Sports media group recognizes soccer standouts

VERMONT — Standout soccer players at West Rutland and Green Mountain Union high schools have been voted as the state’s top female and male Athletes of the Month for September by the Vermont Sports Media Association.
Brooke Raiche, a senior at West Rutland, and Mack Walton at Green Mountain in Chester were selected in statewide balloting by VSMA members for the top high school athletes.
Among the nominees for the female honor was Otter Valley senior field hockey player Allison Lowell. Lowell tallied 11 goals and three assists in seven games for the Otters in September, most notably six goals in one game vs. Fair Haven to set a new OV single-game scoring record, and tallied the overtime game-winner when OV won at Brattleboro.
Association members submit nominations about top individual performances by students across the state for the previous month, said VSMA President Andy Kirkaldy of the Addison Independent. All sportswriters and sportscasters, including play-by-play announcers and analysts covering Vermont, are eligible for VSMA membership.
Walton and Raiche will be eligible for the VSMA Athlete of the Year award when it is selected at the end of the 2016-17 year.
Raiche scored 16 goals and helped carry West Rutland to a perfect 8-0 record during September. The goals included a pair of hat tricks on the road against both Green Mountain and Chelsea, and four games  at home vs. against Black River. Raiche also tallied a game-winner in overtime, 2-1, when the Golden Horde hosted long-time rival Proctor.
In winning the honor Raiche edged out soccer stars Jamie Barrett, Peoples Academy, senior; Darien Boerger, Stowe, senior; Jenna Bourdeau, Missisquoi Valley Union, senior and Kassidy Cummings, Green Mountain Union, senior; and field hockey standouts Lowell and Abbe Cravinho, Brigid Hodsden and Emma Lober, all sophomores from Bellows Falls Union.
Walton scored or assisted on 28 of Green Mountain’s 29 goals in September, with 18 goals and 10 assists. Walton averaged 2.25 goals per game despite extra attention from defenses. Green Mountain was 6-2 in September.  
Walton outpolled football stars Jahyde Bullard, Bellows Falls Union, senior; Kevin Garrison, Burlington High, senior; Collin Urie, St. Johnsbury Academy, senior; and Bill Wood, Woodstock Union, senior; also, soccer standouts Max Carr, Peoples Academy, sophomore; Jacob Dow, West Rutland, senior; Mark Infante, Stowe, senior; and Seraphin Iradukunda, Burlington High, senior.

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