In soccer playoffs, VUHS teams and Eagle girls advance

ADDISON COUNTY — Both the Vergennes boys’ and girls’ soccer teams as well as Mount Abraham girls’ soccer won road quarterfinals to highlight local high school soccer playoff action late last week.
Elsewhere, the Middlebury and Otter Valley girls’ soccer team fell in their opening games.
The MUHS boys also hosted a Division I quarterfinal on Friday; see story.
The VUHS boys, seeded No. 6 in D-III, rallied to win at No. 3 Winooski, 2-1. JeanMarie Hatungimana, with an assist from Abbas Abdulaziz, gave the 14-2 Spartans the lead in the 17th minute.
Senior Ezekiel Palmer then scored two second-half goals for VUHS on headers with assists from Josias Salomao andJonathan Willis, and now has 45 goals for his career. The first came 10 minutes after the break, and the game-winner came with about five minutes to go. Gabriel Kadric posted five saves for VUHS, and Ekyoci Lumambo made three for Winooski.
The Commodores improved to 10-6 and next face six-time defending champion Stowe, at 13-1-1 the No. 2 seed. Game time in Stowe on Tuesday is 3 p.m. The D-III final will be played in Randolph on Saturday.
VUHS, the No. 6 seed in D-III, opened up the playoffs on Wednesday by tripping up No. 11 Windsor, 3-1. Sydney Weber, from Maria Malaney, and Emily Rooney, from Ciara McClay, scored in the first half, and Malaney finished off a Leah Croke assist in the second half. Windsor benefited from an own goal in the late going. VUHS goalie Kate Gosliga stopped the only other ball that threatened her net, while goalie Adi Prior made nine saves for 7-8 Windsor.
 On Friday the Commodores knocked off No. 3 Green Mountain Union, 1-0. Freshman Felicia Poirier finished off an assist from Hannah Kelly in the ninth minute for the only goal in a defensive battle: Both Gosliga and Chieftain goalie Alex Hutchins finished with three saves. GMUHS dropped to 14-2.
The 8-5-2 Commodores will next play another team with a gaudy record against a softer schedule, No. 2 Oxbow (14-1). That game will be at Oxbow on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and the D-III final will be played in Randolph on Saturday.
  THE SNOW FLIES as Eagle Chloe Johnston and a Harwood player kick at the ball during a snowy Division II playoff game in Moretown on Saturday. Mount Abe won the contest, 2-1, and faces No. 2 Rice in a semi-final on Wednesday.
Photo by Anne Campbell
The Eagles, seeded No. 6 in D-II, opened on Wednesday by ousting No. 11 Mill River, 4-0. Jessica Colbeth scored twice, including once in the second minute, to lead Mount Abe. Chloe Johnston scored once and set up Colbeth’s first goal, Grace Harvey’s first-half goal made it 2-0, and Lucy Guy chipped in two assists. Eagle goalie Justice Green did not have to stop a shot, while Malori Carson made 18 saves for 4-10-1 MRU.
In a snowy Saturday battle between two foes who met for the sixth straight season in the playoffs, the Eagles upset No. 2 Harwood, 2-1.
First-half goals from Becca Laurent and Colbeth that came six minutes apart gave the Eagles the lead, and they held it with help from one save from defender Savannah Scrodin and three from Green. For the 12-3-1 Highlanders Tanum Nelson scored in the second half and goalie Amaya Rogers made six saves, one on a penalty kick. Harwood had won nine straight.
The Eagles won their sixth straight to improve to 9-5-2. In a Wednesday semifinal at 3 p.m. Mount Abe will play No. 2 Rice (11-2-3), a team they tied twice this fall, 1-1. The D-II final will be played on Saturday at South Burlington High School. No. 4 U-32 (12-3-1), who defeated the Eagles by 1-0 early this season, and No. 1 Milton (14-2 with two one-goal wins over Mt. Abe) meet in Wednesday’s other semifinal.
   MOUNT ABRAHAM JUNIOR Addy Harris and a Harwood player race step-for-step toward the pink pall that stands out on the snow-covered pitch in Moretown. Both teams battled the elements, as well as each other. Mount Abe came out on top, 2-1.
Photo by Anne Campbell
In D-III, host No. 4 Peoples (11-3-1) ousted No. 13 OV, 3-0, on Wednesday as Lily Metzler scored twice, once on a penalty kick. Peoples goalie Paige Pierce made six saves, while Sophia Walker stopped 10 shots as OV finished 7-8.
In D-I this past Wednesday host No. 4 Burr & Burton blanked No. 13 MUHS, 4-0. Grace Pinkus scored twice to lead the 10-4-1 Bulldogs. The Tigers wrapped up at 3-12.

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