State champs, again!

FOR THE THIRD consecutive year, the Proctor Phantoms girls’ soccer team won the Division IV state championship. It was the team’s 11th consecutive championship game, six of which have been against Arlington. Photo courtesy of Brooke Kimball

MANCHESTER — When the game and celebration was all over, the Proctor girls soccer team gathered for a team photo this Saturday with its third straight state championship trophy in hand, in what has become a winning dynasty in Vermont high school sports. The girls’ team has competed in the championship game for the past 11 years. This was also the sixth time out of the past 11 playoffs in which the Phantom had played the Arlington Eagles.

In Saturday’s championship game, Proctor met an aggressive Arlington team head on in the early going and jumped on top 5-0 in the first half, with each team notching a goal in the second half to make the final score, 6-1.

The Phantoms tend to score in bunches and that held true on Saturday. The first score came 6:07 into the game with a breakaway goal by senior Maggie McKearin who was one-on-one with Eagle keeper Denita Moore, who had little chance of stopping the sure-footed McKearin who deftly took the ball deep into the box and drilled it home.

With Arlington still pressing its offensive attack, McKearin got into the clear for another breakaway goal with 25 minutes left in the half, mimicking her first goal. Just six minutes later, Emma Palmer made it 3-0 with a shot close to the net, and McKearin earning the assist.

The Phantoms kept pressing their own attack, but Moore made a couple of outstanding saves, rejected a strong shot from junior Jenna Davine and another by senior Laci French.

McKearin would complete her hat trick with 9:45 left in the half, as she dribbled past a couple defenders, faked, then booted the ball into the corner. After McKearin was tripped, French would make the final goal of the half on a direct kick from 25-yards out that rocketed into the high part of the cage. 

Early in the second half, the Eagles had several close tries, but Phantom goalie Angel Traverse was having none of it, making a spectacular diving deflection at one point to deny the Eagle’s top-scoring Sidney Herrington, who had 23 goals this season, and stopped other tough shots by Taylor Wilkins. But it was sophomore Audrey Robinson who finally denied Traverse the shut-out, as she scored with 10:28 remaining. 

For the Phantoms, Davine would score the team’s final goal with just 2:35 left, assisted by Isabel Greb.

SOPHOMORE RHI LUBASZEWSKI (#13) sprints after the ball midfield. Photo by Brooke Kimball

The championship completed a perfect season for the Phantoms, 16-0, and was their 34th consecutive victory. Moreover, the Phantoms dominated every game this season by comfortable margins except one when Mount St. Joseph led the Phantoms for the first half, forcing Proctor’s girls catch up, then seal the win, 3-2, with a late goal by McKearin to save their unblemished season. 

On the defensive side for the Phantoms, Traverse had an outstanding season, and sophomore Brookelyn Kimball was shifted to sweeper toward the end of the season to play a critical role protecting their goal in tandem with Traverse. 

For top-scoring McKearin, she ended the season with 45 goals — just two shy of the school’s record set by her older sister Abby McKearin. Maggie, however, missed one game this season because of COVID protocols, which might have allowed her to tie or beat her sister’s record — a might-have-been footnote for the record books.

The Phantoms will graduate seven seniors, including McKearin, French, Megan Cole, Katelynn Regula and triplets Jasime, Angel and Dez Traverse.


In the semifinal game against Mount Saint Joseph a few days earlier, McKearin would also score three goals as the Phantoms won 7-0, while Traverse and Kimball were impenetrable on defense of their goal at Taranovich Field.

In that game McKearin scored after 18 minutes, then Isabel Greb added another from 20 yards out with Emma Palmer getting the assist. Palmer would score with eight minutes to go, then would get another assist feeding Greb with 1:50 left in the first half.

The Phantoms took that 4-0 lead into halftime, then came out shooting after the break. Greb would get her hat trick with just five minutes into the second half. That was followed by McKearin scoring two minutes later off an assist by Cole, and McKearin would get her hat trick with 21 minutes left to play to create the final score. 


After the team’s victory and drive back to Proctor, the team celebrated with the community as Proctor’s fire trucks met them at Loop Street and escorted the girls to the high school.  Once there, the girls got into trucks and other cars and joined in the townwide parade, the streets of which were lined with local residents in popular spots such as the Marble Bridge and the park, and then joined the community in a celebration at Franklins. 

“It is a very exciting time and people from young kids to older adults are out there waving,” said Brooke Kimball, a mother of one of the players on the team. “The town of Proctor is very supportive and really shows up to help celebrate. Anytime one of the soccer players enters Franklin’s it is to a very loud round of applause. As my daughter said, walking into Franklins to all the cheering and applause reinforced the feelings of pride she had for her team and she loved seeing all the support they had behind them the whole way.”

Share this story:
Back to Top