by Ken Brown
CRAFTSBURY – The Craftsbury girls’ soccer team fell to Blue Mountain last weekend in their season opener, in what was the first high school soccer game in the state since the start of the global pandemic.
Eighth grader Savannah Boyce and sophomore Ella Gillespie each tallied goals for the Lady Chargers, but it wasn’t quite enough as they fell to Blue Mountain at home last Saturday 4-2. Second year head coach Tom Silva admitted it was a challenge to set up and administer the protocols for the players, coaches, and fans as a raucous crowd came out to cheer on their team and welcome high school athletics back to the pitch.
“We had a great turnout for the girls’ first game, and it was great to see the community come out and show them so much support. There were a lot of working parts to monitor to make this happen, but we pulled it off and I was so impressed with the efforts of everyone involved,” said Silva.
Silva returns 15 girls from a team last that consisted mostly of eighth graders and freshman. They surprised many by winning two games last year and he has high expectations for this young and talented group, despite their season-opening loss.
“We had some defensive miscues in the first half and dug ourselves a hole, but overall I felt like we played pretty well for the first game and controlled much of the possession. As we build more chemistry, I think we’ll clean some things up and be more consistent on finishing our scoring chances. We have some really good athletes on this team, and they’ve been working on their own since June getting ready for the season. Last year was a learning experience for a lot of the girls, but you can already tell that they are much more comfortable with the speed at the varsity level and I’m excited to see how they continue to develop this season,” said Silva.
Senior goalkeeper Ashley Princ and junior forward Ida Ames are co-captains and will provide the leadership for Silva’s young squad. Junior Maggie Royer will patrol the midfield and freshman Sadie Skorstad is an emerging star, anchoring the backfield as well as taking direct kicks, corner kicks, and goal kicks.
The Lady Chargers were back on the road Monday to take on Lyndon Institute before traveling to face Rivendell Academy on Wednesday.