By Mal Boright
October 17th, 2013
It’s the closing week of the regular season, and the Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team is eyeing the top seed for Division 1 playdowns that get underway next week.
Coach T. J. Mead’s Redhawks carried an 11-1 record into Wednesday’s home contest with an improving Essex High team, which took place after the Observer’s press deadline. CVU winds up the schedule with a trip to St. Albans Saturday for a 10 a.m. match with Bellows Free Academy.
Victories in both games would give the Red and White a golden outlook for that penthouse seeding.
The Meadmen took a big step to that top seed Friday afternoon, squeezing past a tough Mount Mansfield Union High challenge 1-0, the lone goal coming with three minutes and 25 second remaining in the second overtime.
Sunlight was starting to expire when Max Brown knocked in a ball from Chris Reiss to end a tense, well-played contest.
Mount Mansfield, also in the race for a top seed, left Hinesburg with an 8-2-1 mark.
“I knew they (MMU) were going to be good this year,” said Mead. “Our backs did very well in dealing with a super aggressive front line.”
That defense limited the Cougars to five shots on CVU netminder Brandon O’Connell, who notched the Redhawks’ eighth shutout of the season.
Kyle Adams was superb in the Mount Mansfield cage, stopping eight shots.
Among the CVU defenders keeping order in front of O’Connell were Cooper O’Connell, Deagan Poland, Zach Akey and midfielder Tucker Shelley.
CVU tested Adams a few times. With 7:23 remaining in regulation, he stopped a hard corner-bound shot by Richard Baccei. In the first overtime, the MMU goalie made a leaping slap away on an attempt from Joe Castano, who was a threat much of the game.
For the Cougars, midfielder Jeff Estes and forward Tinga Adiang were among prominent contributors.