While soccer has overtaken field hockey as the fall sport for girls at many high schools in Vermont, Bellows Falls has stayed true to field hockey.
Under longtime coach Jayne Barber, the Terriers were Division II field hockey co-champions in 1989 and won the Division II title in 1991. They also made it to the Division II finals in 1997.
Barber ultimately passed the field hockey torch to Bethany Coursen, one of her proteges. Bellows Falls has since dropped down to Division III, where they made the field hockey finals in 2006.
This year, Coursen’s team is making history. They have won their first 10 games, nine of them by shutout. They surrendered only one goal, to Springfield on Oct. 5.
No Bellows Falls team has ever started a season that hot, and maintained that level this deep into the season. One key to the streak is the excellent feeder program that Coursen has built up over the years. With Coursen and other BF coaches and volunteers officiating, and BF players coaching, young players get a taste of the skills they need and the expectations that are to be met.
Coursen expected her team, which finished with a 4-7-3 record last year, to be better this season. She did not expect a run like this.
Last Monday, the Terriers shut out Burr & Burton, 4-0, in Westminster. Anna Clark, Cassidy Santorelli, Averie Lowe and Molly Dufault were the scorers, while Clark and Mariah Barnett were credited with assists. Quinn Lawrence and Shea Wilkinson split the goaltending duties in the win.
The next day, Bellows Falls edged Springfeld, 1-0. Barnett was the heroine for the Terriers, scoring the game-winning goal with 10 minutes left in regulation time.
On Friday night, the Terriers cruised to a 3-0 win over Brattleboro at Tenney Field. Barnett scored early in the game, with another goal coming two minutes later from Santorelli to put Bellows Falls up 2-0 at the half.
The winning streak ended on Saturday, as the undefeated top team in Division II, Windsor, beat the Terriers, 1-0, in Westminster. Despite playing their fourth game in six days, the Terriers turned in a strong effort, allowing only the one goal by Windsor’s Haley Wood early in the second half.
Despite the loss, the Terriers remain the top team in Division III with two games to play, including a rematch at Windsor in the season finale.
• While the field hockey team is enjoying historic levels of success, the Bellows Falls girls’ soccer team is trying to build up momentum for a playoff run. Last Monday, the Terriers rallied to beat Mount St. Joseph, 2-1, in Rutland. Corrina Stack and Stephanie Parsons got the goals for the Terriers.
Against West Rutland last Thursday, Lydia Pedigo got the game-winner in overtime to give the Terriers a 1-0 win.
But on Saturday at home, the Terriers dropped a 2-0 decision to Black River as BF struggled on offense. They finished the week at 6-5-1 and are in danger of losing their chance at a home playoff game.
• Twin Valley is similarly trying to get it together. Last Monday, the Wildcats lost 4-2 to Black River in Ludlow. Jordan Niles scored a pair of goals.
• Undefeated Mount Anthony spoiled Brattleboro’s Senior Night with a 2-0 victory last Tuesday at Tenney Field.
The Colonels’ slide continued on Friday with a 2-1 loss to Springfield. Brattleboro’s Halie Lange scored her team’s only goal early the second half. The winless week ended with a 2-0 road loss at Rutland on Saturday. The Colonels are 4-9 and are in danger of not making the playoffs.
• Jackson Batchelder scored in overtime to give Brattleboro a 2-1 win over Mount Anthony in Bennington last Wednesday night. Jesse Brown scored a first-half goal for the Colonels, but MAU got the equalizer with 10 minutes left in regulation. Galen Finnerty had five saves in goal.
On Friday night, Brattleboro picked up another 2-1 victory, this time on the road against Springfield. Brown got an unassisted goal in the 18th minute, and Connor Elliot-Knaggs scored the team’s next goal a couple of minutes later. The Colonels outshot the Cosmos, 23-8, as the Colonels finished the week with a 6-5 record.
• Bellows Falls seized control of second place in the Division II standings with a 28-14 victory over Lyndon at Hadley Field Friday night.
Zach Rawling carried the ball 23 times for 119 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Terriers, while Carson Fullam ran for 91 yards on 14 carries.
Ethan Illingworth capped off a long first quarter drive with a one-yard quarterback sneak for BF’s first touchdown. An errant pitch by Lyndon quarterback James Shufelt was scooped up by BF defender Stewart Shaughnessy, which set up an 8-yard touchdown run by Rawling.
Lyndon gave the Terriers all they could handle in the early going. Quarterback James Shufelt scored on a 15-yard run and later broke for a 43-yard TD run to tie the game up at 14-14 at the half.
But the Terriers’ ground game proved too much for the Vikings in the second half. Rawling got the go-ahead touchdown on a 13-yard run late in the third quarter.
The 6-1 Terriers travel to Brandon to play Otter Valley on Saturday at 1 p.m. in BF’s final regular season game.
• Brattleboro traveled to Barre on Saturday and beat Spaulding. The 2-5 Colonels end the regular season Friday night at Natowich Field against Mount Anthony.
• Brattleboro got its first win of the season last Wednesday night, with a 2-1 overtime victory over Burr & Burton at Tenney Field. Kebrina Howard got the game-winner, while Kayla Savage, who assisted on Howard’s goal, scored in regulation. Goaltender Jen Dyer had eight saves.
• Brattleboro finished sixth in the Connecticut Valley Conference Cross Country Championships on Friday on the Fall Mountain course in Langdon, N.H.
Arturo Gutierrez was the first Brattleboro runner across the line in the boys’ race with a time of 18 minutes, 22 seconds. He was quickly followed by Spenser Olson (18:42) and Ryan Gilligan (19:06).
Fall Mountain’s Levi Frye came in first in 16:16, followed by Keene’s Dan Damato (16:18), and Bellows Falls’ Jamie Moore.
Catey Yost was the top Colonel in the girls’ race, finishing with a personal-best time of 23:03. Teammate Aliza Racine came in behind her at 24:02, and Olivia Hamm finished in 26:13.
Lebanon’s Nell Houde was the girls’ winner in 19:57, followed by Kearsarge’s Briggie Carr (20:00), and Keene’s Julia Guerriero (20:48).
Men’s League basketball rosters due by Oct. 25
• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department reminds players for Men’s League basketball that rosters are due Oct. 25 by 4 p.m. at the Recreation & Parks Department, 207 Main St. If more information is needed, call 802-254-5808.