Tiger seniors top Independent boys’ soccer all-star team

ADDISON COUNTY — The Middlebury Union High School team made most of the local boys’ soccer headlines, and for good reason: The Tigers had a dream season, earning the top seed in Division I and winning two playoff games before finishing with a 14-2 record.
Coach Doc Seubert’s Tigers benefitted from depth and chemistry, but also — like the other three area teams — outstanding individual performances that are recognized here in the 2012 Addison Independent Boys’ Soccer All-Star Team. Six Tigers earned berths on the team, including two senior leaders and co-captains who are the 2012 Independent Co-Players of the Year, defender Connor Collins and midfielder Marrott Weekes.
Coach Mike Corey’s Mount Abraham squad fought off a batch of injuries to post another successful season — the Eagles’ 8-8-1 record included two D-II playoff wins and a highly competitive one-goal semifinal loss to an undefeated team. Two talented Eagles made the Independent squad.
Coach Kevin Hayes’ Vergennes group started out with high hopes, but close losses and a couple key injuries resulted in a four-win campaign in what was a tough Lake Division this fall. Two VUHS seniors are recognized here.
Coach Muffie Harvey’s Otter Valley team improved its quality and style of play, but joined VUHS at the four-win level. Two OV underclassmen are honored here.
Selections were made based on observation, statistics, and consultation with the coaches; as always, leadership and intangibles count. Congratulations to the following:
CONNOR COLLINS, MUHS SENIOR, CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Notes: Midfielder who moved to central defense this year and fared so well there he was named the Lake Division Defensive Player of the Year … Excellent one-on-one defender who quickly picked up the nuances of central team defense … Devoted himself to bettering his skills in the offseason  … Used those skills to clear purposefully, trigger the transition out of the back with smart passing, and step into the attack, scoring one goal and assisting another … Terrific leaper who controlled play in the air in the Tiger box.
Seubert’s quotes: “He worked on improving his game all summer … He was the foundation along with (goalie) David (Burt) of a defense that only allowed 10 goals all season … He’s a tenacious defender … He just kind of settled in at central defense … He’s quick. He’s determined … He made much better decisions when he came forward, and when he came forward he was dangerous … He stepped up and accepted the challenge of being a leader.”
MARROTT WEEKES, MUHS SENIOR, CO-PLAYER OF THE YEAR. Notes: Central midfielder who was a three-year starter for the Tigers and a three-time Independent all-star … Scored seven goals and assisted six this year to finish with 15 goals and 14 assists for his career … Fast, strong and smart player with good skills and field vision and the ability to rise to the occasion, scoring twice in the Tigers’ D-I quarterfinal win … Excellent defender who began as a defensive midfielder, and a versatile player who also spent time at striker.
Seubert’s quotes: “Marrott is a prototype central midfielder … He had size, quickness and skill … He was unselfish …  He really was the key to our success in controlling (opponents’) midfield … He’s real strong in the air and could pass the ball in pressure situations, made good decisions with it, had endurance, and had a real sense of what we needed in that space … … He has the will to succeed … He led by example. He worked hard in every practice … He had a vision of having a great year for the team. He really wanted to make this year special and believed in what we had.”
SHAW MCCABE, MUHS SENIOR. Notes: Savvy, quick, technically proficient player who enjoyed his healthiest season as a Tiger by leading them with nine goals and seven assists … Split time between being a dangerous forward and a creative midfielder, putting pressure on opponents in both positions with individual skill, smart passing, and finishing ability.
Seubert’s quotes: “Shaw had a great season both in terms of his play and his health … He has the ability to possess the ball and take people on … He accepted his role and he was a real positive part of what we were trying to do … He has speed he can kick in … He’s a real clever player both in his touch on the ball and his sense of the play … Shaw was able to find those moments where when he needed that extra gear he had it … Shaw had fun and you could see it in his play.”
CALE THYGESEN, MT. ABE JUNIOR. Notes: Central midfielder who led the Eagles on and off the field … Scored three goals and set up six despite missing time with injury … Blends a high level of technical ability with unselfish play, speed and strength … Used his stamina to recover well and play tough defense at midfield and in the defensive box as well as key the Mount Abe attack.
Corey’s quotes: “He’s an exceptional player in his demonstration of skill, decision-making and work rate … No one is more fun to watch … He is a leader who is positive and encouraging yet demanding of effort from his teammates … Cale is our most indispensible player … He is exceptionally technical with tremendous speed and quickness … His greatest asset is his field vision and ability to strike with either foot … He is key to our team’s transition from defense to attack.”
