1, Monadnock 1
Claremont — The visiting Huskies scored with seven minutes left in regulation, forcing a draw with the Cardinals (6-1-1) at Monadnock Park.
Desneige Roy notched her fourth goal of the season in the first half for Stevens. Shannon Hart delivered the tying strike for the visitors.
Williamstown 5, Sharon 0
Williamstown, Vt. — The unbeaten Blue Devils (11-0) stamped their best-win-loss-mark-in-Vermont-Division-III credentials with a four-goal second half to pull away from the Phoenix (6-3).
Sierra Dreesman had a busy day in the Sharon net, recording nine saves.
Hartford 1, Burr & Burton 0
Manchester, Vt. — Banged up and tired from the long drive, the Hurricanes (8-3) still retained enough energy to nip the Bulldogs.
Rachel Fogg converted the game’s only goal midway through the second half on a Jenna Yee assist. Rachel Loseby earned a three-save shutout.
“We’re pretty tired, pretty beat up, and we weren’t connecting with our passes,” Hartford coach Heather Scudder said. “We were hoping for a few more goals, but we’ll take 1-0. A weekend off will be nice.”
Lebanon 3, Bishop Brady 0
Lebanon — Kendra MacDonald scored twice and Emily Perryman had a goal and an assist as the Raiders (9-1-1) won their third in a row.
Emily Foster made a pair of saves for Lebanon, which held a 16-2 advantage in shots.
Lebanon coach Deb Beach — out since early in the year with a back injury — was on hand for moral support, according to assistant coach Shay Brine.
Hanover 4, Bow 0
Hanover — Hannah Seibel scored twice for the Marauders (5-4), who crept over .500 with the win.
Sumner LaBaron-Brien scored seven minutes into the game on a line drive, and Seibel scored twice in the second half with assists to Christine Croitoru and Emily Gougelet.
Eleanor Patten scored in the second half for Hanover on an assist from Katie Ryan-O’Flaherty.
B Sachsse made three saves for Hanover in front of strong games from defenders Charley Voelkel, Emma Butler and Caroline O’Donnell.
Bellows Falls 1, Windsor 1 (OT)
Windsor — Goaltender Emma Saucier made 17 saves to help the Yellowjackets (5-4-1) stay over .500.
Windsor went ahead 1-1 on Kristen Knott’s goal eight minutes into the second half, assisted by Valerie Koch. The Terriers’ Mariah Barnett scored with 9:45 left to force overtime.
Bellows Falls led 21-7 in shots and 24-8 in penalty corners.
Holderness 3, KUA 0
Holderness, n.h. — A three-goal first half was too much for the Wildcats (4-2) to overcome in a visit to the Bulls.
Senior Storm Sideleau gave Kimball Union a start with a narrow miss early in the game, but Holderness made use of multiple corners to build its 3-0 halftime lead.
The Wildcats upped their play after the break, but not enough to dent the Bulls’ net.