Eagle girls’ soccer wins big over Cougars; Otter girls rally past VUHS

ADDISON COUNTY — In local high school girls’ soccer play late last week, Mount Abraham broke into the win column and Vergennes rallied past host Otter Valley.
Middlebury (1-0) was idle. The Tigers will host VUHS on Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and Stratton on Saturday at 10 a.m.
On Friday, five Eagles scored as Mount Abe topped visiting Division I foe Mount Mansfield, 5-1. The D-II Eagles evened their record at 1-1, with both games against D-I teams.
Scoring for the Eagles were Melanie Rotax (fromJuniper Nardiello-Smith), Meghan Livingston,Nardiello-Smith,Quinn Gervia (from Stephanie White), and Ashlie Fay. Eagle goalie Zoe Cassels-Brown made three saves, while MMU keeper Sarah Knakal stopped nine shots. Cougar Molly Finn scored with just 20 seconds left in the game on a 30-yard bomb that Eagle coach Dustin Corrigan said caught his team off-guard.
Corrigan said the Eagles “gained confidence knowing we were able to compete” during their 4-0 loss to two-time defending D-I champion Champlain Valley earlier in the week.
“We were able to compete, possess the ball, and create good scoring chances against them,” he said in an email. “In our team meeting after tonight’s MMU match some of our players said that they wished we could have another crack at CVU later in the season. I felt encouraged to hear that, as I know they were tentative at first to play CVU, but now they embrace the challenge and want to play the best out there. That’s the mindset we want to develop.”
Corrigan said when the schedule was redone this offseason he decided to line up the toughest opponents possible for the Eagles, a step he believes is necessary if the team is to reach its potential and earn the program’s first D-II title.
“My philosophy is that if you want to be the best, you have to play the best,” Corrigan said. “I feel playing strong opponents every game will best prepare us for where we want to be in November.”
In Brandon, the VUHS girls’ soccer team rallied in the second half on Friday to defeat OV, 5-3.
Ruby Dombek scored three times to lead the Commodores’ attack as they evened their record at 1-1. The Otters fell to 0-2 despite goals from Savannah Lynch,Taylor Aines and Jessica Frazier.
Lynch, with an assist from Aines, and Aines herself gave OV an early 2-0 lead. But two Dombek strikes pulled VUHS even by halftime. OV went back ahead, 3-2, in the second half, and maintained the lead until 11 minutes to go.
Then the Commodores erupted for three goals down the stretch, by Dombek, Tea Keifer and Samara Sausville. Tia Hunt assisted two VUHS goals, and Dombek and Julia Johnson also set up scores.
Both teams’ coaches said OV goalie Cortney Poljacik and VUHS keeper K.C. Ambrose played well, but offered different save totals. 

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