Essex High School Wins Boys Soccer Championship with Last Minute Magic


Maddie Ahmadi

After what felt like a first-half that Essex dominated, things became uncertain for the Hornets as the score turned 1-0 in favor of South Burlington quickly in the second half. Fears of a repeat 2020 heartbreaker loomed.

A single goal wasn’t the biggest setback for the Hornets either. Senior, Aiden Nick, would remain out for the entire game with an injury suffered early in the match. 

Striker, Shankha Mitra, explains the moment when the team found out they would have to finish the job without their top defender, “we all huddled up and realized we needed something quick or we weren’t going to win.” 

Quick it was, when things were looking their worst, senior Josh Allaire did what he does best, and tied the match. 

Mitra describes the key to the equalizer, “Josh Allaire came through, [he’s] the biggest player on our team, every time we go down he scores.” 

That wasn’t all from the Hornets, with under a minute remaining in regulation, South Burlington goalie, Andrew Chandler, was issued a red card inches from the box. Essex was granted a free-kick. Eli Bostwick would take the opportunity. 

In what felt like a last-second prayer, the ball flew past the defenders in the air, directly to scoring powerhouse, and senior, Joel Marquardt. Marquardt headed the ball, and with 30 seconds left, it found the back of the net. 

That would be the moment that clinched the state title and a perfect Essex season — one backed by talent,  team chemistry, and grit. 

Essex ends the season 15-0-2. The first undefeated record for the Hornets in over 60 years.