By Mal Boright
Travels on the big asphalt slab to Newport Saturday and Colchester Tuesday awaited the Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team after some business against South Burlington High at home Wednesday, after the Observer’s press deadline.
The Saturday game at North Country Union has a 4 p.m. starting time.
Suffering their first loss Friday afternoon to visiting St. Johnsbury Academy, the Redhawks had plenty of motivation fired up when South Burlington motored into Hinesburg.
St. Johnsbury, which left town with a 7-0 record, played a solid, trapping defensive game that gave CVU few scoring opportunities. When a rare clear possible goal loomed, shots went (narrowly) high over the cage or, one time, off a post.
The Redhawks trailed 2-0 in the second half when CVU’s Oliver Choiniere unloaded a hard blast from 20 yards out to make it a one-goal game with just over 20 minutes remaining. Tucker Shelley assisted.
Both teams just missed on scoring tries after that.
Both Hilltopper goals were gems. Senior Marcos Taveras, a force all day, got his foot on a loose ball out of a scrum 15 yards out and rocketed a bomb into the left corner of the CVU cage. It was the game’s initial score with seven minutes left in the first half.
Less than 10 minutes had gone by in the second half when St. Johnsbury scored on a picture play. After the defense got a take away, midfielder Jeb Burroughs crossed a high pass to attacker Natzu Friebel, who headed it into the cage.
CVU goalie Brandon O’Connell (three saves) had no chance on either of the St. J scores.
The Redhawks outshot the visitors as Soloman Zaga had eight stops for the ‘Toppers.