BRATTLEBORO -- It was Senior Night, Tuesday on Tenney Field, and the Colonels were the stars of of a few different shows. The main feature: Brattleboro versus visiting Proctor, in a game that would go into double OT, and conclude in a 1-1 decision, to give the Colonels their third draw of the season. Proctor took the first shots, but the home team bounced back.
At halftime, Brattleboro coach Edwin de Bruijn gave a heartfelt speech to his team and a large crowd in attendance. He stressed why soccer is described as "a beautiful sport," and what that meant to him. He thanked the parents of the players.
Then it was time for the seniors and the rest of the Colonels to have their day. This show was a little less serious. Think the Little Mermaid meets Willy Wonka.
Libby Annis would also put on a show of her own, midway into the second. On a penalty, Annis boomed a shot from what looked like midfield. The ball flew over a wall of crimson, then broke through the Proctor goalie’s fingertips to come in for a hard landing.
"Libby’s just got that quality," said de Bruijn. "She can take a shot from 35 yards out and it goes in. And it’s not the first time. She takes her time, aims, and has good technique."
It is the senior forward’s eighth goal this year.
Proctor striker Abby McKearin came in quick on the attack in the opening minutes, forcing keeper Aimee Johnston to rush out her zone to get on top of the situation. McKearin would soon come around again, and tried to float her next shot into the net, but the Brattleboro goalie denied her a second time. McKearin’s work would eventually pay off, as she put away the Phantoms’ first in the 17th minute, with Brodie Langlois on the assist.
On their approach, the Phantoms’ strategy at the start of the first half was to flank the Colonels defense, keeping the ball away from the center. It worked for a while, but Brattleboro’s defensive duo of Abbie Lesure and Katelyn Donovan caught on and began top apply the pressure. Substantial offensive actions on the part of Hannah Lynde and Maddy Derosia also caused the Phantoms to reconsider their plan.
Annis came close again on another penalty, late in the second, hitting the crossbar this time. Brattleboro missed a few chances and 10 minutes was thrown on the overtime clock.
During the overtime haul, Johnston would prevent a few near corner makes to keep the Colonels alive, Lynde and Anna Gagnon-Burch tried to put something together on the attack, and Annis kept up with her assault.
"Proctor’s a good team," said de Bruijn. "It’s a small school, so all they play a lot of soccer. They gave us a great game."
The 1-5-3 Colonels will host Leland & Gray on Saturday at 2.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.