DUXBURY — Harwood junior Francesca Campanile scored her first varsity goal Monday, putting the finishing touches on a 4-0 victory over Montpelier.
The breakaway shot in the 73rd minute capped the latest chapter in one of Harwood’s most successful girls soccer seasons. Junior Louisa Thomsen (two goals) and senior Tanum Nelson also scored for the Highlanders (9-0-1).
“We lost a lot of seniors last year and we obviously miss them,” Nelson said. “But I’m really proud of how some underclassmen have stepped up and really filled some roles and made them their own. We’re playing really well together and it’s a lot of fun. Everyone is super nice and there’s good chemistry.”
Nelson has tallied 25 goals and 14 assists this season. Thomsen boasts 20 goals and 18 assists. Both players were youth teammates for the Waterbury Rec. squad before Nelson burst onto the varsity scene as a freshman.
“I remember, from eighth-grade, that this was the place to be,” Thomsen said. “I always looked up to Tanum and she was definitely a huge role model.”
Harwood claimed its only championship in 2010 and leads the Division II standings this year. The Highlanders have never finished with an undefeated record, but coach Mike Vasseur’s team has dominated every match this fall after rallying to a 1-1 draw with Mount Mansfield in the season opener.
“We were a little nervous with our D coming in this year because we lost almost everyone last year,” Thomsen said. “But Abby Young has really been a rock for us — she’s amazing back there. And so it Addey Lilly. And then a bunch of the underclassmen, who we just didn’t know what to get from them. And they’ve been really strong back there and keeping our team together.”
Scout Vitko and Rubi Murphy excelled as outside backs again Monday to keep the Solons off the scoreboard. First-year varsity goalie Cierra Fiaschetti recorded five saves for the Highlanders to record her fifth shutout.
“Cierra Fiashcettti: We love her,” Nelson said. “She’s been so solid and such a hard worker. It’s so nice to have somebody back there that you really can count on. And she’s so modest. Every game we’re always like, ‘Great job Cierra.’ And she just has this little smile. She’s the best and we’re very thankful for her.”
Fiaschetti also walked away with a clean sheet during showdowns with Lyndon, Lamoille, U-32 and Peoples Academy. Harwood has outscored opponents 73-6, earning an 11-0 victory over defending D-II champ U-32 and coasting to a 7-1 win over perennial D-III power Thetford.
“We’re definitely a second-half team, which is really good,” Nelson said. “And even today we had a little bit of a slow start. So it says a lot about our character that we dig deep and get the results.”
The Solons nearly pulled ahead in the 15th minute, but Fiaschetti made a diving save to stop a shot by Montpelier’s Sienna Mills. The Solons standout has scored in almost every match this season, but the HU defense made it a priority to contain her.
“They were a very good, technical team and they passed really well,” Nelson said. “Sienna Mills is a great player and she had a great game. We were looking out for her, but she did really well. And they all did. So that just makes me more proud of the result from today.”
The Highlanders attempted to open the scoring in the 18th minute, but a header by Nelson on a Thomsen free kick sailed over the crossbar. Montpelier goalie Sophia Flora (nine saves) stole the show in the 28th minute by denying a breakaway bid by HU’s Emma Ravelin. Flora made her varsity debut in goal Saturday and already has a hefty collection of highlight-reel saves.
“Sophia approached me early on in preseason and said, ‘Just so you know, I played goalie for a few years as a younger player. And I don’t like playing in there, but I have trained a little bit.’” Montpelier coach Jay Geibel said. “And so at that point I said, ‘Great. You’re my backup.’ …She’s an incredible athlete and she has temperament to play and she has the skill. It’s just a matter of confidence right now because she just hasn’t been there in a few years. So it’s about building her back up and feeling like a keeper again.”
Josie Rand set up Nelson for a delicate finish and a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute. Thomen hammered in a Nelson cross in the 45th minute for a 2-0 advantage. Nelson set up Thomsen again in the 66th minute before Campanile capitalized on a Thomsen assist.
