CVU boys soccer leads off with win (Sept. 4, 2008)

First home game on Friday

Sept. 4, 2008
By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

The six-time defending Division I boys soccer champions from Champlain Valley Union High are scheduled to have their home opener at 4:30 p.m. on Friday against Missisquoi Valley Union High. It will be the third game of the season for the Redhawks, who started the season with a 1-0 victory last Thursday at Burlington High, and were on the road Wednesday against Hartford High.


    Observer photo by Greg Duggan
Champlain Valley Union High forward Jack Jesset (22), leaps over Burlington midfielder Jack Ode in the Redhawks’ 1-0 win last Thursday.  

For Hartford, Wednesday’s game with CVU was its second whiff of Metro action. The Hurricanes invaded highly regarded South Burlington High last Thursday and went back south with a 2-0 loss.

Prior to the start of the season, CVU coach T.J. Mead predicted several 1-0 games in the immediate future and was proven correct for at least the opener.

The Redhawks’ defense completely smothered the Seahorses’ speedy forwards in the first half, holding them without a clear shot on goal. Burlington got four decent opportunities in the second half, but junior net minder John Milbank came up with three saves to keep the Seahorses off the scoreboard.

Milbank divided the goaltending duties with senior Chris Howard, who logged a single save in the first 40 minutes.

While CVU held a solid advantage in territorial play, the game was seriously in doubt until senior forward Jack Jesset booted home a right-to-left shot from a Nick Hart pass with just three minutes and 25 seconds left in regulation.

Junior defender Chris Beaton, who played a solid two-way game, originated the scoring play with a deft move upfield before dishing to midfielder Hart.

Beaton, Matt Sulva, Dylan Crow and Hart had CVU’s best scoring chances — their shots were either just wide of the net or denied by Burlington goalie Amir Pasic, who had six stops.

After CVU held a 3-1 advantage in shots on goal in the first half, the teams were even with three each after intermission as the Seahorses got some offense going.

Mead pointed out that BHS used star Elia Louis only sparingly in the first half, but the speedster was all over the place in the second half.

“He is one of the best players in the state,” Mead said of the Burlington sophomore, who mounted at least three serious scoring threats.

Solid play for CVU came from junior defender Andrew Blake and sophomore midfielder Tino Tomasi, who distributed the ball well in setting up offensive thrusts.