Terrier Field Hockey Ties Up Lady Bulldogs
The Compass Bellows Falls, Vt. Sept. 21, 2011
WESTMINSTER, Vt - The Bellows Falls Union High School field hockey team has endured a couple of rough seasons for various reasons - losing a bunch of good players to graduation leading to a drop in overall numbers, not having a JV squad to cultivate younger players and having to play a schedule full of tough, Division I and II teams. But through it all, long-time head coach Betheny Coursen has stayed the course and encouraged her kids to play hard, get better, but most importantly, have fun while doing it. "We have a young team again this year," coach Coursen said during pre-game warm ups.
Photos by Joe Milliken 1. BF's Miariah Barnett gets a shot on goal 2. Lady Terrier Kya Coursen drives up field as she fights off a defender 3. BF's Sarah Wells fires a shot on net.
"I have eight freshman who are starting or playing significant minutes, so you are going to go through some grow ingpains. But I am also encouraged because our roster has grown a little from last year and I have a great group of girls. They all work hard and are getting better every day."
The visiting Burr & Burton Bulldogs came in at 0-2, but with much more experience on they're roster, while the Lady Terriers were coming off a season-opening loss to Woodstock. However,Bellows Falls looked good early, communicating pretty well for a young group and controlling most of the play early on, despite not getting any shots on goal.
At 21:20 of the first half the Lady Terriers would get on the board first, as Mariah Barnett made a heady play by chipping a shot from the left of the net into the box, then going in after it and scoring on the follow-up for a 1-0 BF lead. "Mariah played a great game today," coach Coursen would later say after the game. "That was a great hustle play to go and follow up her own shot in front of the net."
The goal swung the early momentum in BF's favor, but it also woke up the Lady Bulldogs, who began playing better and started getting more pressure in the Terrier end of the field, forcing BF keeper Shea Wilkinson to make a couple tough saves in close.
The Lady Bulldogs would keep the pressure on and finally score at 11:30 of the first half, when Jessica Dorr took a pass from Lilly Ross and slapped it onto the net to tie it up before halftime. Burr & Burton had another chance late to take the lead, but a shot went just wide of the post before time ran out.
The second half would be mostly a defensivestruggle, with both teams having trouble getting any offense going, but halfway through the period, the Lady Terriers got some good pressure in the Bulldog zone, with Kya Coursen and Sarah Wells working hard and generating a couple shots on net. Coursen and Wells led the offensive surge throughout.
The final 10 minutes would see the Bulldogs looking to break the tie with some offensive pressure, forcing three consecutive corners down the stretch, but sophomore Emily Default anchored the defense and the Terriers survived the late pressure.
BF senior Tori Bissell had a great chance to break the tie in the last minute of regulation time, but her shot from point-blank range was kicked away before getting to the net, as time ran out in regulation.
In the 10 minute overtime, BF again dominated most of the play, but couldn't seem to get that one break or bounce to score, and the match up ended in a 1-1 tie. "We really wanted this win and the girls showed it," coach Coursen said after the game.
"But I am seeing a lot of improvement and determination from this group and that is a positive sign. We've got alot of freshman who are getting significant playing time and that is going to help us down the line. The effort is there, and that's all a coach can ask for."
The Terriers finished with seven shots on goal to the Bulldogs six, while Bellows Falls also led in corners, 12 to 10. The Lady Terriers will next take on Mount Anthony at home on Friday. More photos from this game are available at www.jemsportsimages.com