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Boys’ Soccer: Harwood vs. Lyndon Institute
On Saturday morning, the sky was clear and the air crisp as Harwood hosted Lyndon Institute. The crowd was in a festive mood for Senior Day and there was also a large cross-country meet going on later in the morning.
Before the game, Coach Don Haddox spoke about the contributions the seniors had made to the team. There was then a small ceremony in which each senior in turn recognized his parents’ contributions to their soccer effort by presenting them with a yellow rose.
The game began quickly with all of the seniors starting and it soon became clear that the Lyndon defense would be no match for the potent Harwood offense. Just four minutes into the game Harwood’s Zach Mayer took a pass from forward Win Parker and put the ball into the Lyndon net. Just one minute later the Boylan/Drake connection scored Harwood’s second goal as Sam Boylan gave a centering pass to Teagan Drake who drove the ball past a diving Lyndon goalie.
The pace of the game slowed a bit as Harwood kept pressing in the offensive zone. For the next 30 minutes, the Lyndon goalie was tested time and again, but he kept the Harwood attackers out of the net. During this time, the solid Harwood defensive wall of seniors, Seth Mason, Sam Greshin and Pierre Compere and freshman Dylan Bailey, limited the Lyndon offense to only several runs into the Harwood end of the field. With six minutes left in the half, Harwood struck again. On a corner kick, defender Seth Mason charged the goal and put in a header off of a Boylan kick.
Three minutes after that Boylan was able to get around a Lyndon defender and pass the ball within reach of Parker, who scored the final goal of the first half. The half ended with Harwood up 4-0.
The second half started just like the first half. Four minutes into the half, senior Chase Johnson shot a pass to a hard-charging Nick Cordova who dribbled the ball past a Lyndon defender and scored.
At this point Coach Haddox took most of his starters out of the game to give other players more playing time.
A few minutes later freshman Drew Platt blasted a great shot at the Lyndon net but was denied by an equally great save by the Lyndon goalie. Platt was not to be denied a scoring effort, as several minutes later he connected with Corey Remick for Harwood’s sixth unanswered goal.
With four minutes remaining in the game, the starters returned to the field.
A minute later, Teagan Drake connected with Win Parker for another goal.
With less than a minute remaining in the game, Harwood saw another hole in the Lyndon defense and Scooter Randolph put a great ball through the hole. Both Sam Boylan and Win Parker had recognized the opportunity and as both raced for the ball, Boylan reached it first but stepped over and flipped the ball back to Parker with his right foot. Parker one-touched the ball past an out-of-position goalkeeper for his third goal of the match.
The game ended with Harwood winning its eighth game in a row by beating Lyndon 8-0.
Boys’ Soccer: Harwood vs. U-32
Last Wednesday night began with a light but steady rain. Harwood was visiting their perennial nemesis, the U-32 Raiders, for a match under the lights in East Montpelier.
The Highlanders and the Raiders have a history of tight, hard-fought games. In the past several years, U-32 has come out on top of these matches including a controversial win two years ago. In an overtime period, in the dark, a referee declared a goal on a U-32 throw-in that no one on the field including the U-32 players, thought was a goal.
As the game began this year, the rain subsided and the air got warmer. Harwood’s stand-out defender Sam Greshin returned to the backfield after missing several games because of a hamstring pull. U-32 had their own injury problems. The Raiders had to start a junior varsity goalie after both of their varsity goalies were sidelined with broken collar bones suffered in collisions with players in U-32’s previous game.
At the 20-minute mark of the first half, Harwood senior Willy MacGowen got a rebound off of Derrick Cote, the U-32 replacement goalie. MacGowen passed the ball out to Teagan Drake about 20 yards from the goal. Drake blasted a hot shot that glanced off the cross bar and went into the net, for Harwood’s first goal.
A few minutes later Teagan Drake got the ball to Win Parker who scored Harwood’s second goal of the night.
Soon after that, Harwood fouled a U-32 player. The Raiders were awarded a direct kick. U-32’s Ohan Fillbach took the kick and the ball got just over the Harwood goalie’s outstretched hands, hit the cross bar and went in for a U-32 goal. The first half ended with Harwood leading 2-1.
Fifteen minutes into the second half Harwood had a corner kick. Co-captain Sam Boylan took the kick and bent it into the goal mouth where Win Parker put the ball away for Harwood’s third goal.
Not long after that Drake got a pass to freshman Phillip Hekeler, who scored Harwood’s fourth goal of the night.
For the remainder of the match U-32 pressed to score. They were kept out of the goal by a stalwart Harwood defense led by the outstanding play of Matt Fischer, Harwood’s goalie, who had a series of good saves followed by several great saves, which shut the door on U-32.
The game ended with Harwood winning 4-1.
Harwood goalie Matt Fischer had four saves and was named Man of the Match by Coach Haddox. U-32 stand-in goalie Derrick Cote had eight saves in his first varsity game.