Lake Region goalkeeper Dennis Newland had a hand and a foot in Lake Region’s latest victory, a 2-0 triumph over Enosburg on Saturday.
The junior stopped an Enosburg penalty kick with about six minutes left in regulation, lunging to his left to block the potential tying goal and then covering up any rebound attempt to keep Lake Region in front, 1-0.
But Newland wasn’t finished. A few minutes later, his clearing kick from the top of 18 went 60 yards down field, setting up Alex Beauregard for the sealing strike.
“Quite an eventful six minutes of soccer,” Lake Region coach Tom Evans said. “It’s a critical save, then to punctuate it with a sterling punt and assist … it’s quite the change of events and emotion.”
Newland, who finished with three saves, has shared goalkeeping duties with fellow first-year varsity player Logan Harper, a sophomore. But after Newland missed the previous game with an illness, Evans thought he deserved a full 80 minutes against Enosburg.
“Both are fighting for the position and I haven’t made a decision at this point. They will continue to alternate halves,” said Evans.
Deja vu for Rebels?
Last season, South Burlington stumbled out of the blocks before winning the Harry Loyzelle tournament in Rutland. By November, the Rebels were hoisting the Division I state championship trophy.
This season, the Rebels had a similar slow start followed by another successful trip to Rutland, evening their record to 2-2.
Is another title run in the cards for South Burlington? Of course, time will tell, and coach David Martin said his team’s maturation and play on the field is a season-long process. SBHS trots out six sophomores and two freshmen in the starting 11, Martin said. Alejandro Vinals, last year’s leading goal scorer, and Hayden Smith are the senior co-captains.
“It is about evolution over the course of the season,” Martin said.
Part of that development starts with going toe-to-toe with the likes of Burlington, Champlain Valley and Essex.
“My goal is to not beat those big teams, but to show ourselves we are capable of playing with those teams,” Martin said. “We have to prove to ourselves we are good enough to play.”
Like last year when the Rebels went 9-1-1 down the stretch, including two wins over CVU, the second coming in the D-I final.
After playing at Rice today, the Rebels take on Essex and Burlington next.
Tigers start quick
The Middlebury Tigers are prepared to make noise in the Division I landscape.
They have an experienced group, backed by four-year goalie David Burt, fullback Connor Collins and midfielder Merrott Weekes, and a commitment longtime coach Doc Seubert praises.
“There’s a high level of investment to soccer on this team,” said Seubert. “They have a high work rate and are having fun. That’s a nice recipe.”
The return of Shaw McCabe, who missed much of last season with a broken wrist, adds stability and talent to Middlebury’s midfield.
At this early stage of the season, the Tigers are 3-0, have outscored opponents 11-1 and captured their home tournament. Still those wins were against Division II opponents. The Tigers, who are members of Lake Division but compete in the D-I tournament, are amped for their first challenge of the season.
“We are eager to get into some meaty stuff and we can’t ask for anything more than to go to Swanton,” said Seubert, adding Missisquoi coach Jim Hubbard “has built a great program.”