Sports

Monday sports wrap: Football wins, soccer victories & ties

ADDISON COUNTY — Among the high school sports highlights from the past few days were wins for all three local football teams, hard-fought ties between the Middlebury and Vergennes girls’ and boys’ soccer teams and strong starts for several soccer programs, and initial varsity victories for two new Otter Valley coaches.
FOOTBALL
On Wednesday the Mount Abraham-Vergennes football team topped defending Division I champion Mount Mansfield 47-28, as Eagle quarterback Adam Mansfield completed 36 of 62 attempts for 550 yards and seven touchdowns. His favorite targets were Carmelo Miceli (six catches, 138 yards, three TDs), Joey Hemingway (10 catches, 166 yards) and Keaton Rayburn (five catches, 50 yards, TD).
On Friday host Essex rolled to a 50-27 victory over the 1-2 Eagles. The Eagles lost despite racking up almost 500 yards of offense. Mansfield completed 27 of 49 passes for 365 yards and three TDs, but was picked off three times, and Caleb Russell connected on nine of 15 attempts for another 113 yards and a score.
Miceli (eight catches, 148 yards, two TDs), Hemingway (seven catches, 84 yards), Noah Gargano (three catches, 103 yards, TD), Beau Carpenter (seven catches, 62 yards) and Lucas Allen (1-yard TD) led the receivers.
Also on Friday, Middlebury outlasted visiting Mill River, 20-12, scoring the final six points of the game in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Quarterbacks Zach Bean (16 of 26 for 118 yards) and Ryan Thomas-Danyow (eight for 18, 125 yards) each tossed TD passes. Bode Rubright (6 catches, 47 yards), and lineman Gabe Cotell (two catches, 12 yards) caught touchdowns, and lineman William Berry snagged four balls for 103 yard).
Nicolai Luksch (four catches, 46 yards) tacked on field goals of 30 and 31 yards to account for the rest of the scoring as the Tigers improved to 2-1.
On Saturday the 1-2 Otters broke into the win column with a 32-14 victory over visiting Poultney (0-3). OV led at the half, 12-7, and the pulled away for the big victory.
QB Alex Polli tossed five touchdown passes, two to Dylan Gaboriault and one apiece to Brady Diaz, Richard Lafontaine and Luca Polli. Aiden Blier grabbed a two-point conversion for OV.
BOYS’ SOCCER
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. Edward Fallis, Wesley Hirdler and Andrew Lee also 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 team’s opener.
On Wednesday the Commodores had moved to 2-0 with a 4-0 victory at Spaulding. Jonah Mahé, Avery Husk, Jonathan Willis and Jarret Muzzy scored, and Gabe Kadric stopped two shots. Tide goalie Kent Barcomb made eight saves.
Also on Wednesday 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.
On Saturday host VUHS and the Tigers battled to a 1-1 tie. Connelly’s goal, from Seaton, gave MUHS the early lead, but Ethan Gebo, from Tucker Stearns, equalized in the 77th minute. Kadric made five saves for VUHS (2-0-1), and Owen Lawton 3 stopped three shots for the 1-0-1 Tigers.
The Eagles on Saturday broke into the win column by edging host Missisquoi, 2-1. In the 37th minute Mount Abe’s Joe Graziadei scored with a header on a loose ball after a corner, and Neil Guy made it 2-0 on another corner in the 58th minute, assisted by Burgess. MVU scored late, but the Eagles held on behind four saves by Vichi. T-Bird goalie Ethan Bushes-Hansen made two saves.
Also on Saturday the Otter boys edged host West Rutland, 2-1. Letourneau pounced on a loose ball late in the first half to give OV the lead, and Kieran Williams connected from long range to make it 2-0 early in the second half. Adams played well in goal to help hold off a late West Rutland surge.
GIRLS’ SOCCER
Elena Politano netted four goals in the OV girls’ soccer team’s 7-1 win against visiting Mill River on Friday. The victory made a winner of OV coach Tammi Blanchard in her debut leading the program.
Ella Brytowski added a pair of goals for the Otters, and Mia Politano also scored as OV controlled the action and prevailed in its opener. Beleaguered MRU goalie Malori Carlson made 20 saves as her team dropped to 0-2.
Host Rice blanked the Eagle girls on Friday, 2-0, despite a dozen saves from Mount Abe goalie Joanna Toy and good work from central defender Savannah Scrodin. The Eagles dropped to 1-1 heading into a Monday home game vs. Division I Rutland.
The Tiger girls also hosted the Commodores on Friday; see story.
FIELD HOCKEY
On Thursday host Rice bested the Tiger field hockey team, 3-0, holding MUHS to one shot on goal. Belle Brown scored twice as Rice improved to 2-0. Cassie Bettis made 14 saves for the Tigers, who fell to 0-2 heading into a Monday home clash with Mount Abe.
Also on Thursday, OV beat visiting Fair Haven, 3-0, behind a three-goal eruption in the fourth quarter. Alice Keith broke the ice, and then Taylor Lampman sealed the victory with a pair of rebound goals. The Otters improved to 1-2 with what was the first varsity coaching win for first-year program head Julie Keith.

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