Raiders top Wildcats for D-3 title
CASTLETON — Eight days after the Twin Valley varsity boys soccer players were chanting "We want Stowe!" following a semifinal victory, the reigning Division 3 champions only had one thing on their mind.
Be careful what you wish for.
The second-seeded Raiders defeated the No. 1 Wildcats, 1-0, on Wednesday evening at Castleton University for their seventh consecutive state title.
"They are a tough team," said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford of the champs. "I heard they might be going up to Division 2 next season and that doesn't break my heart. They could compete in D-2."
Stowe took the lead with 7:21 left in the opening half.
Jace Boerger took a pass from Jack Seivwright, eluded a defender and scored on a breakaway.
"All it takes in a game like this is a little thing like misjudging the ball in the back," noted Hayford. "Boerger beat us for the second year in a row. He has good speed."
That's all that was needed for Raiders keeper Sam Schoepke, who recorded his fourth shutout in as many postseason games this fall.
Owen Grinold, Gunnar Nilsen, Colin McHale, Dylan Howe and Jack Kehoe all had chances to deadlock the contest in the second half. Grinold missed high on a breakaway, while the other attempts were all denied by Schoepke.
The Twin Valley fans also made some noise when Casey Sibilia dribbled up the gut and dished left to McHale for a good look.
"We just weren't sharp enough up front. We couldn't get enough good chances," Hayford stated.
It didn't help when Nilsen was given a red card and seemingly tried to punch it out of the ref's hand with 11:56 left to play, leaving the Wildcats a man down.
"I didn't see what happened there, but that's out of character for him. It's disappointing," Hayford said of the incident. "I'm disappointed with the send-off. It's hard enough to play against that team with 11 guys, nevermind 10."
The Twin Valley coach had nothing but compliments for the versatile Izaak Park.
"That kid was everywhere. He played a great game."
Logan Boyd, who entered the showdown with 13 clean sheets, wouldn't allow Stowe to pad its lead. He was aggressive in the final 40 minutes, moving forward to deny a couple of threats by Boerger.
Boyd had blanked both Green Mountain and Peoples Academy, leading the Wildcats to the title tilt.
"It was a great season. I'm really happy with our season," commented Hayford. "Stowe is a great team and a great program. I'm glad we had the opportunity to play them."
The Wildcats ended up with a 16-1 mark.
Twin Valley roster: Coaches — Buddy Hayford, Ryan Holton, TJ Felisko, Josh Carpenter O'Hearn, Jack Roche. Players — Dylan Howe, Gunnar Nilsen, Tommy Therrien, Willie Queenie, Chase Seigel, Cole Cunningham, Dylan Dupuis, Lucas Messing, Eric Bolognani, Casey Sibilia, Owen Grinold, Jack Kehoe, Logan Boyd, Jack McHale, Allen Cole, Yeonjun Yoo, Izaak Park, Colin McHale, Finn Fisher, Aaron Soskin, Aidin Joyce.
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