Harwood Highlanders have a busy week
By Erika Nichols-Frazer
Harwood boys’ and girls’ soccer teams both celebrated big wins in the last week, with the boys’ team leading Lamoille Union High School 10-0 and the girls beating U-32, 11-0, under the lights on U-32’s home field.
On the boys’ side, Zach Smith, Jorden Shullenburger, Brennen Dasaro, Xavier Brookens, Chris James, Matt Fiacheatti and Leif Broilette logged goals, with Brookens scoring twice and Shullenburger chalking up three goals. For the girls, Emma Ravelin, Quinn Nelson and Cierra McKay took home goals, while Louisa “Weez” Thomsen and Maeven Cattanach each scored twice, and Tanum Nelson added four to the scoreboard. “I was very pleased with how we played as a team, how we played our game right from the start, and the toughness we showed tonight -- I feel fortunate to have my team play the way they did,” said Harwood’s coach Mike Vasseur.
On Tuesday, the boys’ team narrowly defeated No. 1 seed Montpelier 2-1 with goals by Jordan Shullenberger and Cooper Olney. The girls took home another sizable win against Randolph, 9-1. Louisa Thomsen chalked up three goals, Tanum Nelson had two, while Tessa Jernigan, Josie Rand, Maeven Cattanach and Eloise Lilley all logged goals.
Harwood field hockey tied Missisquoi Valley Union 0-0 on Saturday. Kate Wilkesman had five saves for Harwood. Maggie Aiken took a penalty stroke in the fourth quarter and the MVU goalie saved the shot. “The team played well this morning. We will continue to work on offensive pressure, scoring and cleaning up our play,” coach Sophie Tretiak said.
Harwood girls’ volleyball fell to 1-3 Friday evening after losing 0-3 to MVCS in White River Junction (5-25, 15-25, 17-25). Junior setter Amalia Iskandarova led the team with 11 service attempts that led to six service points and two aces.
The cross-country team competed in the Burlington Invitation at the Catamount Outdoor Family Center in Williston. The varsity girls came out on top with Ava Thurston in first place and the top five finishers were in the top 13. The girls’ and boys’ JV both finished in third place and boys’ varsity finished seventh.
On Monday, the Harwood golf team placed second at the Copley Country Club. The boys had a combined total of 175 vs. Lake Region and Peoples Academy. Cam Forbes led the way with a 41, Jacob Green right behind with 42, Jack Lansky a 45 and Will Burks with a 47. Jordi Hunter topped the girls’ side with a 48. She was nominated for Burlington Free Press’ athlete of the week.
The bass fishing team competed in the Vermont Principals Association 2021 Bass Fishing Tournament in South Hero. “We had a strong finish taking home fifth place out of 32 other teams with a total weight of 21.47 pounds for our six- fish limit. There were 20 schools that competed in the tournament, some schools had two boats in the tournament. Overall, we are very proud of our guys; they fished very well. We are the biggest bass fishing team in the state by numbers,” co-coach Adam Lamson said.
Harwood 11 at U-32 0
By: Tommy Young
For Harwood player or fans, it couldn’t have gone any better than it did under the lights at U-32 on Friday. Harwood came out with a focus and intensity that was just unmatched. Sophomore midfielder Louisa Thomsen opened up the scoring 4 minutes into the game. Weez (as her teammates call her) wove from left to right and then back to her left foot then blasted a 20-yard shot into the back of the net. Just under half way through the first half, senior striker Emma Ravelin added the second goal (fourth goal in four games) on a great lead pass from midfielder Tanum Nelson to make the score 2-0. The next 15 minutes saw a barrage of shots from Thomsen, Nelson and Ravelin. During this stretch, U-32 had probably their best scoring opportunity smack off the upper left corner of the cross bar, but the Harwood defenders cleared the rebound in fairly quick fashion. With 12 minutes left in the half, defensive back Sadie Nordle found Tanum with space in the middle and cleared it to her. Nelson took the pass and wove through the Raider defense, much like a slalom racer, and finished it off with Harwood’s third goal of the game.
