After a quick turnaround, Vermont Academy were back on the road for another match up with Class C rival Holderness. Determined to improve on the home leg, Vermont Academy stepped off the bus ready to play. There were few chances created by either team in the first 30 minutes or so. Unfortunately, the Bulls were able to gain the lead after a costly turnover by the Wildcats midfield. Even worse, the Bulls doubled their lead shortly thereafter as the shaky officiating crew failed to flag for offsides. The Wildcats took the break at half to regain composure and commit to being resilient for the last 45 regardless of the score line. Despite having little possession, that mindset was rewarded in the 70’ minute. The Wildcats earned a free kick in a dangerous area. The Wildcat midfielder sent in a great service that found the head of a fellow teammate to open their scoring. Vermont rode that momentum for the remainder of the half. The Wildcats had two clear cut chances to find the equalizer, but unfortunately the Bulls goalkeeper was equal to the task. Despite continued pressure, the Bulls resorted to keeping the ball in the corner to see out the game. Though the Wildcats were on the wrong side of the score line, they showed great grit to challenge a Holderness side that had the upper hand on them a week earlier.
Vermont Academy continued regular season play with a tough matchup against the back to back NESCAC Class D finalists, Hoosac School. The Wildcats had some key contributors not in the lineup, but that did not stop them from putting forth a great defensive effort in the first half. The Owls fielded a gifted international team that knew how to keep the ball and spread the other team’s defense. The Wildcats did well to shift as a team and draw the Hoosac players offside. The game plan to stay compact, allow possession, but deny through balls saw the Wildcats go in tied at the half. Unfortunately to start the second half, a miscommunication between the Vermont goalkeeper and outside back handed the Owls their first goal of the afternoon. The Wildcats were forced to press more in the second half in search of the equalizer. This change in tactics played right into the Owls style of play and their pacey forwards were able to get in behind several times to put the game away.
Vermont Academy continued their home defense on family weekend against Class C rival Holderness. The Bulls got the better start with two quick chances taken in the 15th and 16th minute respectively. The Wildcats did well to respond and score shortly thereafter. Both teams had decent chances but the score line remained the same in to halftime. The Wildcats started the second half with great energy. They knew the next goal would likely put the scoring team in a great position to win the game. Unfortunately, that momentum swung in the Bulls direction in the 60’ minute. The Wildcats defense allowed a cross to go through their six as they thought it would harmlessly go out for a throw. Unfortunately, the weak side winger refused to quit and was able to score tap in at the back pole. The Wildcats tried to stay composed and get back in the game, but the Bulls were able to capitalize on another opportunity the Wildcats were convinced was offside. From that moment on, Wildcat heads went down and the game got away from them.
Vermont Academy returned to play against Brewster Academy following their long weekend. Rested and eager to get back out there, Vermont Academy played a very disciplined first half. The Wildcats did well to shift, defend as a team, and draw the Bobcats attack offside. The Bobcats were clearly getting frustrated by their lack of chances. As they continued to push forward, Vermont was able to convert a great team goal on the counterattack. The Wildcats were feeling good as they carried that lead in to half. That confidence was tested as Brewster came out flying to start the second half. Vermont conceded a poor free kick to open the Bobcats’ scoring. The Wildcats failed to clear the dangerous service which fell to the feet of a Bobcat forward at the back post. Bobcats road that momentum and took the lead shortly after. Once again, the Wildcats failed to properly defend a dangerous cross to the back post. The Wildcats came together as a team and refused to quit. After some tactical changes, the Wildcats were looking very dangerous on the counterattack. Late in the game, that threat turned reality when a great through ball played in the opportunistic Wildcat forward who rounded the goalie to score the equalizer. Despite a frantic final few minutes, the score remained deadlocked at the final whistle.
Vermont Academy traveled to face an organized Cushing side on a rainy afternoon down in Mass. The game had great buzz from the opening whistle. Both teams seemed up for the challenge. The Penguins had the better chances in the first half, but the Vermont keeper showed great poise and confidence to keep the deadlock in to the half. The Wildcats started the second half well, but were denied two good opportunities from the Penguin defense. The game continued to go back and forth with decent chances for both sides. It did not look like a goal was in the cards for either team until the Wildcats earned a dangerous free kick with little time left. Eager to find the game winner, the Wildcats sent most of the team forward. Unfortunately, the Cushing defense was able to clear the free kick and counter quickly. Rather than attack the ball, the remaining Wildcat defenders allowed the opportunistic Cushing forward to turn and play an uncontested through ball behind the depleted backline. The Penguin forward was able to finish off the breakaway in what felt like a golden goal as there was so little time left on the clock.
The Vermont Academy soccer program is dedicated to the highest ideals of teamwork and sportsmanship. Our program is premised on the belief that athletic competition is an invaluable component in the development of self-confident, motivated young adults, dedicated to achieving team related goals both in and out of the classroom. The program works to bring out the best in each player and, in turn, bring out the best in the team. Wins and losses are recorded on the scoreboard, but our victories are determined by what we control: our quality of play and the pursuit of personal and team excellence.