CHESTER, Vt. – “We played our game. Things just didn’t go our way in the end.” Carolynn Hamilton summed things up, a day following her team’s 3-1 title game loss to Thetford. Green Mountain put a 17-game winning streak together from opening day through the state semi-finals. Then, unfortunately, they fell behind in the finals and couldn’t catch up. Injuries to two key players didn’t help, but Thetford was pretty good on this day as well.
This was a meeting of two undefeated teams, not rich in soccer tradition, who had one previous state title between them. Thetford had won the Division III title in 1994. They put the pressure on GM early by scoring less than two minutes into the game. The Chieftains fought hard throughout the first half, but could not tally the equalizer. Thetford scored markers at the 25:19 and 11:24 minutes of the second half to build an insurmountable lead. By the time Lexi White scored with 6:42 to go, it was too little too late for the locals.
Green Mountain was on the other side of the coin three days earlier when they were the ones who built the early lead and held on. GM scored 11 minutes into the semi-final when Erin Otis tallied her first of two on the day. Mycah White would double the 1-0 lead. Paige Karl had two assists and Hamilton gave the game ball to her defense, who kept the goals against total for the season at only eight in a 3-0 home game semi-final shut out of Vergennes. Hamilton’s team outshot Vergennes 14-1 and had the upper hand in corners 9-1. Thetford had the advantage in both categories in the finals 15-11 and 9-2 respectively.
“We made it as far as the school has ever been,” Hamilton proudly reflected. “We outdid all expectations, but in the end against Thetford, we couldn’t figure out how to score. We fell behind early; we lost Hannah [Buffum-goalie] and Rachel [Guerra-defender] and just couldn’t get going. It might be the two of us [GM and Thetford] again next year, but it won’t be easy. Our team played the second half with a lot of heart.”