VSMA picks MUHS grad for October

VERMONT — A former Middlebury Union High School field hockey standout is among three Vermont Sports Media Association Athlete of the Month winners for October.
In statewide balloting of VSMA members, Wellesley College senior and Middlebury resident Kaitlyn Kirkaldy was chosen as the organization’s Open Division Athlete of the Month, Colchester soccer player Matt Goudie as the Male High School Athlete of the Month, and Stowe field hockey player and cross-country runner Colleen McGovern as the Female High School Athlete of the Month.
Each was nominated by a VSMA member for his or her outstanding efforts in the month of October.
Kirkaldy is a co-captain and defender for the Wellesley field hockey team. Wellesley went 7-2 in October, while allowing eight goals and posting four shutouts, and ended the month as the NEWMAC regular season champion at 8-0. The team finished 18-4 and reached the NCAA Division III Elite Eight.
On Oct. 19 Kirkaldy made two defensive saves in a 3-2 win at Springfield College. Kirkaldy, an all-NEWMAC academic pick, was the flyer against opponents’ penalty corners; foes scored just three goals on 73 corners through October. Her success came despite being diagnosed mid-month with a stress fracture of a shin that required her to wear a walking boot between games.
For the Open Division Athlete of the Month Honor, Kirkaldy outpolled three other college seniors: Norwich football running back Al Georgio, Castleton State field hockey player Rachel Preusser and Siena soccer player Brittany Pfaff.
Goudie, a prolific striker, scored five goals in three October playoff games to lead No. 2 Colchester to the D-I final. Those scores included the overtime game-winner in the Lakers’ semifinal victory over No. 3 Hartford. The Metro Conference’s leading goal scorer, Goudie tallied 10 goals in all during October for the Lakers, who went on to win the D-I title in early November.
Among the other nominees for Goudie’s award was Mount Abraham senior Cale Thygesen. Thygesen, a captain and central midfielder, played a key role in transitioning the ball from the defense to the attack for the D-II champion Eagles. Thygesen also moved back to central defense when the Eagles needed him there and provided what Coach Mike Corey called invaluable leadership.
Thygesen recorded six goals and three assists in nine October games. Those included a goal and an assist in the semifinal, the goal in a 1-0 win vs. Vergennes, two goals in a rally from down 2-0 vs. Missisquoi, and two goals and an assist in a rally from down 2-0 vs. MUHS.
Also nominated for the Male High School Athlete of the Month honor were two cross-country runners, senior Sidi Abdoulaye of South Burlington and junior Sam Nishi of Harwood, and three other soccer players, senior Marcos Tavares of St. Johnsbury, and juniors Sawyer Levy of Sharon Academy and Sam Molner of Twin Valley.
McGovern dominated in both her sports in October. On Oct. 26, she won the D-III girls’ cross country title with a time of 21:18, a day after she helped the Stowe field hockey team win its D-III quarterfinal by scoring a goal and adding an assist. McGovern then contributed an assist in a semifinal win over North Country; the team won the D-III title in November.
McGovern outpolled four soccer players for the Female Athlete of the Month honor: two seniors, Haliana Burhans of Champlain Valley and Megan Bosley of Enosburg; junior Dani Jesmonth of Williamstown; and sophomore Abby McKearin of Proctor.
The three October winners will receive plaques from the VSMA’s sponsor of the organization’s Athlete of the Month program, Initial Ideas of Rutland.
More information about the VSMA is available from organization president Josh Kaufman of the St. Albans Messenger at [email protected]

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