You do not get many chances to witness greatness in Vermont high school sports.
It is a rare privilege to watch a team play well and play with the confidence that comes with knowing you have more talent, skill, and determination than your opponent, and that the only question will be the margin of victory.
That is the place where the Bellows Falls field hockey team resides right now.
After rolling over Mount Anthony, 8-0, on Sept. 29 in Westminster, the Terriers ended their week with an 8-0 record and a 31-game winning streak.
“They have earned where they’re at now,” said BF coach Bethany Coursen. “They work so hard every day. They know that the games are easier than our practices. These players are so fast and so conditioned, I don’t have to motivate them.”
BF has won the last two Division III championships, and moved up to Division II this season. Coursen said the team would’ve like to have played in Division I, but scheduling issues prevented that from happening.
Abbe Cravinho and Dani Marchica each scored three times, while Reaghan Baldasaro had a goal and two assists. Sophia Hyslop also scored and Cravinho and Molly Kelly each had an assist.
The BF defense was just as impressive. Mount Anthony did not have a shot on goal or a penalty corner, and had a hard time just getting the ball into the Terriers’ end.
Meanwhile, BF had 28 shots on goal and 13 penalty corners. To Mount Anthony’s credit, they held the Terriers scoreless for the first 17 minutes of the game before BF broke through and scored four times in a three-minute span to take a 4-0 lead at halftime.
• Earlier in the week, the Terriers blitzed Rutland, 6-1. Rutland recovered from that beating to shut out Brattleboro, 2-0, on Sept. 28. The Colonels are now 2-4.
• With a 1-7 record, it’s been a frustrating year for Brattleboro and coach Edwin de Bruijn. But this young Colonel team makes opponents work for their wins.
Their Sept. 28 game against Burr & Burton was a good example. The Colonels were already in a jam with five of their players — forwards Rachel Rooney and Axis Balsley, midfielder Samantha Cragin, and defensive backs Ashley Dierkes and Lauren McKenney — on the bench with injuries.
So it was left to sophomore midfielder Venus Fu to draw the assignment of defending Burr & Burton’s top scorer, Hannah Pinkus. Fu held Pinkus to just one goal, which came in the 12th minute. Olivia Watandoe got the other goal in the 29th minute.
“Venus did a great job defending Pinkus,” said de Bruijn. “Pinkus was the best player on the field today.”
Senior midfielder Kai Boyd had several scoring opportunities for the Colonels, but couldn’t connect.
“We stayed in this game most of the way, we just needed a little more luck,” said de Bruijn. “We played with intensity, especially in the second half, but we couldn’t score.”
Meanwhile, Colonels’ goalkeeper Megyn Ayotte made six saves and kept her team in a position to win with some great stops.
With six games left, the Colonels need to win three of them to qualify for the playoffs.
• Bellows Falls got their first win of the season when Hannah Dupuis converted a penalty kick with five minutes left to give the Terriers a 2-1 win over Black River on Sept. 28.
Layla Maiocco gathered a loose ball and beat goalie Paige Kelly in the 20th minute.to put the Terriers up, 1-0. Hailey Pierce got the equalizer for the Presidents with 10 minutes left in the game.
BF fell to Otter Valley, 1-0, at home on Sept. 29. Mary Kingsley scored the only goal of the game for the Otters in the 10th minute off a crossing pass from Julia Eastman.
• Leland & Gray evened up their record at 4-4 with a 5-1 win over Stratton Mountain School on Sept. 29. Arin Bates scored four goals and had an assist on a Rebekah Winot goal.
Earlier in the week, the Rebels lost to Green Mountain, 3-2. Bates and Sydney Hescock were the goal scorers for Leland & Gray, while Paige Karl scored twice for the Chieftains.
• Another season, another juggernaut of a team in Twin Valley.
The Wildcats finished last week with a 7-0 record after a 4-0 win over Springfield on Sept. 28 to win the John Werner Tournament in Arlington for the fifth straight year.
Lucas Messing scored two goals for Twin Valley, while Colin McHale and Jack McHale each had a goal and an assist. Logan Park, named the tourney’s most valuable player, added an assist.
Goalkeepers Logan Boyd and Josh Carpenter-O’Hearn each made a couple of saves to earn the shutout win.
Twin Valley advanced to the Werner final with a 1-0 win over Arlington earlier in the week. Colin McHale scored the game-winning goal off a James McGovern corner kick in the 87th minute. It was the 400th career win for longtime soccer coach Buddy Hayford.