ALEX MCCORMICK, MT. ABE SENIOR. Notes: Three-time Independent all-star who split time between midfield and striker and led the Eagles with seven goals and set up two … Highly skilled soccer player who has terrific balance and quickness … Capable of scoring from long range with either foot … Scored the overtime game-winner in the Eagles’ playoff win vs. Rice with a 25-yard rocket … Three-time Independent all-star.
Corey’s quotes: “Alex is one of the best high school players in Vermont regardless of division … The opposition feared him every moment he was playing … Alex has been our most dangerous goal scorer and one of our best playmakers for the past three years … He has exceptional technical skills, great strength on the ball and has above-average speed … He understands and can play any position on the field.”
OSKAR SADURSKI, OV SOPHOMORE. Notes: Skilled, quick Polish exchange student who brought flair and production to OV this fall … Scored nine goals and assisted two in 13 games, mostly at striker, but also played midfield and defense … Knowledgeable, technically adept and versatile.
Harvey’s quotes: “He really brought some spark and life to our program … He an amazingly adept ballhandler… Our kids learned a lot from just watching him … He’s a warrior on the field. He’s a born competitor … He has a very high soccer IQ. He knows how to move without the ball … He was a defensive monster … I could put him literally anywhere on the field.”
NICO MACKEY, MUHS SENIOR. Notes: Heady, talented striker who contributed a timely six goals and five assists this fall  … Scored the only goal in a 1-0 win vs. Mt. Abe and scored the go-ahead goals in wins vs. Missisquoi, Lamoille and in the D-I quarterfinal vs. St. Johnsbury … Assisted McCabe’s game-winning second-half goal vs. Rice and game-winning OT goal vs. VUHS … After struggling with injuries for two seasons, worked hard and successfully to prepare for a healthy 2012.
Seubert’s quotes: “He’s a total team player with really good individual skills. He’s unselfish, sometimes to a fault … A lot of his goals were important goals … There were big moments he came through for us time after time, and he just worked his tail off … He found ways to combine with whoever was out there with him … His assists were as important in close games as his goals were … He just wanted to make this a special year for the team first and him second.”
TIM JOHNSTON, VUHS SENIOR. Notes: Fast, physical right midfielder who provided the Commodores’ most consistent offensive threat … Scored three goals, including the only goal in a 1-0 win at Mount Abe, and set up six scores, mostly with strong serves from the right flank … Had the skill set and versatility to see time at stopper as well, and played a key role as VUHS moved the ball up the field.
Hayes’ quotes: “He’s got speed and skill … He got behind the defenders and got off the cross … His speed helped him recover on defense really well … His technical skills were very good … He could transition out of the defense and could move the ball forward … Timmy’s been working hard on his game for years.”
BARRON HARVEY, OV JUNIOR. Notes: Tireless, hard-working central midfielder … Strong, skilled player who was as valuable disrupting opponents and winning 50-50 balls as he was helping direct the Otter offense and stepping into the attack … Scored two goals and assisted three … Good team leader.
Harvey’s quotes: “He really commanded the midfield for us … He’s very composed, he doesn’t get flustered … That composure on the ball is so important … He’s a workhorse out there, and he’s very much a playmaker … If he goes one on one on a player who has possession of the ball, he will come out with it … He’s very coachable. He’s very team-oriented … He always keeps it positive.”
ZACH OUELLETTE, VUHS SENIOR. Notes: Skilled two-way player who quarterbacked the VUHS offense from the central midfield … Had the ability to take players on one-on-one or to set up his teammates’ offense … Solid defensive player who was good in the air … Scored two goals and set up three. 
Hayes’ quotes: “He seemed to win every head ball in the middle … He’s a playmaker. He’s a good passer … He’s a very unselfish player … He won 50-50s and seemed to recover amazingly well … He would move the ball forward quickly and support the attack as well … He could possess, which was key as we moved forward … He had great ball skills.”
DAVID BURT, MUHS SENIOR. Notes: Four-year varsity goalie and full-time starter for three years … Always solid, took a step forward this season in stopping the ball, commanding the box, directing the defense and making decisions with the ball … Recorded nine shutouts while allowing 10 goals in 16 games, a goals-against average of 0.62 per game … Made two outstanding stops during the Tigers’ 3-0 D-I quarterfinal win while the game was still scoreless.
Seubert’s quotes: “The saves that he made were really good saves … His communication was much more effective in keeping people organized … His ball skills got better over the past two years … His distribution on his kicks was consistently effective … He’s a big solid, imposing young man back there … He had good hands, too … We lived with him for four years and it was a nice life. He’ll be sorely missed, for sure.” 

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