11th annual Goldsmith Tournament set for today

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BENNINGTON — The 11th annual Lee Goldsmith Memorial soccer tournament is set for today at Willow Park.

Teams will be divided into pools for round robin play. The number of preliminary games will be dependent on the number of teams entered.

Tournament organizer Mike Molloy, who is the boys soccer coach at Mount Anthony, expects about five or six teams to compete.

A few teams from MAU, a team from Burr and Burton, a team from Rutland and most likely a team from Cambridge will take part.

The preseason tournament is named for Lee Goldsmith, a former player and captain for the Mount Anthony boys soccer team, who died of cancer in 2009.

"[Lee] was a humble and hard-working kid," Molloy said. "He was one of the guys who did all the right stuff in terms of practice and training. He was as nice a kid as he was a hardworking soccer player too."

Lee's father, Mick Goldsmith, is the President of the Southshire Soccer Club in town, so the sport has major significance in the family's lives.

"It means a lot to us. It's difficult to describe how much it means to honor our son in that way," Goldsmith said. "There's always so many teams and high school players that come out for [the tournament] and it's always a great time."

Goldsmith will referee the championship game of the tournament, as he has throughout the tournament's existence.

Players must be enrolled in high school this fall and it costs $10 per player to participate.

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Proceeds from the tournament go to the Lee Goldsmith Scholarship Fund, which is awarded to a senior at the end of the school year. The 2019 recipient was Ryan Rogge, who was a defender for MAU and competed in the Goldsmith throughout high school before graduating in the spring.

Six field players and a goalkeeper will play 25 minute mini-games. Large goals and a no offside rule will promise lots of action and spectacular goals.

A complete list of rules will be provided at the field and the winning team will receive "Champions" T-shirts.

Teams will pay to play at the field when they sign in and check-in will be from 10:00-10:30 a.m. at the Middle Willow field.

The tournament has long brought some of the best high school players in the area to compete as they put in final preparations for the upcoming fall season.

It acts as a nice tune-up for players to ahead of the first of practices on Thursday.

"It's interesting to see who they select to be on their teams. The neat thing is that it's a kid-generated team," Molloy said. "They pick who they want to be goalie and they pick who they want to be defense. It gives me a viewpoint from them as to who they think are ready to step up this year. It's exciting to see their confidence level and their preparation."

With the first day of soccer practice state-wide slated for next Thursday, excitement is starting to ramp up for the upcoming year.

"We've been lucky that [the Goldsmith Tournament] been supported throughout the last 11 years," Molloy said. "I'm excited. It means the soccer season is pretty close."

After check-in, play should get going around 11 a.m., with the finals expected to start around 2 p.m., depending on how the games go.

Adam Aucoin can be reached at aaucoin@benningtonbanner.com and followed at @AAucoin_Banner on Twitter.


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