According to Geibel, the main mission was to contain Harwood’s attacking threats and limit many high-percentage scoring chances.
“We were really trying to get a shoulder in front when those through balls come in and just make it enough to take the long path to the ball,” he said. “If you give them a straight shot to the ball, they have the pace to beat you there. So it’s really about staying tight to them and limiting the services that come in. Overall, I think we did fairly well with that — obviously with some lapses. The team feels more beatable now than they did. We’ll come out of this game a better team. And I think hopefully they will too.”
The Highlanders finished with a 12-3-1 record during Nelson’s freshman year. Harwood faced off against Mount Abraham in the playoffs for the sixth straight year that season, suffering a 2-1 quarterfinal loss while playing on a snow-covered surface.
“I watched the Mount Abe game with all the snow,” Thomsen said. “And definitely when the conditions are tough, we’re a really technical team and so that can affect it. But I think our grit and our technical skills and our strength can take us a lot of places.”
Harwood fell to Rice, 2-1, during the 2019 championship. Last year’s season ended with a 2-0 loss to U-32 in the semifinals.
“It’s a huge motivator,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a rough go at playoffs, at least in my career. And I know I speak for everyone: We’re just super hungry for it this year — and excited. I can’t wait.”
Harwood will host GMVS at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Highlanders will close out the regular season with matches against Paine Mountain, Stowe and Spaulding. Paine Mountain earned a 4-1 victory over defending D-II champ last week, while Spaulding shut out D-I powerhouse North Country on Monday. Stowe (10-0-1) is the reigning champ in D-III.
“Cierra has been a rock,” Thomsen said. “It’s so nice and it really changes a team when you have someone that you can just completely trust in the back to play the ball to. Or just to have your back the whole time. We’ve had a huge a few scares in the back, for sure. And she’s just been there the whole time, which is so nice. And she’s a great kid too.”
The Solons (6-3) will attempt to snap a two-game losing skid Wednesday when they host North Country (9-2) at 6 p.m.
“When we were full-strength and we had the lineup out there that we wanted, it demystified this team a little bit,” Geibel said. “We absolutely felt like we could be in there and compete. We were challenged with having to put people in weird places and fill gaps throughout the game. But really that was a high point for me because I saw some great stuff from people being put in different positions — and from our bench. So my biggest takeaway is we have the pieces to put it together when we need to.”
Spaulding 1, North Country 0
BARRE TOWN — Spaulding striker Paige Allen scored in the 25th minute and keeper Rebecca McKelvey locked up her fifth shutout of the season Monday.
The Falcons outshot the hosts 10-6 but couldn’t put anything past the Tide defense. The Crimson Tide claimed their fourth straight victory after making the most of a corner kick in the 25th minute.
“It was a short corner and Sage (MacAuley) played the ball close to Paige,” Spaulding coach Rob Moran said. “The defense came out and Paige took a prep touch past the defender. Their goalie is at least 6 feet tall and she was near the front post, expecting that corner to come in. And Paige sent a left-footed inswinger over the goalie and into the far netting.”
Falcons goalie Rileigh Fortin recorded five saves. McKelvey stopped 10 shots and made two of her best saves near the end of the match.
“In the second half North Country pressured pretty hard,” Moran said. “We had a plan going into this that was a little bit more defensive. Most of their shots came from outside the 18 and Rebecca was able to track them all down. And with about 10 minutes left, there were two decent shots that came in that she made really good saves on.”
Payton Lamberti, Frankie Barney, Molly Parker and Emily Morris started on defense and held their ground for the full 80 minutes. The Tide also earned clean sheets against Paine Mountain, Lyndon, Randolph and Thetford.
Spaulding (6-3) will travel to play Peoples Academy at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The Falcons (9-2) will attempt to snap a two-game losing skid the same day when they travel to play Montpelier at 6 p.m. North Country outscored opponents 38-7 during its first nine matches before suffering a 4-2 loss to undefeated Harwood last week.
