WILMINGTON >> Among the biggest concerns for the Twin Valley varsity girls soccer team is replacing standout goalie Brianna Rafus.
"Can Grace (Rizio) or Celia (Betit) step in and fill Brianna's shoes between the pipes this year," Wildcats coach Chris Walling put atop his team's list of major questions.
The Wildcats, who went 4-11 last season and lost to BFA-Fairfax in a playdown game, will host Otter Valley tonight at 6 in their season opener.
"We must possess the ball and play to feet in order to avoid playing the chase game, thus becoming exhausted by halftime," noted Walling.
Twin Valley was outscored 34-22 last season. Five players have graduated, including Kirra Courchesne, Kaylea Niles, Maya Holschuh, Megan Kehoe and Rafus.
"With another year under their belt, can this group of seniors and juniors playing midfield and striker finally step up and score goals? They must in order for us to be successful," stated Walling. "Defensively, we must limit opponents scoring chances. Blocking shots, reducing angle to goal, staying on our marks, and containment are of the utmost importance to help out with our inexperience in goal. Winning the midfield will be crucial in our ability to score as well as defend."
Twin Valley girls soccer roster: Coach — Chris Walling. Players — Jordyn Bolognani, Jarrett Niles, Caitlin Hunt, Karlee Walkowiak, Kassidy Walkowiak, Tayler Courchesne, Tatyanna Bowman, Hailey Howe, Kyla Lavoy, Callie Dix, Kendell Howe, Grace Rizio, Celia Betit, Roxy Birch, Olivia Genella, Brianna O'Hearn, Loren Pike, Caitlin Sullivan, Colleen Sullivan, Francesca Pozzi.
TOWNSHEND >> A year after going 11-6, winning the Marble Valley League C Division title and losing to Twin Valley in a Division 3 state semifinal, the Leland & Gray varsity boys soccer team will host Green Mountain in today's season opener at 4:30 p.m.
"We graduated nine seniors and had a total of 47 boys come out for the program this year," stated Rebels coach Chris Barton.
Leland & Gray boys soccer roster: Coaches — Chris Barton, Mike Fontaine. Players — Gaige Astley, Riley Faulkner, Willie Bush, Nick Fontaine, Casper Rowe, Aaron Claussen, Pat Meyer, Grayson Van Hendrick, Clayton Sanderson, Bryce Karg, Pat McDonald, Dakota Fillion, Jake Wilkins, Karson Petty, Rain Holmes, Lucas Newton, Caleb Thibault, Adam Culver, Luc Dugrenier.
WESTMINSTER >> Led by senior captains Jackson Purdy, Cam Joy and Cody Tallent, the Bellows Falls cross-country team will debut at Fall Mountain today at 4 p.m.
Tallent placed fifth in last year's Division 3 state championship meet, helping the Terriers tie for third with Randolph. Lia Clark took 10th to pace the BF girls.
Bellows Falls XC roster: Coach — Tim Eno. Runners — Jackson Purdy, Cam Joy, Cody Tallent, Nic Potter, Ethan Lauricella, Ian Wallace, Mike Mueller, Timmy Salter-Roy, Stone Bradbury, Jacob Howarth, Collin Robertson, Riley Daniels, Gabe Hakimoglu, Tess Kinney, Lia Clark.