It takes a lot of work to build a successful team, and then even more work to maintain that success.
For Bellows Falls field hockey coach Bethany Coursen, that hard work has resulted in a lot of wins - including her 200th career victory last week - and several state championships.
For Brattleboro field hockey coach Erin Cooke, the work is just beginning. While the lofty milestones and championship are still a ways away, she is slowly building up a program that is enjoying a bit of success right now.
Plus, Cooke's team has one thing to brag about. They are the only team that has scored a goal against Bellows Falls this season.
• Brattleboro picked up its first win of the season on Sept. 25 at Sawyer Field, a 3-0 victory over Fair Haven during Homecoming Weekend.
Nicole Potter, Erika Favreau and Taylin Bauer were the goal scorers for Brattleboro, while goalie Brittney Wright made 12 saves to earn the shutout.
Cooke said Wright had faced more than 100 shots in goal in her first five games this season, and that she has kept the Colonels competitive in most of those games.
One example of this came on Sept. 28 against Woodstock at Sawyer Field. Wright had to face a lot of pressure, but she turned away neatly every Woodstock shot she faced, including a penalty stroke in the fourth quarter by Sophia Yates. The one shot she couldn't stop turned out to be all Woodstock needed in a 1-0 win.
That game-winning tally came midway through the third quarter, when Woodstock's Lily Gubbins passed the ball to Norah Harper, who was in the goal crease and pushed it past Wright into the right corner of the net.
Favreau and Bauer had some good runs at the Woodstock net, but couldn't score.
The 2-5 Colonels finished out the week with a 5-1 road win over Springfield on Sept. 30. Bauer had two goals - including a successful penalty stroke - and an assist. Marina Wilson, Favreau, and Emma Gragen also scored for Brattleboro. Wright let only one shot by, as Moira Rigney scored Springfield's first goal of its season.
• Bellows Falls won both their games last week. The first victory was a 1-0 win in overtime against the Hartford Hurricanes on Sept. 27. With 54 seconds left in the extra period, Sadie Scott took a pass from Maya Waryas and tucked in the game-winning goal. Jaia Caron made five saves to earn the shutout victory in goal.
It was a little easier against Rutland on Oct. 1, as they cruised to an 8-0 victory to give Coursen her 200th win.
Grace Bazin and Emma Bazin each scored twice for the undefeated Terriers, while Waryas, Scott, Ava LaRoss, and Ari Wunderle also added goals.
• Hartford controlled the game from start to finish as the Hurricanes blew down the visiting Brattleboro Colonels, 48-20, on Oct. 1.
Brody Tyburski led a powerful Hartford rushing attack, racking up 185 yards and four touchdowns. Ezra Mock and Brandon Potter each also had a rushing touchdown, and quarterback Brayden Trombly threw a 32-yard touchdown passed to Potter.
Hartford led 28-6 at the half. The only bright spot for the Colonels was the three touchdowns by wide receiver Aaron Petrie. The speedy senior teamed up with quarterback Devin Speno for scoring plays of 55, 58, and 75 yards.
Now 1-4, the Colonels head to East Montpelier this Friday night to face the 4-1 U-32 Marauders,
• Every Bellows Falls win this season has been by four touchdowns or more. On Oct. 1 at Hadley Field, it was Milton's turn to take on the undefeated Terriers, and they got crushed, 55-0.
The BF defense pitched a shutout, holding Milton to just 61 yards from scrimmage. Patrick Barbour, Peter Kamel, and Trenton Fletcher all had a sack, and Jamison Nystrom intercepted two passes, returning one of them for a 60-yard touchdown.
On offense, it was more of the same as the BF rushing attack piled up the yardage, with 231 yards in the first half as the Terriers led 41-0 at the half..
Quarterback Jonathan Terry ran for two touchdowns and returned a punt for a 55-yard touchdown. Jed Lober led the BF running attack with 117 yards on six carries for two touchdowns, one of them a 65-yarder. Terry finished with 54 yards, Jeb Monier had five carries for 51 yards and a TD, while Walker James had a 33-yard touchdown run and Eli Albee had four carries for 37 yards.