As fast as Harwood looked in the first half, and it was probably the best 40-minute stretch they have played all year, the second half saw the Highlanders turn on their jets. Sophomore winger Tessa Jernigan noted, “I’m really proud of everyone’s all-around performance tonight. We’ve been working on getting in the right pre-game headspace as a team, and I think that really came through tonight. Starting at the beginning of the game with Weezy’s early goal, we were able to maintain our focus and energy all the way through to the end. Our teamwork tonight, in particular, was also really satisfying. We obviously have great players as individuals, and now with a few games under our belt the team cohesion is really starting to come together which is very fun to watch and be a part of.”
Less than two minutes into the half, Jernigan cracked a shot that forced the Raider’s goalie to have to make a diving two-handed save. Although the save was made, it seemed to open the way to a goal-scoring exhibition by the Harwood squad. Sophomore wing Quinn Nelson lofted a beautiful cross from right to left and Thomsen found the space to get up in the air and head the ball into the back of the net, 4-0 Harwood. Thomsen still was hungry as she went on to score from 35 yards out six minutes later and then again with 12 minutes to go.
Weez added, “Our team had a great game. I thought we played really well with each other and our past few games also have showed some awesome team assists. I’m super proud of our team so far and can’t wait for what’s to come!” Tanum Nelson added two more goals herself; both missiles launched from both the left and right side of the goal. The ninth goal for the Highlanders came off another beautiful feed from Jernigan as she found an open Cierra McKay. The scoring was rounded out by junior winger Maeven Cattanach. For the third game in a row, Maeven came off the bench to notch her third and fourth goals of the season to make it a 11-0 final.
“I was very pleased with how we played as a team, how we played our game right from the start, and the toughness we showed tonight. I have the upmost respect for Steve (Towne) and his program. They are well coached and the defending state champs. I feel fortunate to have my team play the way they did,” said Harwood’s coach Mike Vasseur.
After the game, senior co-captain Tanum Nelson reflected, “It’s always fun to play under the lights and in front of a crowd. Having the student section and all of our supporters there was really great. After last year, we are so thankful to be able to have that experience again.” Fellow co-captain Rubi Murphy added, “Based on last season, we came into this game with the mentality to play hard, work hard, the entire game. We were ready and it showed. I’m so proud of our teamwork, communication and attitude throughout the game after our last result against this opponent.”
Harwood’s goalie unit of Ciera Fiaschetti and Poppy Woods and defensive four led by center back Abby Young continued to execute with another shutout victory. The team now holds a 31-1 goal differential. The Highlander’s (3-0-1).
Harwood 9 at Randolph 1
Harwood’s girls’ varsity team continued both their winning ways and their offensive juggernaut against the host Ghosts of Randolph on Tuesday, September 21. After a rather competitive first 10 minutes of the game, the scoring for the Highlanders opened up when Highlander co-captain Tanum Nelson sent a through ball to a cutting Louisa Thomsen -- 1-0 Highlanders. Ten minutes later, the Highlanders struck again when Harwood’s left winger, Tessa Jernigan, took a pass from Thomsen, settled it and then lofted an arcing ball over Randolph’s goalie for a 2-0 lead. Two after that, senior Josie Rand made it 3-0 with a shot that she pinpointed between the right post and the goaltender. This was Rand’s first goal of the season. “I thought our game today was a good way to show our skill and the amazing talent we have on this team. Our chemistry has only gotten stronger as the season goes on,” added Rand. Less than a minute later Thomsen created her own space and shot with a right to left foot move and a quick strike -- 4-0 Highlanders. With one minute left in the half, Harwood struck two more times. The fifth goal came off a great pass from Eloise Lilley up the middle of the field to Tanum Nelson. Nelson approached the net, uncontested, and carefully placed the shot into the goal like she was setting the table with grandma’s fine china. The final goal (of the first half) came with just three seconds left. Thomsen once again found Tanum streaking up the field, hit her in stride and Nelson wove around one defender to place the ball into the back of the net.
Randolph got on the board in the second half. Some miscommunication allowed for Randolph to field a loose ball in the penalty box and dump it in over goalie Poppy Wood’s head to make it a 6-1 game. Around the 21-minute mark, Weez took a shot from 25 yards out and made it 7-1, Highlanders. Once again Maeven Cattanach came off the bench and scored on a sweet through pass from Jernigan. This made it 8-1 Highlanders and it was the fourth consecutive game Cattanach came off the bench to contribute at least one goal. “I am hoping I can continue to contribute to the team’s success any way I can. We started off a bit slow today, but I was pleased by the way we finished,” said Maeven. The last goal came on a breakaway goal from Eloise Lilley.
