The Bellows Falls field hockey team began their defense of the Division III state championship with a 4-0 win over Brattleboro in their home opener last Friday afternoon.
The Terriers outscored their opponents 30-5 and had 14 shutouts last season on the way to finishing 13-2-2 and winning the school’s first state field hockey title since 1991. Nearly all of those players are back for another title run, and BF coach Bethany Coursen is making sure her veterans don’t get complacent.
Bellows Falls outshot Brattleboro, 28-0, and had a 23-0 advantage in penalty corners, but BF had only a 1-0 lead at the half. Molly Kelly got the goal eight minutes into the first half.
“We were scrambling around in the first half and were playing really frantic field hockey,” said Coursen. “I think they were a little too excited about playing their first game.”
In the second half, the BF offense got it together. Reaghan Baldasaro scored with 19:54 left, and Kelly got her second goal about two minutes later with Leia Robinson getting the assist. Abbe Cravinho closed out the scoring with a goal with 14:15 remaining.
Coursen credited the Colonels’ defense and goalie with upsetting the rhythm of her team in the first half. “They did a good job, especially their goalie [Olivia Weeks, who made 24 saves],” she said. “I could tell how frustrated my girls were in the first half. We settled down in the second half and found our groove.”
Brattleboro was 3-10-2 last season, losing to Hartford in the first round of the Division I playoffs. Co-coaches Sherryl Libardoni and Kelly Markol have worked hard to build a competitive program, but Libardoni admitted that they were going up against a very deep and talented BF team.
“This was kind of a moral victory for us,” said Libardoni. “BF was in better condition than we were. We didn’t have any scrimmages, so this was our first time out on the field as a team. We played well in spurts, but we still trying to transfer what we do in practice into game situations.”
Emma Lober and Brigid Hodsden split the goaltending duties for the Terriers but had nothing to do, thanks to the dominating play of the teammates in front of them.
All in all, it was a good start for the defending champs, and a good learning experience for the Colonels in game one.
• Bellows Falls had no problem getting up for their season opener against Springfield at Hadley Field last Friday night, trouncing the Cosmos, 42-6.
This rivalry game goes back to 1914, and even though BF has held onto “The Trophy” for the past seven years, they had no intention of giving it back to the Cosmos.
Bellows Falls, with its 14 seniors, completely dominated Springfield, which had only one returning varsity player. The Terriers scored on all six of their first half possessions, building up a 42-0 lead at the half.
“I’m really excited about this football team. We don’t just have one good running back, we have a whole stable of good running backs,” said BF coach Bob Lockerby. “We have a lot of good talent out there.”
That statement wasn’t hyperbole. BF is loaded with tough, talented players who made their presence known from the opening kickoff.
Tailback Jahyde Bullard had the play of the night when he scored on a 79-yard run on BF’s first possession. He finished with seven carries for 141 yards.
A five-yard touchdown run by fullback Jake Lober followed, then Logan Cota had a pair of touchdown runs, the first from the 3 and the second from the 35, to make it 28-0 early in the second quarter. Cota had seven carries for 82 yards, and also caught a 2-point conversion pass from quarterback Caleb Lisai.
Lober got two more touchdowns to close out the first half, catching a 25-yard pass from Lisai and then scoring on a 1-yard plunge. Lober rushed five times for 32 yards. Lisai went 5-of-6 for 82 yards of passing, including a pair of completions to tight end Liam Hackett for two and 27 yards, respectively.
How badly was Springfield manhandled in the first half? BF had 372 yards of total offense to the Cosmos’ 41. The BF offensive line of Reno and Nick Tuttle, Brady Illingworth, DJ Snide, and Brian Green protected Lisai and gave Bullard, Cota, and Lober huge holes to run through. Snide even got onto the scoring sheet, running in a pair of conversions.
On defense, Lober was all over the field at outside linebacker. He and Bullard controlled the middle of the field, and defensive linemen Snide, Reno Tuttle, Jared Zobkiw, and Ben Asack bottled up the Cosmos’ running game.
Springfield struggled on offense the entire game. They were held scoreless until the first play of the fourth quarter, long after the BF starters had called it a night, when Matt LaCappelle scored on a 10-yard run.
BF’s second string offense ate up the clock, but didn’t score. Sophomore Julian Christiansen chipped in with 54 yards on six rushes during mop-up duty in the second half.
The 1-0 Terriers play this Friday night at 7 at Mount Abraham.
• Last year, Brattleboro opened the season at home against Hartford. The Colonels scored the first touchdown of the game, then gave up 41 unanswered points on the way to a 41-21 loss.
The Colonels had revenge on their minds last Friday night when they traveled to Hartford to take on the Hurricanes in the season opener for both teams. But Hartford still has the Colonels’ number.
Hartford piled up 447 yards of offense and had three touchdown runs of more than 60 yards on the way to a 41-3 rout of Brattleboro.
Running back Brett MacLaren did most of the damage. He only had nine carries, but ended up with 226 yards and three touchdowns on a pair of 83-yard runs, and another 13-yarder.
Fellow running back Kody Rhodes had eight carries for 141 yards and touchdown runs of 63, 40, and 5 yards.
The Colonels went into the game shorthanded, with a half-dozen players, including starting quarterback Tony Martinez, second-string quarterback Dan Petrie, and workhorse running back Cheick Diakite, out due to injury or suspension.
