BRATTLEBORO -- After starting out with a 3-1-1 record last season, the Brattleboro varsity boys soccer team lost seven matches in a row and never recovered.
Needless to say, the Colonels are hoping to avoid a similar slump in 2014.
"We start with one of the best teams in the state," said BUHS coach Paul Sather, referring to today's opener at St. Johnsbury at 11 a.m. "We're setting a goal to get into the playoffs and have a home field for it."
Brennen Zolnoski and Robyn Avery, a duo that teamed up for the winning goal in Brattleboro's last victory -- 1-0 over Mill RIver on Oct. 18 of last season -- have returned. "Zolo" also scored during his team's impressive 3-1 decision over Burr and Burton earlier in the year.
2013 starters John Curtis, Harrison Dews and Jack Maples are also on the BUHS roster.
"We're looking forward to adding some new players from last year's 12-1 junior varsity team," added Sather. "The Marble Valley League is stronger than ever and we look forward to the usual rivalries."
The Brattleboro varsity girls soccer team, which had its opener today postponed, will now lead off with the John James Tournament on Thursday, Sept. 4, in Bennington.
Last season, the Colonels dropped their first match in that tourney, before playing Springfield to a wild 5-5 draw in the second round. Returnees Tylynn Kuralt and Anna Burch each found the back of the net in that contest.
There are 10 seniors on the BUHS roster, including three-sport stars Maddy Derosia (midfield), Taylor Bird (midfield) and Abbie Lesure (midfield), and keeper Tori Svec. Sophomore Devin Millerick, who has burst onto the scene as a young point guard and second baseman, is a forward for Edwin DeBruijn's squad, which went 3-9-3 in 2013.
Brattleboro varsity boys soccer roster: Coach -- Paul Sather. Assistant -- Michael Italia. Players -- Brian McCarthy, Braxton Lynn, Kassidi Ramirez, Harrison Dews, Dan Burke, Robyn Avery, Ian Fulton-Black, Brennen Zolnoski, Leon Ogden, Jack Maples, Eamon Burke, Chris Renouf, Gideon May, John Wright, John Curtis, Jonah Goldenbird, Jasper Reed, Matt Dulmaine, Spencer Butler, Declan King, Sheldon Burnell.
Brattleboro varsity girls soccer roster: Coach -- Edwin DeBruijn. Assistants -- Jay Cudworth, Casey Blust. Players -- Megyn Ayotte, Maddy Lynch, Tori Svec, Abbie Lesure, Taylor Bird, Sophie Zimmerman, Anna Burch, Michaela Shea-Gander, Natasha Clark, Devin Millerick, Tylynn Kuralt, Maddy Derosia, Breanna Sheehan, Jaida Henry, Danielle Looman, Morgan Derosia, Kai Boyd, Abby Chapman.