Oct. 30, 2008
By Mal Boright
At press time on Wednesday, coach Brad Parker and his Champlain Valley Union High girls soccer team were at Burlington High trying to overcome the last hurdle between them and Saturday’s Division 1 championship contest.
The top-seeded, 13-2 Seahorses presented a serious test for the 11-4 and fourth-seeded Redhawks. Not only had Burlington nudged CVU twice (1-0 at Burlington and 2-1 at Hinesburg) during the regular season, but it was on this field last October that the Seahorses knocked the Redhawks out of the playoffs in a hotly contested 1-0 match.
A victory would give CVU a shot at its second championship in three years.
Wednesday’s other semifinal featured second-seeded Essex High (13-2) against 14th-seeded upstart Colchester High (4-11-1).
The Redhawks earned the semifinal appearance with an overtime, 1-0 home triumph over 12th-seeded Mount Mansfield Union on Saturday. CVU had scored 3-0 (home) and 2-1 (road) wins over the Cougars during the season, but in the playoffs little comes easily.
The lone goal came off the foot of captain Asia Sienko with about 1:30 gone on the extra session. Erica Gobeille set up the shot with a pass. It was Sienko’s second score in two playoff games.
Goalie Emily Sackett had six stops to pick up the Redhawks’ eighth shutout in 16 games. CVU hammered a total of 16 shots at the Cougars’ goal.
Last Wednesday, CVU opened its title chase with a 4-0 victory over visiting Bellows Free Academy of St. Albans on Jahala Dudley’s two scores and singletons by Sienko and Emma Eddy.