Thrown into the fire was freshman quarterback Tyler Millerick, who completed 10-of-16 passes for 79 yards, but was intercepted three times. Stepping up for Diakite were Jack Gagnon and Kolton Ravenna, but the powerful Hurricane defense kept them from having an impact.
In all, Brattleboro had 130 yards offense and got their only points on a 27-yard field goal by Jack Price in the second quarter. The 0-1 Colonels host St. Johnsbury in their home opener this Friday night at 7.
• Twin Valley had their season debut under the lights last Thursday night at Hayford Field in Wilmington, and had no problem putting away the Windsor Yellowjackets, 4-1.
Year in, and year out, the Wildcats parlay solid team defense, confident passing, and opportunistic offense into winning seasons. All those elements were in place in the opener as Twin Valley put 10 shots on goal and took a 2-0 lead at the half.
Gunnar Nielsen got the first goal when he pounced on a weak goal kick by Windsor and burst through the box to score unassisted in the 16th minute.
Logan Park scored three minutes later when he took a through pass from Troy Felisko and beat Windsor goalkeeper Ryan Saucier on a one-on-one.
In the second half, Skyler Boyd took a pass from Jack McHale and drove a low shot inside past Saucier in the 67th minute.
Freshman goalkeeper Logan Boyd played well and looked like he would earn a shutout in his varsity debut. Windsor’s Tristan Robison spoiled that dream when he scored on a defensive breakdown in the 74th minute
Nilsen got the goal back two minutes later, set up by Park.
“It’s so early in the season and you just don’t know what you’re going to have,” said coach Buddy Hayford after the game. “It’s like a puzzle and we’re still trying to put the pieces together.”
• Green Mountain withstood a late scoring rush by Leland & Gray to hang on for a 4-3 win last Friday in Chester. Mack Walton had GM’s first three goals, and Brooks Smith added another to make it 4-1 with five minutes to play.
The Rebels rallied with a pair of goals over a 90 second span to make it a one-goal game with two minutes to play, but failed to get the equalizer.
• Kaitlin Hunt and Carly Walkowiak each scored a pair of goals and Jarret Niles added another as Twin Valley rolled over Otter Valley, 5-1, in the season opener last Friday at Hayford Field.
The Wildcats put 16 shots on goal, while goalkeeper Grace Rizio made three saves to earn the win.
• Ashley Bates scored all of Leland & Gray’s goals as the Rebels eked out a 5-4 win over Mount St. Joseph in Rutland last Saturday. Needless to say, it was a career-best scoring day for Bates, who scored three goals in the first half. She was assisted on two of them by her younger sister, Arin. Jesse Stockwell assisted on the other goal.
In the second half, Bates scored an unassisted goal, and then was set up by Mackenzie Boyle for her fifth tally. The 1-0 Rebels host Twin Valley on Sept. 7.
• Annie Soho tallied early in the second half to give Windsor a 2-1 win last Saturday against the visiting Bellows Falls Terriers.
Goalkeeper Kaycee Herschel finished with six saves for the YellowJackets. Arianna Morton was the Terriers’ lone goalscorer, her tally tied the game late in the first half. BF goalkeeper Madison Pencek ended up with 12 saves.
BUHS season passes are available
• Season passes for all Brattleboro Union High School home varsity games (football, boys’ and girls’ soccer, field hockey, and boys’ and girls’ ice hockey and basketball) can now be purchased for the 2016-17 school year at the ticket booth at home games.
The fall and winter student pass costs $25 and is good for all home games for fall and winter teams. The fall and winter adult pass is $50.
These passes will be personalized and non-transferable, and are good for all home regular season games (VPA tournament games not included). These passes will not be replaced if lost or stolen. Checks should be made payable to BUHS.
Senior bowling roundup
• The fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League began last week with Team 2 (5-0) in first place, followed by a four-way tie for second, with Team 10, Team 7, Team 4, and Team 5 with identical 4-1 records. There’s a four-way tie for third, with Team 8, Team 6, Team 9, and Team 3 with identical 1-4 records. Team 1 (0-5) was winless.
Team 2 had the high handicap game (893) and series (2,593). Edna Fletcher had the women’s high handicap game (245) and high handicap series (695), while Warren Corriveau Sr. had the men’s high handicap game (258) and high handicap series (688).
Corriveau (232, 215), Marty Adams (210), and Fred Ashworth (200) had the only 200-plus games. Three men rolled a 500-plus series: Ashworth (565), Adams (546), and Wayne Randall (529). Corriveau (610) had the lone 600-plus series.
Sonya Shippee (154), Shirley Aiken (152), and Lorraine Taylor (146) had the high averages for the women, while Fred Ashworth (176), Jerry Dunham, (173), and Adams (172) had the men’s season-high averages.
Go paddling with the BOC
• The Brattleboro Outing Club will host a paddle trip on Hubbard Pond in Antrim, N.H., on Sunday, Sept 11. Organizers call this pond “a hidden treasure” in Southern New Hampshire.
Meet at the Walmart parking lot in Hinsdale, N.H., at 10 a.m. For more information, go to Brattleborooutingclub.org and click on summer paddling, or call Larry at 802-254-3666.