“We made the decision to back away form the 4-3-3 (formation) today,” Moran said. “We knew that we would most likely play more defensively and I wanted to make sure the central midfield was held in tight. So dropping the left and right attacker into playing more of an outside midfielder role, it made it so we could keep that triangle midfield more compact and more central. And it made it more difficult for North Country to bring the ball up the midfield and pressure us.”
Mount Abraham 1, U-32 0
BRISTOL — Maia Jensen’s second-half goal on a Nell Harvey lifted the Eagles past the Raiders on Monday. Goalie Joanna Toy made five saves for Mount Abraham, while Evie Moore stopped nine shots for U-32.
Stowe 3, Vergennes 0
VERGENNES — Two goals from Orly Bryan gave the defending Division III champs the upper hand during Monday’s rematch of the 2020 title game.
Bryan scored on an Ellie Zimmerman assist in the 34th minute. Sarah Hailey made it 2-0 in the 55th minute before Bryan capped the scoring on a pass from Iris Cloutier in the 76th minute.
Goalie Parker Reeves made one save for Stowe (10-0-1). Carlyn Rapoport stopped six shots for Vergennes (1-10).
Stowe 3, Montpelier 1
STOWE — Sarah Hailey scored twice Saturday to help the undefeated Raiders snap the Solons’ six-game winning streak.
Sienna Mills gave the Solons an early lead by firing a shot past Stowe goalie Parker Reeves (four saves) in the 28th minute. Hailey equalized in the 40th minute, resulting in a 1-1 tie entering halftime. Olivia Gianni tallied the go-ahead goal in the 74th minute before Hailey sealed the victory with a strike in the 78th minute.
Montpelier (2-6) will travel to play Harwood at 4 p.m. Monday. Stowe (8-0-1) will visit Vergennes the same day. The Raiders shut out the Commodores, 4-0, in last year’s Division III championship.
Spaulding 4, Hazen 2
BARRE TOWN — An anti-climactic ending couldn’t overshadow a breakthrough performance by the Spaulding boys soccer team during Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Hazen.
Jon Jesmonth and Ian MacDonald scored for the Crimson Tide along with brothers Tyler and Ryan Glassford. Reed Kehler and Xavier Hill tallied goals for the Wildcats, who opted to forfeit the game with 8:41 remaining after a disputed red card.
“The officials had a discussion with their coach after the red card and she decided to pull her team,” Spaulding coach Jay Baitz said. “I wish we could have finished the game out. But to finally get that win, we don’t have to worry about that anymore.”
The Wildcats shot ahead in the Capital Division clash when Reed Kehler scored midway through the first half. Tyler Glassford scored on an assist by MacDonald in the 30th minute, knotting things at 1.
Jesmonth added another goal in the 37th minute, giving the Tide a 2-1 advantage entering halftime. Ryan Glassfored extended the lead to 3-1 in the 54th minute before MacDonald added another insurance goal two minutes later. Hazen’s Xavier Hill kept things close by scoring at the other end in the 70th minute.
“Hazen’s players are physical and they let you know they’re there,” coach Baitz said. “We’ve been working on connecting passes and building out of the midfield better. And they were doing that today. I’m proud of our players and they continue to work hard. They’re improving their play on the field and they’re staying positive through all this and trying to build team continuity. We were poised and patient and strong, trying to play end to end and trying to bring home the win.”
Spaulding goalie Matthew Redmond finished with another double-digit save total to give his team a huge boost. Redmond blocked 21 shots, frustrating the Wildcats time and again.
“We gave up a lot of shots, but Matt definitely stepped up again,” coach Baitz said.
Tyler Rivard (12 saves) was a standout in goal for the Wildcats.
“He had some good saves,” coach Baitz said. “We got some good shots that really forced him to move to make the save. We ripped some shots across and he did a really nice job for them.”
The Crimson Tide were forced to pace themselves throughout the match while competing with only three subs. But the return of MacDonald to the starting lineup made a huge difference in the team’s ability to maintain possession and attack.
