BRATTLEBORO -- On Columbus Day, the Brattleboro boys varsity soccer team discovered that St. Johnsbury is really good.
Jeb Burroughs and Natzu Friebel each tallied twice to help the Hilltoppers to a 7-1 victory over the host Colonels.
"We learned how good teams play," said BUHS coach Paul Sather. "They were the No. 1 team in the state at one time. We are pleased to have played that caliber of team."
The Green Machine controlled play early on, using a short passing game in the Brattleboro zone. Midway through the first half, Marcos Taveras fed Jacob Anderson, who found Rodrigo Garcia, who got the ball to View Chintaviwa, and he lofted it toward the far post.
The home fans saw that kind of unselfish play often, but also got to watch Conner Elliott-Knaggs make a couple of steals and saw Brennen Zolnoski pick off a pass -- allowing the purple and white to counter.
Ali Hallal had the best first-half chances for the hosts. With Anderson all over him, his shot sailed wide left. And then his breakaway up the gut was denied by goalie Soloman Zaga.
The Hilltoppers built a 2-0 halftime lead, as Manuel Lugo broke the ice with a run along the right side and Taveras later scored on a header.
Brattleboro tried to rally just after the intermission, via a laser from Zolnoski and then a header by Miles Goldenbird that was set up by James Ferris.
But Burroughs scored back-to-back goals to put the visitors ahead 4-0. His first came off of a rebound and his second came on a take from the right wing.
The hosts got on the board midway through the second half. Elliott-Knaggs attacked down the right side and beat the diving St. Johnsbury keeper.
"That was a nice goal," noted Sather.
At that point, Friebel simply took over. Wearing orange cleats, the junior forward glanced a shot off of each post, scored consecutive goals, and then made the play of the day -- running toward the sideline, he made a heel pass to Anderson, who received the ball in stride and found the back of the net.
It could have been worse for the home team, had John Curtis and Ferris not each made a save on a corner.
The 3-8-1 Colonels will play at Rutland on Tuesday. The Hilltoppers improved to 9-2-1 overall with the victory.
In the junior varsity matchup, Brattleboro played St. Johnsbury to a tie. The 10-2-1 JV Colonels are ranked No. 1 in the state and will finish their season at Rutland today at 4 p.m. and then at Vermont Academy on Friday at 4:15 p.m.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.