Tough road test next for Redhawks
Sept. 16, 2010By Mal Boright Observer correspondent
Successful in their first two outings of the season, coach T.J. Mead and his Champlain Valley Union High boys soccer team were in Duxbury Wednesday for a meeting with Harwood Union. The Redhawks will then travel to Swanton Friday to tangle with Missisquoi Valley Union, which brought a glossy 3-0 record into the week.
“These will be a couple of tests,” Mead said Saturday morning after the Redhawks nipped now 1-1 South Burlington High 2-0 on the Rebels’ turf.
Following their opening 9-0 home win over Mount Abraham last Tuesday, the Saturday contest was much tighter. The game, played in almost perfect conditions on a turf field at 70 degrees with a warm morning sun and gentle breeze, went scoreless until the third minute of the second half, when attacker Zach Blanchard fired home a perfect lead pass from midfielder Tino Tomasi. The pass allowed Blanchard to catch up with the ball in front of the South Burlington cage and boot it at will.
Midfielder Kyle Logan drilled a direct free kick from about 20 yards out with 11:38 remaining for the final score.
The veteran Logan, a co-captain, has some irritating medical issues with his right leg and has been limited in playing time.
“I kick with my left leg,” he said, adding that he concentrates on the location of the defensive wall of players before launching what becomes a missile at the net.
The Redhawks’ defense kept the Rebels from any sustained threats in front of goalie Jeffrey Wettstein, who had four saves, three of those on long-range shots in the second half.
With senior defender Chris Sulva out of action due to academic tests, CVU’s back line of Luke Dorfman, Erik MacLean and Ryan Boland kept things clear in front of Wettstein and also became “The Organizers.” The trio, operating near midfield, cleverly worked the ball back and forth while setting up offensive thrusts into South Burlington’s territory.
As a result, the Redhawks maintained control of the ball and a strong geographical edge. Tanner Tomasi, MacLean and Blanchard were among those who just missed connecting for scores on great opportunities.
Rebels’ goalkeeper Cody Nash-Gibney had eight saves.
Sophomore Shane Haley had a pair of scores in the win last week over Mount Abraham. That was left out of the game story. This writer, who covered the game, is a former basketball official and baseball umpire who has often been told that his eyesight is suspect.