“We got Ian MacDonald back today and I moved Jon Jesmonth up to a defensive midfielder,” coach Baitz said. “He’s been playing stopper and today he was getting more involved in the offense, which gave us more opportunities moving up the field. The two of them sparked us in the midfield and created more chances on offense. Even though we didn’t have as many shots on goal, the opportunities were there.”
Outside backs Carter Dayton and Noah Ronson helped lead the Tide defensively along with stopper Seth Almond and center backs Ellison Fortin and Averill Parker.
“The defenders are starting to connect with each other,” coach Baitz said. “They’re still young and they’re getting used to it back there because it’s three juniors and a sophomore.”
Hazen (4-6) will travel to play Stowe at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Spaulding (1-9) will visit Lyndon the same day. The Crimson Tide will wrap up the regular season with matches against Thetford, North Country and Lamoille.
The last time Spaulding reached the two-victory mark was during a 2-11-2 campaign in 2017. The Tide finishing 1-14 in 2018 before going 0-14 in 2019 and 0-9 last year.
“Ryan Glassford and Jon Jesmonth are the two seniors on the team,” coach Baitz said. “They’ve endured a couple years of not winning, so they’ve been hungry for this. It’s nice to get over that hump and to keep moving forward and keep developing. They’ve gotten one and now they want more.”
Montpelier 4, Randolph 0
MONTPELIER — Ronnie Riby-Williiams recorded a hat trick for the third time in three weeks during Saturday’s shutout victory over the Galloping Ghosts.
The junior striker opened the scoring in the 15th minute on an assist by Brooks Duprey. The initial shot by Riby-Williams was blocked, but he immediately tucked away the rebound.
“Ronnie did a great job finishing and I thought that Brooks had one of his best games today,” Montpelier coach Eric Bagley said.
The Solons carried their one-goal lead into halftime before opening the floodgates after the break.
“At halftime we talked about how we didn’t play with the intensity that we needed to,” Bagley said. “A lot of guys were going through the motions and passing the ball around just for the sake of passing the ball around. And there were very few players moving into open space. We talked about making sure the effort was better in the second half. We needed to come out and press a bit better and play harder in the second half. And I thought the guys responded pretty well.”
Riby-Williams ran past three Randolph defenders in the 43rd minute and doubled the lead with a well-timed shot. He scored again a minute later on an Olin Duggan assist. Maclay Ericson recorded his first varsity goal in the 58th minute, thanks to a Cameron Cook assist. Keeper Brio Levitt did not have to make any saves while recording his sixth shutout of the season.
Despite the final outcome, Bagley spotted a few areas of play that still need improvement. The Solons’ pre-match preparation and early-game energy were two things he addressed after the final whistle.
“We came in flat,” Bagley said. “I could tell in the warmups that we weren’t at our usual intensity. It was very quiet, and it may be a case of underestimating a team. Will (Bruzzese) and Clay (Foster) in the back and Ben (Collier) in the middle did a great job of making sure Randolph couldn’t get anything going offensively. Our field is not in the greatest shape right now. And a bad bounce here or there and it could be a different game. We have to do a better job of coming out and playing at the level that we’re able to.”
Montpelier (9-1) will travel to play Lamoille at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Ranodlph (4-7) will travel to play North Country the same day.
Mt. Abraham 3, GMVS 3
FAYSTON — Walker Henyon scored twice and Nate Brophy tallied the game-tying goal in the 70th minute for the Gumbies on Monday.
Eli Burgess (two goals) and Henry Cogswell found the back of the net for the Eagles. GMVS goalie Dillon Rowles finished with six saves, while Mount Abraham’s Creed Stilwell stopped nine shots.
U-32 6, Lamoille 0
HYDE PARK — Sean Butler’s hat trick helped the Raiders snap a two-game losing skid Saturday.
Goalie AJ Moore stopped two shots to help U-32 record its third clean sheet of the season. Hayden Cheever made 15 saves in goal for the Lancers.
