CVU bumps Essex in second OTBy Kelly March The Essex Reporter
Essex senior Dan Palker made 10 saves in net to force a second overtime period against a possession-dominant Champlain Valley Union squad in a Division I boys’ soccer semifinal on Thursday. But CVU senior Shane Haley netted a goal with less than eight minutes remaining in overtime to seal the 2-1 victory for the second-seeded Redhawks.
“They gave everything they had,” Essex coach Scott Mosher reflected. “I am so proud of their effort.”
CVU took an early 1-0 lead when Joe Castano blasted the ball past several Essex defenders less than six minutes into regulation.
Essex junior midfielder Eric Lamphere then tied the game in the 30th minute. Lamphere fired a 37-yard shot that bounced off a CVU defender and into the net to level the score 1-1 at the half.
The Hornets had a few quality scoring opportunities in the second half, including sophomore midfielder Nathan Miles’ shot-attempt that sailed just beyond the post in the 70th minute, but nothing materialized the game rolled into overtime.
As the deadlock continued through the first 15-minute overtime period and well into the second, the game seemed destined to end in a penalty kick tiebreaker.
Then Haley netted the game-winning goal with 7:45 remaining in overtime to clinch the championship-bid for CVU.
After outrunning two Essex defenders to a loose ball, Haley knocked in the low blast and the Redhawks charged the field in celebration.
With the win, CVU (16-1-1) advanced to the championship game against fifth-seeded Burlington (14-3-1) on Saturday, where Haley propelled the Redhawks to victory by scoring the game’s lone goal 1:15 into overtime.
The semifinal loss ended a strong run for the No. 11 Hornets, who finished their season with a four-game win streak to improve their record to 8-7-2.
“(As a team,) we talked about the Tri-Sabres that are part of the Essex crest and what they mean to our program,” Mosher said. “They stand for courage, commitment and unity. This year’s team demonstrated all of these characteristics as the season went forward. I was especially inspired by our senior leadership.”
“I am already excited about next year’s team,” Mosher added. “We are blessed with wonderful student-athletes who will continue the strong soccer tradition at Essex.”