NEWPORTâ€“The Champlain Valley Union Red Hawks came into the Kingdom with an impressive 7-1 record in 2011, and put on a display of technical soccer wonderment as they defeated the North Country Falcons 3-0.
"These are kids who play a lot of soccer together," said Assistant Coach Andrew Roy of the Red Hawks, "They are a talented group and they are skilled and are always thinking five passes ahead."
From the opening kick-off CVU were masters of their domain, displaying a very quick and high-finesse style, and, as Coach Roy said, seemed to be thinking several moves ahead.
The bottom line is they made the Falcon defense work, and Red Hawk coach TJ Mead was impressed by the poise of the NC 'D' unit
"We had a tough time cracking their defense, their keeper was excellent, the defense for North Country was organized, so it took some perseverance to just keep knocking on the door"
Cody Simoneau, who along with Josh Brien, has been the core of NCU's backfield, had another sharp game yesterday, and had this to say about the duo's efforts this season:
"It's (basically) just hustle. There is a lot of hard work back there with everyone just sticking on their man."
He was also very humble when I noted his play so far this year, saying simply"It's nice to get some recognition."
Logan Fortier was up to the task early, making several quality saves including one tremendously athletic move that saw Fortier twist his body in mid-air to reach back and make a one-handed save on a CVU striker.
"Logan was awesome in net," said Roy, "I think there is one in there that he's like to get back, but he had some incredible reaction saves."
The Red Hawks took the lead at the 22:59 mark thanks in part to some nifty footwork by the CVU forwards.
Shane Healy found an open Samuel Raszka who deked a Falcon defender and beat Fortier cleanly.
The score would remain 1-0 through the remainder of the half.
In the second the Red Hawks struck twice, the first goal coming three and a half minutes in when Raszka hit Ben Comai with a pass and Comai froze Fortier with a nice shot to the far side of the net.
The second CVU tally would occur ten minutes later on a feed from Comai to Haley, and Haley sliding a low shot into the net to close the scoring.
The Falcons have almost a week off before they hit the pitch again. Their next opponent will be the BFA Bobwhites, and the team will travel to Franklin County for next Wednesdays 4:00 match-up.