BBA's Bisselle clutch when it counts

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MANCHESTER >> Statistically, Burr and Burton Academy senior girls soccer player Aggie Bisselle had a pretty good year, 11 goals, good for second on the Bulldogs.

But what makes a player valuable is not how many goals or assists, it's when they happen that's even more important.

For those reasons, Bisselle is our Banner XI player of the year for 2015.

"She's very talented and determined, she's a go-getter," said BBA coach Suzanne Mears, who in two years leading the Bulldogs is 32-2 with Bisselle leading the way. "She really quick up top and that's a huge advantage. She can turn on a dime with the ball at her feet and she's got a huge eye for the back of the net."

Bisselle's three biggest scores in 2015 all came on her home pitch. In September in a terrific matchup versus Champlain Valley at Taylor Field, Bisselle scored to give the Bulldogs the 1-0 lead, then tied at 2-2 late, Bisselle beat the Redhawks goalkeeper to give Burr and Burton Academy a statement victory and snap CVU's 48-game win streak.

"She is clutch and people recognize her talent at the state level," Mears said. "Opponents respect her. She came up big in big games."

Bisselle did it again a couple weeks later, this time at Applejack Field on a cool night against Mount Anthony.

The Patriots took an early lead and were trying desperately to hold on and knock off the unbeaten Bulldogs. But Hannah Pinkus scored to tie the game in the final 10 minutes to force overtime and then in the first overtime, Bisselle took a pass from Georgia Lord with less than 10 seconds left and beat the MAU goalie as the buzzer sounded to keep the perfect regular season.

In the postseason, Bisselle scored two goals in a rout over Missisquoi in the opening round, and while she didn't score in any of the other three contests, defenses had to make sure they kept track of where No. 8 was at all times.

"She had a solid postseason, solid the entire time," Mears said. "I can't think of one specific game where she came up, because she was so solid for us. We came together as a team in the Essex game (a 2-0 quarterfinal victory).

While a lot of the talent returns for the Bulldogs in players like Lord and Pinkus, who are only sophomores, it will be a tall task to replace Bisselle's calm and cool presence.

"She's a huge presence on the field and she'll be very missed," Mears said.


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