Hilltoppers top Colonels, 1-0


BRATTLEBORO >> Megyn Ayotte rested on her back and looked skyward as her teammates sat in a circle while listening to coach Edwin de Bruijn's speech following Monday's varsity girls soccer match on Sawyer Field.

The junior goalie was exhausted.

Ayotte made 17 saves and also sprinted forward to intercept a handful of lead passes during Brattleboro's 1-0 loss to visiting Saint Johnsbury.

"She can be wonderful. She kept us in the game. She made five or six really nice saves," stated de Bruijn. "Megyn is a good goalie. She made a difference. We were lucky it was 0-0 at the half."

The Hilltoppers outshot the hosts 11-1 in the first 40 minutes. Sophomore forward Lia Rotti had six of those attempts, but was denied by the goalie in aqua blue clothing each time.

Saint Johnsbury had two really good chances early on. The Brattleboro keeper would make a diving stop when Grace Cooke aimed inside the far post and Lilly Leach later clanked one off the crossbar.

The Colonels got a long run up the left side from Devin Millerick, shots from Hailey Derosia and Danielle Wood that missed upstairs, and a long-range blast from Gabrielle Carpenter that was caught by keeper Audra Shield-Taylor. Jamie Mahoney and Derosia teamed up on a pretty give-and-go play along the right side before the teams went to the break deadlocked at 0-0.

The shots were even at four apiece over the first 15 minutes of the second half. Derosia tried to bury a pair of corner feeds and also unloaded from the right wing, Wood was robbed from in close, and Millerick sent a beautiful cross in front of Shield-Taylor to excite the home crowd.

Brattleboro's back line of Evy Williams, Ashley Volautis, Sophia Capy and Carpenter kept the pressure off of Ayotte momentarily. Capy made three impressive plays early in the second half — clearing the ball out of danger, picking Rotti's pocket, and sending an accurate pass ahead to Axis Balsley.

But with 23:19 remaining, Jen Rotti served a corner in front and Alex Lawson put it away to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.

"She was all by herself. I'm not happy about that goal," said coach de Bruijn. "It was their second corner in a row and she hit it in with her knee I think. Them scoring like that was not necessary. We practice those things."

Sadie Stetson continued her steady play in the midfield for Saint J, which got shots from Cooke and Lia Rotti down the stretch. A header by Millerick was Brattleboro's only good opportunity to pull even.

The 2-2 Colonels will host Burr and Burton on Saturday morning for their Homecoming Game.

Brattleboro roster: Coaches — Edwin de Bruijn, Casey Blust, Kevin Freitas, Anna Kayes, Libby North. Players — Megyn Ayotte, Devin Millerick, Venus Fu, Jamie Mahoney, Jenna Murrow, Samantha Cragin, Evy Williams, Natalie Gadowski, Alyssa Lane, Hailey Derosia, Liz Day, Axis Balsley, Olivia Romo, Ashley Volautis, Sophia Capy, Kai Boyd, Danielle Wood, Gabrielle Carpenter, Maddy Lynch.


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