After the game, Coach Vasseur had this to say, “It wasn’t our worst game and it wasn’t our best game. We came out a little slow but we battled the whole time and kept working to get to the way we play. I was happy with that and will take that into tomorrow’s practice as we prepare for Thetford on Thursday.” Senior co-captain Rubi Murphy also added, “Today we did an excellent job attacking through the wings and got into our rhythm as the game went on. We strung some beautiful combinations that led to some wonderful finishes. We look forward to hosting Thetford and hopefully we will continue to progress as a team with our communication, passing and finishing.”
The win moves Harwood’s record to 4-0-1. They will return to action on Thursday, September 24, as they host Thetford. The game is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.
Harwood girls’ cross-country defies the polls -- wins Burlington XC Invitational
Every week, Vermont cross-country coaches are asked to fill in an online ballot rating the top 10 teams in the state.
Harwood girls have been ranked consistently as the No. 1 team in Division 2. However, their coach John Kerrigan encourages his team to run with the best regardless of their division. “Large school, small school, ski academies, private schools -- they are all our competitors,” Kerrigan said.
The latest coaches’ poll had Harwood girls seeded second to an outstanding Burlington team for the best team in all of Vermont regardless of division. Harwood girls were soundly defeated by BHS at the Essex Invitational. What the pollsters did not know is that the Harwood team continues to improve in leaps and bounds.
Harwood girls challenged the No. 1-ranked team BHS on their home course at their own BHS invitational this weekend. “The first time we raced them, the course was fairly flat. The hills are our friends is our team slogan. We consistently train on the hills of Duxbury,” said Kerrigan
Burlington hosted their invitational at the Catamount Family Center in Williston. Their usual course at North Beach was not available due to construction at the BHS campus. The Catamount trails are very hilly. Ava Thurston, Harwood’s first runner, avenged her two previous losses to Logan Hughes the BFA St. Albans track star. Thurston had lost to Logan by 20 seconds the first time they raced. The second time, Hughes put Thurston away in a sprint to the finish. She finished one-half second ahead of the 2019 Gatorade All-American. Thurston and Hughes raced neck and neck the first half of the race, with the BFA runner having a slight lead. Thurston charged on one of the steeper hills and never looked back. She beat the previously undefeated Hughes by 30 seconds.
Thurston’s efforts were backed up by a solid group of Harwood runners. Charlie Flint placed ninth, Britta Zetterstrom 10, Julia Thurston 11.
“The big surprise was Elisa Clerici’s finish of 13th place only 3 seconds behind Julia!” Last week, Elisa, running as the fifth runner for Harwood, placed 30 seconds behind the No. 4 Harwood runner,” Kerrigan said.
At the awards ceremony, the Harwood girls handed the team trophy to Clerici, an exchange student from Italy.
“The exchange student from Lake Como, Italy, Elisa was definitely the difference today? Today she became more famous to us than Lake Como’ s well-known resident -- George Clooney. Bravo Elisa,” Kerrigan said.
In the girls’ JV Race, freshman Celia Wing placed third.
“Looks like she earned a spot on varsity,” said Kerrigan. “Hazel Lillis (7), and Heidi Haroldsen (12th) also had outstanding races for the JV,” he added.
Harwood boys’ varsity found themselves in the thick of battle with the larger D 1 teams. They placed seventh in the 10-team field. Despite the seventh-place finish, Kerrigan was pleased.
“We finished only 14 points out of fifth place in a very strong field. Ebbe Lillis (18) was Harwood’s first finisher. He was followed by Noah Rivera (27) That was a good finish for him despite losing a shoe in the first 100 meters of the race. Rye McCurtain (34) and the freshman duo of Indy Metcalf (39) and Chris Cummiskey (42) followed Noah,” he said.
Harwood’s top JV boy was Quinn Smith who finished sixth in his first race. Smith’s time of 19:26 would have finished as the Harwood fourth man in the varsity race. River Collins also bumped up to varsity with a 15th-place in the JV race.
On Saturday September 25, the Harwood XC team will travel to Manchester, NH, for the New England Small School championship.