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Vermont Green FC Rides Set Piece Magic to Thrilling Cupset

By Staff, 03/19/24, 11:00PM EDT


A crowd of over 4,000 saw their club win the first-ever Open Cup match on Vermont soil

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Tuesday night, Vermont Green FC marked a special point in club history as they defeated USL League One's Lexington SC 4-3 in the First Round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The crowd at Virtue Field was on edge for the entirety of stoppage time. Without a clear signal, and a suggestion that the added time was five minutes, every whistle after that point sent the Burlington fans into celebration mode. When the whistle finally blew for full time, the celebrations commenced in full force and the party was on in Burlington.

Vermont Green never trailed in the match, as they rode a spectacular goalscoring rate from corner kicks to an early lead. At the five and ten minute marks of the match, the hosts won corners on either side of the net. Both times, the ball found its way to the back post and was headed in. First, it was Zach Barrett finding himself all alone after a deceptive set of runs to the near post by his teammates, before Nick Lockermann doubled the lead just five minutes later.

A first professional goal from Issac Cano, after one too many cracks at Nathan Schnur's net, cut the lead in half just 20 minutes in.

Four minutes later, Gerardo Castillo made a bombing run up the left side after starting a beautiful combination play, then received the ball and cut it back for Jacob Labovitz, who spent last season in USL League One. Labovitz slotted Vermont's third goal home, and the hosts went into half with a two-goal lead.

Shortly after halftime, the ball went out of play for Vermont's third corner of the day. That corner resulted in Vermont's third goal, this time a scrappy effort by captain Jake Ashford to shovel the ball over the line. The 4,500 fans in the stands were rocking as the Mountain Bhoys led by four goals to one.

Striker Cameron Lancaster, best known for his great success with Louisville City FC in USL Championship, wouldn't go quietly in the night. He put away a perfect free kick as an hour passed, and slotted home his second of the day with just over ten minutes remaining in the 90.

From there, it was a purely defensive mission for the Green. Clearances, blocks, saves, everything was on the table for the hosts as they looked to see out the Lexington threat. In the end, they held on, and the party into the cold Vermont air lasted long into the night.

The draw for the second round of the Open Cup will take place on Friday, March 22.


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