WESTMINSTER — 9 East to Interstate 91 North to Exit 5.
It’s Buddy Hayford’s favorite route.
The Twin Valley varsity boys soccer coach, who won two state championships and also broke the Vermont record for wins at Bellows Falls Union High School, guided his Wildcats to a 7-2 victory over the Terriers in his return to the Westminster pitch on Tuesday.
“I’ve always liked it here. It’s a great field,” said Hayford before getting on the bus to head home. “It has decent size and it’s just a nice field to play on.”
Cody Magnant and Caleb Dupuis each tallied twice for the Wildcats. Magnant’s goals were the sweetest — he tapped in a cross from Matt Hammond to break the ice and later juked a couple of defenders before easily putting it home.
“Cody is always one of the best players on the field,” the Twin Valley coach explained. “Caleb has recently developed a nose for the goal.”
Trailing 4-0 with 27 minutes left, the hosts would cut that lead in half. Colby Dearborn did the damage, as he punched the ball into an open net and later finished off a corner feed from Caleb Ghia.
“Bellows Falls is a tough nut to crack. They played well defensively and their keeper played well. We made a couple of miscues in the back,” noted Hayford.
The Wildcats (4-0-1) responded with three consecutive goals to cap the scoring. Dupuis threatened up the middle and poked the ball inside the right post, Brayden Brown attacked along the left side and deposited his shot, and Steven Oyer would then drive the ball into the back of the net.
Brown, an eighth-grader, was calling for the ball early in the second half after Hammond had advised the left wing to stay out wide. The son of the Twin Valley varsity boys basketball coach would get a couple of shots off before scoring his second varsity goal.
“We kept the pressure on the entire match,” Hayford stated.
The Wildcats put 26 total shots on frame, including Cooper Adams’ penalty kick that was denied by Andrew Dunbar. That came after BF defender Benjamin Perry instinctively caught a point-blank shot during a scrum in front and was given a red card for his heroic effort.
Carson McHale scored a garbage goal for the visitors in the first half.
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Bellows Falls’ Caleb Ghia gets past Twin Valley’s Matt Hammond during a boys’ varsity soccer match on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022. Purchase local photos online.