BRATTLEBORO -- Just before Tuesday night's field hockey game on Tenney Field began, Hartford coach Heather Scudder told her players, "play well and I'll be nice to you tomorrow at practice."
That simple message seemed to work.
The Hurricanes had a 13-2 advantage in penalty corners and controlled play for the majority of the contest as they defeated host Brattleboro, 3-1.
"I was pleased with tonight's effort," said Scudder, whose team improved to 4-1 overall. "We had way too many corners and not enough goals. The saying that every corner is a goal, is a myth. You might get one out of five if you're lucky."
Although the visitors went 0-for-13 on corners, they were able to tire the Colonels out -- Daisy Giroux, Marrissa Semenovich, Grace Laporte and Meg Powell had to sprint from the end line each time.
"My players were frustrated at times...some of the calls on us were difficult," stated Brattleboro coach Deb Valliere, who used a time-out in the second half just to let her defenders rest.
The Hurricanes had the first five chances of the game. Megan Newton, Rachel Fogg and Allison Courtemanche were all denied by Brattleboro goalie Jen Dyer, which Courtemanche also missed wide on two occasions.
But it was the Colonels who would strike first, midway through the opening half. On a penalty corner, Giroux sent it in to Kayla Savage who dumped it down to Katie Damian for an easy finish.
However, the 1-0 lead didn't last long.
Just 1:34 later, the Hurricanes attacked and Courtemanche punched in the equalizer from in close. And the teams went to the break knotted at 1-1.
Hartford would dominate the first 10 minutes of the second half, including five corner opportunities and four shots. It looked like Courtney Murray's blast would give the visitors the lead, but the cat quick Dyer made the highlight reel by reaching out to deflect it with her stick.
With her players gasping for air, Valliere then called time to give them a breather. The visitors would break their huddle with the words "fired up" and the Colonels screamed "intensity" before taking the field again.
The Hurricanes would tally twice in a hurry. Jenna Yee drove one in from just inside the circle and then Newton cleaned up in front to give her team a 3-1 advantage.
Brattleboro had a couple of chances down the stretch. Savage carried the ball down the field and set up Kebrina Howard, and Giroux later sent in a feed on a corner which was broken up by Yee.
"I thought we played well the whole entire game. Our goal was to play together as a team and we did that. I'm really proud of them," noted Valliere, who felt like Daija Germain and Jenna Martin were standouts.
The 1-3 Colonels will host Bellows Falls tonight at 6.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.