BENNINGTON -- There are 66 soccer teams in the state of Vermont. With roughly 20 players per team, that means there’s more than 1,300 athletes playing soccer in the Green Mountain State.
So, to be one of the best 20 is a big deal. Or in this case, two of the best.
Recent Burr and Burton Academy graduate Greg Goldstone and recent Mount Anthony Union High School graduate Alex Romac will represent Vermont against New Hampshire in today’s 38th annual Twin State Cup all-star game.
"It’s a honor to do it," Goldstone said. "It’s a privilege to play with some of the state’s best."
Goldstone may be one of the more unlikely players in the game, but not because of his play but because of his geography. Goldstone is from Cambridge, N.Y., but transferred to Burr and Burton after the Indians dropped the boys soccer program. He was unaffected by the switch in states, tallying seven goals, eight assists and leading the Bulldogs to the Division II state championship. He was named as the Banner XI Player of the Year in November.
"I didn’t really know this existed, coming over from New York," Goldstone said. "I found out about it about two-thirds of the way through our season. Coach [Peter] Mull asked me if I’d be around in July. I thought it would be a long-shot."
Goldstone traveled north for the tryout, which was done the day after the state championship game against U-32.
"I was kinda lucky with that, because we played against [U-32] and their coach was at the tryout, so he knew what I could do," Goldstone said.
Goldstone will be joined by Mount Anthony’s Romac, a familiar pairing both as opponents in school and as teammates.
"Alex and I know each other and we play in the same indoor league at Riley Rink," Goldstone said. "It’s nice to have someone here that I’ve played with before ... it’s good to have a friendly face."
Romac was a leader in the Mount Anthony midfield, earning an all-state nod. He scored three goals and four assists and his ability to outmaneuver other midfielders was paramount.
"It’s an honor to be chosen, it shows that I’ve worked hard and it’s finally paying off," Romac said.
The rest of the all-star squad are from Northern Vermont and Romac said it’s good to have two players to represent the South.
"We practiced with them [Thursday] and we were right with them," Romac said.
Some of the players at this year’s game include U-32’s Jack Shea, who will attend UVM on a soccer scholarship and Northfield’s Billy Whaley, who plans to stay near home and play at Norwich University.
"Everyone can play here," Goldstone said. "It’s certainly a great opportunity to be involved with this."
Having a final game to finish their high school careers can be a great opportunity to be seen by coaches and to get ready to play at the collegiate level.
Goldstone said he expects to play at Wesleyan College in Connecticut, while Romac will attend college at the University of Vermont.
"My goal is to play there," Goldstone said. "They have a great program and it will be extremely competitive."
For Romac, he admitted that he will probably play with the UVM club team as a freshman and then walk-on to the varsity team after that.
"Academics is first and soccer is second," said Romac, who will major in resource ecology. "Division I soccer is a huge commitment. Playing well in this game can prove I can play at a high level. It’s a good way to finish my high school career."
New Hampshire leads the boys series 16-12-8. A 2-1 Granite State win a year ago snapped a three-year Vermont winning streak.
The girls game is at 4 p.m. while the boys game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H.