Tigers make Final Four

MIDDLEBURY The high school field hockey playoffs began a week ago Wednesday, and as of this past Monday morning (our deadline time) the Middlebury Tigers had survived the first two rounds and were headed for the Division I semifinals. They were scheduled to play the second seeded Champlain Valley squad last Tuesday in those semifinals. If they posted a win there, they will be playing for a D-I State Championship this afternoon. The Tigers playoff journey began at home Wednesday, Oct. 15 when they posted a 2-0 win over the 11th seeded Burlington Sea Horses. After the two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, Middleburys Lindsay Lalonde took advantage of a penalty stroke opportunity with 17:28 left to play and converted it into a goal, and a 1-0 Tiger lead. Then with 1:28 left Middlebury put the game out of reach when Sara Higgins jumped on a rebound and pushed it past Burlington goalie Eileen Gomez. In a game dominated by the Tigers, Middlebury goalie Casey ODonohue needed to make just one save to preserve the shutout. Conversely Gomez kept Burlington in the game to the end with a 15 save performance. The Sea Horses end their season with a 4-11 record. From there the Tigers went on to upset the third seeded Hornets in Essex 3-2 in quarterfinal action last Friday. Kali Trautwein led Middleburys offense with a pair of goals. Chrissy Ritter contributed the Tigers other goal, while Lauren Cabanaw scored both of the Hornets goals. ODonahue played a vital role in the upset with nine saves. Jorie Farnsworth posted six saves for Essex The Hornets end their season with an 11-4 record, while the Tigers take a 12-4 record into the semifinals with hopes of two more upsets and a state championship. A state championship in field hockey is something the people in Bristol have gotten used to. The Mount Abraham Eagles have played in the Division II State Championship game for the past six years, but there will be no seventh. The third seeded Eagles were upset by the sixth seeded Windsor Yellow Jackets 1-0 last Friday in quarterfinal action played in Bristol. The Eagles out shot Essex 6-3, but Yellow Jackets goalie Sherrie McHugh stopped all six shots blasted at her. Eagle goalie Jeseca Wendell made a pair of saves, but was beat by Janine Lens, who scored the games only goal fifteen minutes into the first half. The Eagles close their season with a record of 6-6-3. Tigers fall to Rebels Evan Cassidy rushed for 171 yards and three touchdowns to lead his South Burlington Rebels to a 22-16 road win over the Middlebury Tigers last Friday in Division 1 football action. The Tigers held a 16-7 lead heading into the final 12 minutes. But two South Burlington scoring drives and a fumbled kick-off return led to the Tigers first home loss in three years. Cooper Quenneville had a huge day in defeat for the Tigers rushing for 70 yards, 46 coming on a long touchdown run. Quenneville also caught two passes for 34 yards, including a 29 yard touchdown pass from Tiger quarterback Sean Harrison. Ross Langyel had a 22-yard field goal for Middlebury, who dropped to 3-5 with the loss. The Rebels improved to 6-2 with the win. The Mount Abraham Eagles fell at home last week too. In a game that saw the lead change hands seven times Miltons Jay Atherton ran for a 4-yard touchdown (and he ran in the two-point conversion) with 6:45 left to play in last Saturdays game to lift his Yellow Jackets over the hometown Eagles 28-22. Scott Christman and Milton quarterback Anthony Notaro had touchdown runs for the Yellow Jackets. Notaro also fired a 45-yard touchdown pass to Alex Hayden. Pat West led the Eagles in scoring with a pair of touchdowns. West returned an interception for a score. West also had a 4-yard touchdown run (and he ran in the two-point conversion) with 9:03 left to play in the game, that at the point gave Mount Abraham a 22-20 lead. The Eagles other touchdown came when Casey Senecal ran it in from 15 yards out. The Eagles fell to 2-5 with the defeat, while the victory elevated the Yellow Jackets to 3-5. Both teams have one game left in their regular season. Mount Abraham will finish their season this afternoon with a game against Champlain Valley. Commodores blank Tigers When the Middlebury Tigers girls soccer team traveled to Vergennes last Saturday the Commodores were hoping to post an easy win. They would win, but it wouldnt be easy. The two teams battled to a scoreless tie in the first half, with neither squad generating many opportunities. That tide continued in the second half, except for one thing. The Commodores, who had fewer scoring opportunities than the visiting Tigers did, capitalized on one of them. Micheala Bicknell booted a 35 yard free kick that Janah Hammach pounced on, and booted the ball past Middlebury goalie Liz Kelley for the games only goal, and a 1-0 Commodores victrory. Kelley did make three saves for the Tigers, who finished their regular season at 1-15. Meghan Scott-Tisbert saved the day for her Commodores by stopping seven Tiger shots. Vergennes improved to 7-6-1 with the win. The Tiger boys didnt fare much better last Friday, losing on the road to the South Burlington Rebels 2-1. The Rebels struck first when Tim Groves staked them to a 1-0 lead with a goal coming with fifteen minutes remaining in the first half. The Tigers responded when Devlin Rutherford, assisted by Ethan Roy, blasted in Middleburys lone score and the teams entered intermission tied at 1-1. It looked like the game would go into overtime tied at 1-1. But with 2:48 left in the game Sean Hayes knocked in the game winner for the hometown Rebels. Chris Kaiser needed to make just two saves for South Burlington, who improved to 7-6-1 with the win. Quinten Collins had one save for Middlebury, who fell to 7-5-2. The Tigers completed their regular season this past Tuesday when they hosted their arch rivals, the Mount Abraham Eagles. Vergennes midfielder Michaela Bicknell, no. 17, and Middlebury midfielder Katie Ritter, no. 20, vie for the ball during the second half. At this point in the soccer game, Vergennes was one up. See Fred Pockettes sports report for details. Photo by J. Kirk Edwards

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