• Leland & Gray is starting to get it together in time for a playoff run. Freshman Riley Barton scored twice and seniors Patrick McDonald and Pat Meyer also added goals as the Rebels got a 4-1 road win over Fair Haven.
Earlier in the week, the Rebels clobbered Proctor, 5-0, at home. Freshman Matt Emerson had a pair of goals. Barton also found the back of the net, as did McDonald and Meyer. Goalkeeper Quinn Kelloway needed to make only two saves to earn the shutout.
• West Rutland shut out Bellows Falls, 4-0, on Sept. 30 in Westminster. The Terriers ended the week at 1-6-1.
• Bellows Falls had no trouble crushing winless Otter Valley, 50-6, on a cold, wet afternoon at Hadley Field on Sept. 30.
The Terriers opened up a 50-0 lead by halftime as the defending Division II champs scored on their first seven possessions as Logan Cota, who played at halfback in the first quarter and quarterback in the second quarter, had a career day.
On BF’s first play of the game, he scored on a 57-yard touchdown run. By the end of the half, Cota had 103 yards rushing and ran for three touchdowns, and threw for 102 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown pass to Shane Clark.
Clark also had a great day, with 65 yards of rushing, 104 receiving yards, plus an interception on defense.
Reserve quarterback Griffin Waryas got plenty of playing time and scored on a 2-yard keeper. Julian Christiansen and McGregor Vancor had TD runs of 19 yards and 1 yard, respectively. In all, the Terriers ran the ball for 275 yards in the first half.
The BF defense almost pitched a shutout, but Jake O’Donnell scored for the Otters on a 5-yard run with two minutes left in the game. Dylan Clark and Hunter Smith led the Terriers on defense with six and five tackles, respectively.
Now 4-1, BF will have a tougher time of it when they travel to Bristol this Saturday to face Mount Abraham.
• The good news for the Brattleboro Colonels was that they scored 33 points against the Hartford Hurricanes, their highest offensive output of the season. The bad news is the defending Division I champs scored 56 points in a wild game in White River Junction on Sept. 29.
Hunter Perkins and Kody Rhodes each had three rushing touchdowns for the Hurricanes, and Tyler Hamilton threw a touchdown pass to Austin Gaudette.
Hartford had a 40-7 lead early in the second half, but the Colonels’ offense managed to put up some points against the ’Canes reserves.
Colonels quarterback Tyler Millerick threw a pair of touchdown passes to Brenden Gilbeau, and scored on a quarterback keeper. Kyle Derosia set up the Colonels’ first TD with an interception, and Chris Frost had a touchdown run.
The 0-5 Colonels host undefeated Saint Johnsbury this Friday at Natowich Field at 7 p.m.
• Brattleboro swept a multi-team meet in Woodstock on Sept. 29.
Sarah Gallagher won the girls’ race in 20 minutes, 28 seconds to lead the Colonels, who won the meet with a score of 30 points and easily defeated Thetford, Windsor, Woodstock and Hartford.
The Colonels had five runners in the top 10. Gallagher was joined by Annie Takacs (fifth, 23:04), Elery Loggia (sixth, 23:20), Alexandra Miskovich (eighth, 23:37), and Mollie Patenaude (10th, 23:54).
Brattleboro won the boys’ race, despite the absence of their top runner Isaac Freitas-Eagan, who was off on a college visit. The Colonels won with a score of 60, followed by Woodstock (67), Stratton Mountain School (70), and Thetford (76).
Colin Costa-Walsh took the reins and finished fourth in 18:10. Also picking up the scoring slack were Trevor Kipp (fifth, 18:28), Evan Koch (ninth, 19:04), Bram Tabachnik (12th, 19:17), and David Pierce (17th, 19:51).
Senior bowling roundup
• Team 7 (17-3) widened its lead after Week 4 of the fall season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League. Team 10 (14-6) moved into second place, with Team 1 (13-7) in third. Team 3 (11-9) is fourth, followed by Team 2 and Team 5 (both 9-11), Team 8 and Team 6 (both 8-12), Team 9 (6-14) and Team 6 (5-15).
Jeanne Czuy had the women’s high handicap game (243) and Pat Cutler had the high handicap series (684), while Peter Cross had the men’s high handicap game (246) and Al Dascomb had the high handicap series (675). Team 6 had the high team handicap game (862) and series (2,566).
Robert Rigby (620) rolled a 600-plus series with two 200-plus games (212, 214). Warren Corriveau Sr. (542) had a 500-plus series with a 214 high game. Others with 500-plus series were Jerry Dunham (507) and Marty Adams (530).