Boys’ soccer: Mt. Abe shows why its No. 1

ADDISON COUNTY — In local Division II high school boys’ soccer playoff action last week, top-seeded Mount Abraham reached the semifinal round, Vergennes pulled off one upset and nearly came up with another, and Otter Valley lost its opener.
The Eagles struck for a pair of first-half goals a minute apart at home on Friday and then clinched a 3-0 win over No. 8 Milton (7-8-1) with a pad score in the waning moments. The victory pushed the Eagles to 15-1, a school record for victories, and set up a Tuesday semifinal at Mount Abe vs. No. 4 Rice (9-5-1).
The Green Knights are the only team to defeat the Eagles this fall — they did so at home, 1-0, on Oct. 19. The Eagles won in Bristol on Sept. 30, 2-0. The D-II final will be played in Randolph on Saturday at a time to be announced. No. 2 Montpelier and No. 3 Green Mt. Valley will meet in the other semifinal.
Milton came to Bristol on a six-game winning streak during which it had scored 21 goals, and Coach Mike Corey credited goalie Ira Fisher (four saves) and defenders Theo Weaver,Gus Catlin,Whit Lower andCalvin Joos for keeping the Yellowjackets off the board, especially when the were pressing in the second half.
The Eagles dominated early and took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute, when Cale Thygesen ledEthan White into the box, and White picked the far left corner from 15 yards away. In the 15th minute, Joos stepped up and sent a strong serve from the right side into a knot of players near the penalty stripe. The ball bounced to Sawyer Kamman on the far side of the scrum, and he drilled a shot back into the right side of the net.
Kamman also beat Milton goalie Nate Dooley (six saves) in the 79th minute. The Eagles counterattacked from the Milton pressure, and Aiden White-Pifer sent Kamman into the left side of the box, and he converted into the near side.
The No. 10 Vergennes Union boys’ soccer team blanked host No. 7 U-32, 2-0, on Wednesday. Defender Josh Benning stepped into the attack and gave VUHS the lead in the 10th minute with a header. Twelve minutes later, Dana Ambrose bent a corner kick home to make it 2-0. The VUHS defense and goalie Dylan Raymond (seven saves) did the rest of the work. Mackinley Shaffer made eight saves for the Raiders (7-7-1).
On Friday, host No. 2 Montpelier improved to 11-3-2 at the Commodores’ expense, but needed two rounds of penalty kicks to secure the win after a 2-2 deadlock in regulation. The Solons took a 2-0 lead in the first half, but VUHS forced overtime when Liam Godfrey scored twice in the second half. Two extra sessions failed to resolve the issue, but the 10th Solon penalty kick did so. Raymond made seven saves, two more than Montpelier’s Connor Cossett.
VUHS finished its season 5-9-2, two more wins than a year ago despite graduating a large senior class.
Finally, D-II boys’ soccer No. 4 seed Rice (9-5-1) brushed aside visiting No. 13 Otter Valley, 9-0, on Wednesday.
OV, a team dealing with late-season injuries, finished at 5-10. 

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