Otter girls’ soccer wins twice to set record

BRANDON — The Otter Valley Union High School girls’ soccer team won games on both Monday and Tuesday to clinch the program’s first winning season, set a new program record for victories, and close in on the Otters’ first-ever home playoff game.
The Otters are 9-4, eclipsing the 2005 squad’s 7-8 mark. The accomplishment follows a season in which OV failed to win a game.
The Vermont Principals’ Association will announce playoff pairings on this coming Monday. The Division III girls’ soccer standings are tightly packed, with as of Tuesday nine teams owning records at least as good as 7-4-1.
The Otters can clinch a home playoff game and possibly earn a top-four seed with a win at Leland & Gray on Friday, and could earn a home game if any of several other teams fails to win all of its games this week.
On Monday, the Otters picked up the win that clinched the winning season and set the victory record, 3-0 over host Bellows Falls.
Olivia Drew scored twice, both with assists from Lexi Hedding, and Hedding converted a Drew feed to account for the OV offense. OV coach Rick Hedding said center backs Shana Houle and Jillian Flanders played well in front of goalie Gabbie Poalino (three saves). Terrier goalie Alyssa DeJesus stopped six shots.
At Tuesday’s senior game, the Otters edged visiting Windsor, 2-1, avenging an earlier one-goal road loss to the 7-4-1 Yellowjackets.
OV scored its goals in the first half. Drew scored the first, and then Maddy Morse equalized for Windsor. Hedding then gave OV the lead by converting a penalty kick.  
Poalino stopped 14 shots, including denying a Windsor penalty kick late in the second half to preserve the tie.
Coach Hedding said his defenders again played well, singling out Haley Gearwar and Nicole Rossi as well as Flanders and Houle, and added that Isabelle Kingsley did well at midfield setting up the offense. 

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