Scooter MacMillan, Editor
On Nov. 6, the Champlain Valley Redhawks didn’t just defeat Mount Mansfield for the school’s 20th girls soccer state championship.
They also bested the CVU boys team, which now remains tied with the Proctor High boys team for second most soccer titles in the state at 19.
The game was the Redhawks’ sixth consecutive trip to the state championship and its ninth girls state soccer title in the last 12 years.
Five minutes into the second half, Zoe Klein scored the only goal by either team, and the Redhawks held on for a 1-0 win at Sabine Field at Norwich University.
“It was a great game and team performance. It is just what you want in a championship — a tight game with two teams playing hard in front of a great crowd,” coach Stan Williams said.
CVU finished the 2022 season with a 15-0-1 record.
All season, Williams said, his team has relied on being relentless all over the field, and the title game was no different.
Defense starts at the top and that “has been our calling card all year,” said the coach, who is in his 10th year as Redhawks coach. During that time, the team has been to nine state championships and won nine of them.
“I was so impressed with how the girls worked through their nerves and were able to lock the game down,” Williams said. “High school sports are full of special moments on and off the field. At the end of the day, it is really about the friendships and memories.”
CVU got to the title game via a 2-0 quarterfinal win over Essex on Oct. 28 and a 3-0 semifinal win over Rutland on Nov. 1.
The defeat of Essex featured goals by Anna Morton and Lily Williams, both of which came off assists from Chloe Pecor.
A goal by Riley Erdman and two goals by Pecor sealed the semifinal win versus Rutland.
With these goals, Pecor’s scoring total reached 27, breaking the CVU single-season scoring record set by Jen Carlson with 26 in 1996.
Carlson is in the Vermont Sports Hall of Fame, having helped Champlain Valley to back-to-back state championship unbeaten seasons in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, she went to the University of Connecticut and helped the Huskies to the NCAA title game in her freshman season.
“This is a very special group of 25 young people. They are a joy to coach each and every day, and I am just so lucky to get to be a small part of their journey,” Williams said.