Chieftains top Wildcats in soccer thriller
WILMINGTON — James Anderson snapped the Twin Valley varsity boys soccer program's amazing 23-game winning streak during the regular season with one powerful kick on Wednesday evening.
The senior scored from the left wing with 1:23 left in overtime, following a free kick by Eben Mosher, to give Green Mountain a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Wildcats.
"It was definitely a match worth coming to see," said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford, whose team had not lost a regular-season contest since Stratton Mountain School beat them 2-1 on Oct. 7, 2017. "I thought we had the better of the play all evening. That's soccer for you."
The hosts had an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal. Aaron Soskin nearly put home a rebound and Colin McHale scared the visitors when he stole the ball in enemy territory and came up firing.
Green Mountain keeper Skyler Klezos also denied Jack McHale, Finn Fisher, Lucas Messing, Owen Grinold and Sebastian Arborgast in order to earn the shutout.
"Their goalie played really well. I knew it was going to take a quality shot by us to beat him," added Hayford, whose team dropped to 4-1 overall.
Aside from Ty Merrill's shot that sailed wide left and Anderon's ricochet off the crossbar, the hosts completely dominated the first 40 minutes of play.
Twin Valley's student section repeatedly chanted "Wildcats" as attempts sailed way over the head of Klezos. The crowd was treated to a couple of beautiful passing combinations — the first going from Grinold to Messing to Soskin, followed by the ball making its way from Izaak Park to Colin McHale to Fisher and then Messing.
An attack by Everett Mosher was the only real pressure applied by the visitors in the second half, but talented defender Eric Bolognani hustled back to break it up.
At the other end, Colin McHale, Grinold and Casey Sibilia all missed upstairs.
"They packed it in back there and looked for a counter attack," said coach Hayford. "I just wanted us to put shots on frame. We had lots of field goals...balls going up over the crossbar."
The defenses controlled the majority of the overtime period. "O.G." had Twin Valley's best chance from the left wing, but it was Anderson who would become the hero — delivering with 1:23 left in the bonus period and then being surrounded by his teammates as he jogged off the pitch.
The Chieftains improved to 5-1 on the season.
Twin Valley roster: Coaches — Buddy Hayford, Troy Felisko, Josh Carpenter O'Hearn. Manager Jack Roche. Players — Lucas Messing, Eric Bolognani, Casey Sibilia, Owen Grinold, Jack Kehoe, Jack McHale, Izaak Park, Colin McHale, Finn Fisher, Aaron Soskin, Aidin Joyce, Ayden Loos, Daniel Phillips, Daniel Betit, Matt Hammond, Liam Wendell, Pat Cameron, Cooper Adams, Sebastian Arborgast.
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