Maddox Heise opened the scoring on a Ben Clark assist in the 25th minute. Butler scored a minute later on a pass from Quinn Olney. The senior midfielder tallied his second goal in the 30th minute, with Alex Keane notching the assist.
The Raiders extended their lead to 4-0 in the 57th minute when Keane set up Butler for another goal. Shiloh Weiss scored from Finn O’Donnell in the 71st minute before O’Donnell capped the scoring on a Cam Tatro assist.
U-32 (7-4) will travel to play defending Division III champ Peoples Academy at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Lamoille (0-10) will host Montpelier the same day.
Stowe 9, Thetford 0
THETFORD — The Raiders built a four-goal halftime lead and limited the Panthers to three shots on goal during Saturday’s victory.
Adrian Bryan recorded four goals and two assists. TJ Guffey (two goals, two assists) and Ben Nissenbaum (one goal, two assists) were also key players. Code Lilly and Cole Sautter added single goals for the Raiders and teammate Brock Roick made three saves in the shutout. Stowe (7-1-2) stretched its undefeated streak to nine games and will host Hazen at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Winooski 3, Cabot-Twinfield 1
WINOOSKI — Goals from Janvier Mufaume, Yusufu Mami and Heritier Mampuya helped the Spartans snap the visitors’ two-game winning streak Saturday. Meles Gouge scored for the cooperative Cabot-Twinfield program, which trailed 1-0 at halftime. Gouge’s team (6-2) will host Oxbow at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
GMVS 1, Stratton 0
STRATTON — The Gumbies claimed ski-school bragging rights Saturday by shutting out the Bears. James Dougherty scored in the second half on a Walker Henyon assist. Keeper Dillon Rowles stopped seven shots in the clean sheet.
U-32 2, St. Johnsbury 0
ST. JOHNSBURY — Goals by Caitlyn Fielder and Alaina Beauregard allowed the Raiders to extend their unbeaten streak to nine games Saturday.
“It was a hard-fought game,” U-32 coach Dillon Burns said. “St Johnsbury dominated much of the first quarter. They had played Spaulding (Friday) night, so I’m sure it was mentally and physically tough to walk into another competitive game first thing this morning. By the second half, we found our groove. Ayla Dyer, Peyton Smith and Finley Torrens-Martin were able to block tackle and distribute the ball back out to our wings with composure under pressure, limiting St. Johnsbury’s time in our defensive end.”
Fielder scored with 5:05 left in the third quarter for a 1-0 advantage. Alaina Beauregard scored with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter.
“Caitlyn Fielder was nursing a first-quarter thumb injury but managed a really nice shot after some strong stick work at the top of the circle to score first,” Burns said. “And Alaina scored by finishing a beautiful feed from Zoe Hilferty.”
Maddie Hurlbert made six saves for St. Johnsbury, which held a 9-5 advantage on penalty corners. Goalie Kiki Hayward (two saves) and the Raider defense recorded their fifth shutout of the season.
“The whole team left everything on the field, which is what we needed today,” Burns said. “We know St. Johnsbury will give us another tough game when we play them in 10 days — and they will be more rested.”
St. Johnsbury (6-4) will travel to play Montpelier at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. U-32 (8-1-1) will host Harwood the same day at 4 p.m.
“Our captains deserve a lot of credit for creating a culture of hustle and communication when our team is on the field,” Burns said. “And you can see the results in our record.”
Bellows Falls 43, Spaulding 14
BELLOWS FALLS — Jed Lober rushed for three first-half touchdowns and the Terriers carried a 43-0 lead into halftime against the Crimson Tide.
Jeb Monier, Jonathan Terry and Caden Haskell and ran into the end zone for scoring plays. Spaulding quarterback Andrew Trottier threw a 67-yard touchdown pass to Christian Titus and completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Zack Wilson
The Tide (2-3) will travel to play North Country at 7 p.m. Friday. Bellows Falls (6-0) will host Springfield the same day.