Thursday April 10, 2014
South Burlington opened up its season this past Saturday against Rice, pitting 2013 Division I champion Rebels against the Division II champion Green Knights. The Rebels captured their first victory of the season in the battle of champions, upending the Green Knights 6-2. South Burlington returns a core foundation of starters from last season’s championship team, and got big performances from some of their key offensive weapons in the opener, including a three-goal performance by Shannon Flaherty. Sarah Fisher scored twice for the Rebels and helped South Burlington get out ahead of Rice for a 2-1 halftime lead. Alex Rosenberger rounded out South Burlington’s scoring with a goal, while Courtney Barrett returned to the net for the Rebels and made twelve saves to preserve the victory. Saturday’s game marked Rice’ first Division I contest, as the Green Knights moved up in competition after last season’s championship victory. For the Rebels, under the leadership of veteran coach Anjie Soucy, it was business as usual. With a roster that included both familiar faces and newcomers to the varsity level, the Rebels continued to win by focusing on fundamentals. These keys to the game included making smart passes, taking care of the ball, and playing consistent and aggressive defense to create turnovers, create extra offensive possessions, and transition the ball back upfield to Fisher, Flaherty, and company. With the victory, South Burlington is 1-0 on the season and faces a big week, with upcoming matchups against Burr & Burton and Rutland.
The South Burlington boy’s team were supposed to face BFA this past Saturday in their regular season opener. However, BFA was “unprepared” to face the Rebels and the matchup was canceled. The South Burlington lacrosse team and head coach Gar Smith have been hard at work, navigating ice and snow covered fields in preparation for the season, but it’s taken the Rebels patented pre-season work ethic to even practice during this especially cold and snowy Vermont spring. “The boys have been working on their own time to shovel and and haul snow off the field.” said Smith “We’ve got great team chemistry here.” The South Burlington roster will benefit from having a veteran core that includes twelve seniors this season, a factor that Smith believes will bring both leadership and depth to the team’s lineup. “We only lost three seniors to graduation, and two more to private schools. Defense will be our strength.”
Anchoring the defense are some of the Rebel’s most battle-tested veterans, including captain Zach Piper, who Smith considers one of the best defenseman in the state, and three-year defensive starter Malik Hines, who brings a combination of experience and physicality to the unit. Smith is also looking for big contributions on the defensive end of the field from seniors Connor Young and Bryan Ladd and junior Peter Camardo. Mike Blauvelt is the tentative starter for South Burlington in goal, returning to defend the net for a third straight season for the Rebels. South Burlington’s offense is looking just as robust as its defense, with leading scorers Cam Nolting, Willy Champagne, and Dylan Avery returning to the field for the Rebels. Nolting and Avery, in particular, have developed “an excellent chemistry”, according to Smith, while Sam Desautels rounds out the Rebel’s unit on attack. The Rebels will hopefully make their regular season debut this week when they face Woodstock, Mt. Mansfield, and Spaulding.