Wildcats win Division 4 title
WESTMINSTER — Athletes wearing No. 10 stole the show on Saturday.
Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Herbert threw three touchdown passes against USC, Vino Rosso won the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic horse race, and Lucas Messing had a hat trick to power the top-seeded Twin Valley varsity boys soccer team to a 4-1 victory over third-ranked Arlington in the Division 4 boys soccer state championship game at Bellows Falls Union High School.
"Messing was the man of the match. He hustled to get two rebound goals today. He is such a little devil out there sometimes. He's like a gnat or a pest," said Twin Valley coach Buddy Hayford.
After Alberto Lopez put away a feed by Lewis Whalen to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead about 12 minutes in, Messing would score three consecutive goals. His tap-in during a scrum pulled the Wildcats even midway through the first half, he cleaned up a rebound after Finn Fisher was denied with 36:04 remaining, and completed his hat trick with an attack along the right side.
Colin McHale capped the scoring at the 15:37 mark, with a low laser that Arlington keeper Bryce Harrington was unable to stop.
"I'm so thrilled for our senior class in particular," noted Hayford. "It's very satisfying to go out on top."
The Twin Valley coach was pleased with the job that Casey Sibilia did marking Lopez.
"The story of the season is that guy," said Hayford while pointing at goalie Jack Kehoe. "He volunteered to take the position when our keeper went off to college. He got the job done for us."
Kehoe made one save, stopping a blast by Owen Downing late in the first half.
The Wildcats ended up with a 15-2 advantage in shots on goal. Colin McHale threatened often — setting up a Jack McHale header, unloading from 15 yards, finding Izaak Park with a corner feed, missing wide right with a direct kick, and scaring the visitors by getting behind the defense for a quality chance.
"Let's go bla-ack!" Twin Valley fans yelled in unison, and then banged on drums before repeating it.
Eric Bolognani and Park each made several clears to prevent the Eagles from coming back.
The Wildcats finished up with a 14-2-1 mark, including two other victories over Arlington. This was the fourth state title for the program, which also won it all in 2005, 2013 and 2014.
Twin Valley roster: Coaches — Buddy Hayford, Josh Carpenter-O'Hearn, Ryan Holton, TJ Felisko. 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, Matt Hammond, Liam Wendel, Pat Cameron, Cooper Adams, Sebastian Arbogast.
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