Just when it looked like the Milton High School girls soccer team was finally getting healthy, two more starters fell out of the lineup with injuries during the last game of the regular season.
Her first game back after a long layoff with a knee injury, midfielder Shannon Wells suffered a concussion Wednesday. Laura Dickinson is also doubtful for the playoffs after going down with an injury in the finale.
It’s been that kind of season for the Yellowjackets, the defending Division II champions who are hoping to secure their fourth crown in five years.
“I’ve never had so many injuries,” Milton coach Cory Payson said. “We had three or four girls out every game.”
The top seed a year ago, the Yellowjackets are a middle-of-the-pack squad for the upcoming playoffs but appeared to be getting healthy until Wednesday’s injuries.
Payson extracted a positive from having a club hit hard by graduations and injuries.
“We’ve had a lot of young players get a lot of experience,” he said. “Hopefully that pays off come playoff time, and it also bodes well for the future.”
Brooke Phillips and Erin Turner each has collected nine goals and Addison Wennar anchors the defense for the Yellowjackets (8-5-1), who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games.
“If we can jell after getting these players back, I think we can be dangerous in the playoffs,” Payson said.
Essex is two wins — or ties — away from being the first Division I girls soccer team since 2005 to go undefeated in the regular season.
The Hornets are 11-0-1 with remaining games against Mount Mansfield today and at South Burlington on Saturday.
The CVU girls were the last Division I team with an unbeaten regular season in 2005, going 11-0-3 and winning two playoff games before falling to Essex in the championship game. The CVU girls also went undefeated in 2001, 2002 and 2004, capturing the title all three of those years.
The CVU boys posted unbeaten regular seasons in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
Title-game locations set
The Vermont Principals’ Association announced Burlington High School’s Buck Hard Field will be the site of the Division I boys and girls championship doubleheader for the fifth consecutive year.
The title games in all four divisions are scheduled for Nov. 3.
The VPA also confirmed that South Royalton, Randolph and Williamstown are the sites for the other title-game doubleheaders, although which Division plays where has yet to be determined.