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The respective sports seasons began in earnest with a full slate of games and things will only get busier.
There were some surprises, beginning with the Mountain Valley boys' soccer team, who made their presence known in a 3-1 win against Telstar on the hill in Bethel.
“We'll certainly take win,” said MV coach Jarrod Dumas. “Telstar, for being undermanned, certainly played a tough game and didn't give up at any point, right to the last whistle. I don't believe we have beaten Telstar in my coaching tenure before Tuesday. Those teams are always good.”
Junior striker Andrew Phelps recorded a hat trick (two goals in the first half, one in the second). All three came on breakaways, where a teammate was able to feed him a through-ball, which caught the Rebel sweeper off guard.
Telstar’s Anna Saucier also scored on a breakaway, where she got behind the defense and beat Falcon goalie Kyle Gauvin.
MV, minus one starter, received strong games from sweeper Simon Jensen, stopper Andrew Child, and center midfielder Austin Glover.
History will be made when MV plays Dirigo in girls' and boys' soccer Wednesday and Thursday under the lights at Harlow Park.
“Dirigo is always a great rivalry game,” said Dumas. “and our team has developed a great respect for the Cougars and Coach (Jack) Rioux. Certainly, being part of the same school district has changed our relationship with Dirigo -- we're more like brothers now -- but the desire to win those games is still very intense.”
If MV needs extra incentive, they can recall having it handed to them by Dirigo in a preseason scrimmage, so it will be important for the Falcons to see how they match up, now that the’ve played actual games.
The MV girls' soccer team encountered physical nature in its first two games, 3-1 and 2-1 losses to Monmouth and Madison, respectively. A goal by Ari Glover wasn’t enough against the Bulldogs, however, the Falcons did a lot better job of dealing with the physical play.
“I think the biggest improvement from the preseason games to the present is the young players,” said coach Jason Perreault, referring to freshman Sarah Klein and sophomores Elizabeth Adley and Katie Collette, who are learning to play with the group of Juniors and Seniors.
“I see us getting better and better as the season progresses. I see Sarah Klein and Kaitlyn Virgin as being stand out players and coming into their own by the end of the season,” said Dumas.