Long Trail makes first semifinal

DORSET — For the past two seasons, the Long Trail boys soccer season has come to an excruciating end — in 2015, they lost 1-0 to the eventual state champion Proctor and then last year, they battled to a penalty kick shootout against Sharon, losing 13-12 in PKs.

So in 2017, the goal was to get over that hump against No. 7 Cabot on Saturday.

Levin Coe scored the only goal of the day for the Mountain Lions and the defense made it stand up in a 1-0 quarterfinal victory, sending them to the Division IV semifinal for the first time in school history.

"I knew [those two losses] were in the back of their mind, as much as I was playing it up that it shouldn't be," said Long Trail coach Tim Smith. "It's a big deal and this year we got the monkey off our backs."

Coe's goal came in the 43rd minute off a corner, one of nine on the afternoon for the Mountain Lions.

"Usually I go up on [offense] for a corner, but instead of going all the way in, I stayed back at the top of the 18-[yard-box], the ball came back to me, I settled and ripped it," Coe said.

Long Trail had their chances in the first half. In the 12th minute, Cabot goalie Hank Nally made a point-blank save and then a few minutes later, the Mountain Lions' senior captain, Will McCullough had a wide-open chance that he put over the frame.

McCullough, one of the top scorers in the state this season with 27 goals, was held scoreless and didn't have a lot of chances.

"Will was shut out, but other guys stepped up. I thought Oisin [Harrington] played a spectacular game, as a sophomore in a pressure situation, he was a monster out there for us," Smith said. "He was one of the reasons why we had good bids on goal and kept the pressure on."

Cabot had one stellar chance about halfway through the second half, but the LTS defense was up to the task, keeping the ball out of the net.

Defensively, senior Eli Sanderson came out in the first half with a leg injury, but sophomore Ben Boggio came up in a pinch to keep Cabot off the board.

"Eli is one of our better marking backs, but Ben went in and stayed on [Rodrigo Diaz Gorocica]. He did what was needed for the team," Smith said.

The No. 2 Mountain Lions will host No. 3 South Royalton on Wednesday, as the Royals edged past Arlington in its quarterfinal. And at this point, they are playing with house money.

"It's so special, we've been dreaming about this since we were freshmen," Coe said. "We all came up together and to have it be a reality now is just incredible."


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