By Mal Boright
Just one game remains between the undefeated Champlain Valley Union High girls’ soccer team and a second straight perfecto regular season. Still, coach Stan Williams believes, in the wake of Tuesday’s 1-0 home blanking of Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans, there is some practice work to be done.
The Redhawks will visit the 8-4-1 Cougars for a 4 p.m. session Friday. The practices to add offensive efficiency no doubt began Wednesday.
There seems little doubt that the defending Division 1 champion Redhawks will have top seed and potential home grass through to a championship contest, but playoff soccer can result in strange outcomes, thus the coach’s determination to gear up the offense.
Tuesday, the Redhawks held a solid advantage in territorial play. Sierra Morton scored the lone goal in the first half. Hannah Pease assisted. It was Morton’s second huge net filler in two games.
There could have been more, but some good opportunities went for naught as shots rolled wide, went high or got blocked.
Williams did have praise for his midfielders and defense players, who kept BFA from mounting any kind of organized missions beyond the midfield stripe.
CVU netminder Maddie Turnau had three stops. The Redhawks unleashed 11 shots on Comets’ keeper Taylor Jackson.
Morton and Audrey Allegretta were the goal poppers Saturday as the Redhawks came from behind for the first time this season to down a determined 10-3 Essex High unit 2-1 in overtime at the Hornets’ nest.
Allegretta scored with one minute and 40 seconds remaining in the first additional period on a crackerjack corner kick from Lia Gagliuso, so well placed that Allegretta was able to collect the goodie.
“Lia is a real weapon on corner kicks,” said an admiring Williams.
But for many minutes, this game had been one tense struggle. Essex had set the favored Redhawks (earlier 3-0 win over Essex) back on their tail feathers when Destin Barber fired a shot past Turnau just 53 seconds into the game.
“That set us back a bit, but we recovered,” said veteran midfielder and co-captain Paige DuBrul. “Essex always plays hard.”
CVU threatened on a few occasions but the score remained in Essex’s favor until just over four minutes had elapsed in the second half, when Morton banged home a loose ball past Essex goalie Annie Bouvee. Bouvee was immense with 14 saves.
CVU pretty much controlled play the reminder of regulation, although the Hornets came close in the final minute during a flurry in front of Turnau.
“They (Hornets) gave us a kick in the rear and we reacted,” said Williams after the game.
Junior defender Anne Keene suffered an injury late in the game but Williams said Tuesday she could be playing again within the week.
Last Wednesday ( Oct. 1) the Redhawks rolled up a 4-0 home triumph over Colchester High with Gagliuso, Morton, Allegretta and Megan Gannon the scorers as CVU rained 22 shots on the Lakers’ cage.