Updated: Fall sports season hits stride

VUHS MIDFIELDER TUCKER Stearns is sent flying in a tackle in the first half of Saturday's 1-0 Commodore victory.

This story has been updated since it was originally published on Sept. 28 to include games played on Tuesday and Wednesday.
ADDISON COUNTY — In the first high school sports games of the COVID era on this past Saturday, the Middlebury football team outlasted Otter Valley, the Vergennes soccer teams swept visiting Missisquoi, and both the Mount Abraham-VUHS collective football and the OV field hockey teams came up short on the road. 
Then on Tuesday the Mount Abe girls’ soccer team edged MUHS in the opener for both teams, VUHS girls’ soccer settled for a road tie, Mount Abe field hockey debuted with an overtime road win, the Otter field hockey team lost a close one at home, and both the MUHS and OV football teams lost.
Wednesday saw the MUHS boys’ soccer team cruise at Mount Abe, the VUHS boys win on the road, the Otter boys prevail at home, and the Mount Abe/VUHS football team pick up a huge victory over the defending Division I champs.

VUHS girls’ soccer picked up the first local victory of the season by blanking visiting MVU, 3-0, on Saturday morning. Ali Croke’s unassisted goal off a corner kick two minutes before halftime snapped a scoreless tie. Croke scored again later in the game, and Hannah Kelly also found the net for the Commodores. MVU goalie Madison Conley made 10 saves to keep her team close.
On Tuesday the Commodore girls picked up a 1-1 tie at Spaulding. Croke scored again for VUHS, but no other Commodore could dent Tide goalie Rebecca McKelvey, who made five saves.
In the Commodore boys’ home game vs. the T-Birds on Saturday, Jonah Mahé’s goal with two minutes left in regulation gave VUHS a 1-0 victory. 
The game-winning play started with Xander DeBlois picking off a pass at midfield and sending Adam Sausville into the MVU end. Sausville fed Mahé just outside the penalty area, and he beat one defender as he entered the box and then rifled a high shot home.
Commodore goalie Gabe Kadric made three saves, including one late in the first half by diving to deflect a dangerous free kick off a post and away. MVU goalie Ethan Hansen-Bushey stopped six shots.
On Tuesday the Eagles got two goals from Illia Dennison in edging visiting MUHS, 2-1. Dennison gave Mt. Abe a 1-0 lead in the first half, and then used a Savannah Scrodin assist to make it 2-0 shortly after the break. Hannah Turner cut the lead to one with six minutes to go, but the Eagles and goalie Joanna Toy (three saves) made the advantage stand up. 
Tiger goalies Julia Bartlett and Audrey Schnoor each made one save.
On Wednesday the Tiger boys debuted with a 7-1 win at Mount Abe. Alex Bleich and Owen Connelly led MUHS with two goals and an assist each, while Edward Fallis, Wesley Hirdler and Andrew Lee each found the net, and Benjamin Seaton set up a pair of goals. 
Eli Burgess converted a second-half penalty kick for Mount Abe after a foul drawn by Judah Jackson. Eagle goalies Will Vichi and Creed Stilwell combined for three stops in their opener.
The Commodores moved to 2-0 with a 4-0 victory at Spaulding. Mahé, Avery Husk, Jonathan Willis and Jarret Muzzy scored, and Kadric stopped two shots. Tide goalie Kent Barcomb made eight saves.
The Otters blanked visiting Fair Haven, 2-0, in their opener. Cole Letourneau scored early in the game, and a late Fraser Pierpont goal on direct kick sealed the win. Ben Adams posted the shutout in goal.

All-passing, 7v7 touch football debuted on Saturday. That night, host MUHS took a 14-0 first-quarter lead and held on for a 20-14 victory over the Otters.
Two Tiger quarterbacks combined to complete 32 of 48 passes for three touchdowns, two in the first quarter and one in the second.
Ryan Thomas-Danyow completed 17 of 25 attempts for two touchdowns, and Zach Bean connected on 15 of 23 through the air for the third Tiger score. Sam Warren, Milo Gordon and Gabe Dunn scored the Tiger touchdowns. 
Otter QB Alexander Polli completed 24 of 39 passes, including touchdowns to Dylan Gaboriault and Chance Passmore, as OV fought back from the early deficit.
On Tuesday visiting Fair Haven edged the Tigers, 24-20. Sawyer Ramey tossed three touchdown passes for the Slaters, two to Kohlby Murray and one to Luke Williams. Evan Reed added a 38-yard field goal for Fair Haven (1-0).
The Tigers scored on a 26-yard toss from Bean to Jordan Martin, a 32-yard completion from Thomas-Danyow to Gabe Cotell, and two Nikolai Luksch field goals. 
Also on Tuesday host Mount Anthony cruised past OV, 48-19. Polli tossed three touchdown passes for OV, to Brady Diaz, Aidan Blier and Gaboriault.
In Saturday’s other football game, host Colchester pulled away in the second half for a 36-20 victory over Mount Abe/VUHS. The Eagles amassed 296 yards of offense in an effort that Coach Jeff Stein said he was not unhappy with.
“Overall it was a good game, with still some learning to be done on the athletes’ side as well as on the coaches’ side with the new format this year,” Stein said.  
Two quarterbacks shared time. Adam Mansfield went 15 of 29 passing for 208 yards and two TDs, but was picked off four times. Caleb Russellcompleted five of 10 attempts for 88 yards for the other score. 
Carmelo Miceli led the receivers with six catches for 126 yards and a TD. Joey Hemingway (three catches, 60 yards) and Beau Carpenter (four catches, 47 yards) also scored for the Eagles, and Keaton Rayborn (five catches, 31 yards) and Tyler Jewett (two receptions, 25 yards) also had multiple catches.
On Wednesday Mansfield tossed seven TD passes as the Eagles defeated Mount Mansfield, 47-28. In all, Mansfield completed 36 of 62 attempts for 550 yards. 
Miceli caught six of those balls for 138 yards and three TDs, Hemingway recorded 10 catches for 166 yards, Rayborn grabbed five passes for 50 yards and a TD, and Carpenter also scored.   

The defending Division II champion Eagle field hockey team opened with an overtime win at Champlain Valley, 3-2. Molly Laurent provided the offensive spark with both regulation goals, and she also assisted Sarah Heath’s game-winner at 5:05 of overtime. Eagle goalie Maddie Donaldsonstopped four shots, and Redhawk goalie Marina Schmidt stopped 10.
MUHS field hockey opened on Monday with a 3-0 lost to visiting Burlington (see story on Page 1B).
OV debuted with a pair of setbacks. Host Burr & Burton, a Division II title contender, did not lay out the welcome mat for new OV field hockey coach Jodie Keith on Saturday on the Bulldogs’ turf field, dealing her Otters a 6-0 setback.
Abby Farrington picked up a goal and two assists and Riley Callen scored twice to pace BBA. OV freshman goalie Lily Morgan racked up 15 saves in her debut as the starter. 
On Tuesday at OV, visiting Woodstock edged the Otters, 1-0. Wasp goalie Audrey Emery clinched the win with a big save in the final seconds on MaKenna Dick’s deflection of an Alice Keith drive. 

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