The 5-0 Terriers host Spaulding at Hadley Field this Friday night.
• There may not be any more of his daughters on the roster at Leland & Gray, but coach Lucas Bates still has a fair amount of talent this season.
The Rebels rolled over an outnumbered and overmatched Twin Valley squad, 9-0, in Townshend on Sept. 27.
Twin Valley had only 12 players available for the game. The Wildcats have only one senior on their 2021 roster, with five eighth-graders and seven ninth-graders.
Abby Towle was the star for the Rebels, scoring three goals in the first 20 minutes of the game. Ansley Henderson added two goals and Kate Petty, Mary McDonald, Mary Sanderson, and Abigail Emerson also scored.
Goalkeeper Makaila Morse made three saves to get the shutout win. All three of those shots came off the foot of eighth-grader Reese Croutworst, a forward who had to play as a defensive back because the Wildcats were so shorthanded. She was Twin Valley's best player in this game.
The following day, the Rebels defeated Green Mountain, 2-1, in Chester. Emerson got the first goal in the 17th minute for the Rebels, but the Chieftains tied the game in the 28th minute with a goal from Kim Cummings. McDonald then scored what would be the game-winning goal off a Hannah Landers pass a few minutes later. Morse had 11 saves in goal for the Rebels.
• Jenna Dolloph scored the only goal for Bellows Falls in a 7-1 loss to Windsor on Oct. 1.
• Green Mountain shut out Brattleboro, 4-0, in Chester on Sept. 29. Everett Mosher scored two goals for the Chieftains and Tanner Swisher and Joah Gibson also scored.
• Twin Valley edged White River Valley, 3-2, to win the John Werner Tournament in Arlington. Caleb Dupuis scored a pair of goals for the Wildcats and Matt Hammond scored the game-winner in the 73rd minute. Goalkeeper Liam Wendell had nine saves in the victory for the 5-3 Wildcats.
• Colby Dearborn scored the only goal for Bellows Falls in an 8-1 loss to Otter Valley in Brandon on Sept. 29.
• Brattleboro's Ava Whitney took third place with a time of 22 minutes, 39 seconds in a varsity cross-country race in Woodstock on Sept. 28.
The Colonel girls finished fourth as a team, with Meredith Lewis (35th), Anna Cummings (38th), Elena Harnigan (40th), and Metyidr Salisi (43rd) rounding out the scoring. Leland & Gray's Emma O'Brien finished ninth in 24:59.
In the boys' event. Brattleboro also finished fourth. Tenzin Mathes (10th), Brinly Woodcock (22nd), and Ben Berkson-Harvey (23rd) were the Colonel scorers. Nicholas Petronic (37th) and Peter Brassard (41st) competed for Leland & Gray.
Senior bowling roundup
• Week 5 of the fall/winter season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on Sept. 30 saw Stayin' Alive (18.5-6.5) go 5-0 totake over first place. Old Farts (16-4) went 0-5 to fall into second place. Alley Katz (15-10) remained in third, followed by Rolling Stones (11.5-13.5), Team Four (11-14), Pin Falls (11-14), Pin Setters (10-15), and Trash-O-Matic (7-18).
Pat Bentrup had the women's high handicap game (237) and series (632). Pete Cross had the men's high handicap game (246), while Robert Rigby had the high handicap series (675), and Pin Falls had the high team handicap game (880) and series (2,526).
In scratch scoring, Rigby led the men with a 675 series, with games of 243, 219, and 213. Marty Adams had a 515 series, while Fred Ashworth had a 193 game as part of his 506 series and Jerry Dunham had a 504 series.
Carol Gloski had the high scratch game (168) and Josie Rigby had the high series (464) to lead the women. Bentrup rolled a 165 and Diane Cook had a 161 game.