WESTMINSTER -- On a day that was supposed to be all about Christopher Columbus, the Burr and Burton field hockey players made a discovery of their own.
The Terriers are really good.
Bellows Falls dominated from start to finish on Monday at "the Dog House" and got goals from four different people in a 4-0 decision over the visiting Bulldogs.
"The girls worked hard. They kept the pressure on them," said Terriers coach Bethany Coursen, whose team is now a perfect 8-0 and has recorded an impressive seven shutouts.
The hosts had a ton of penalty corners in the first half, but had trouble turning them into shots on goal. If anything, they wore down Burr and Burton’s Grace Provost, Sydney Jeffrey, Kya Davis and Natalie Gaotti, as the foursome had to do 10-yard sprints from the cage out toward the arc each time.
"We can’t score on corners all of a sudden," noted the Bellows Falls coach, who called out set plays such as "Lone Ranger" and "Purple" before each attempt.
Cassidy Santorelli pestered the visitors for the first 30 minutes, with attacks along the right side and also pretty crossing passes. Mariah Barnett fired four shots in the opening half and she was robbed by Burr and Burton goalie Cassie Bowen on the first of those.
The Terriers got on the board 15 minutes in, when Santorelli’s corner feed went to Barnett, who centered the ball and then Anna Clark tapped it home on the weak side.
Burr and Burton’s defense somehow kept the game close, thanks to takeaways by Erin Cournyer and three nice stops by Bowen. But Santorelli would put away a rebound chance at the 6:06 mark and Averie Lowe later cleaned up in front to give Bellows Falls a 3-0 halftime advantage.
The short break was enough for Kya Coursen to catch her second wind and the Bellows Falls midfielder was all over the field in the second half. She hounded Lisa Klacides along the far side to keep her from clearing, made a long run up the middle, and seemingly got to every loose ball.
Barnett wowed the crowd by somehow settling a high pass with a Ninja-like move and also threatened a couple of times along the left side, but seemed frustrated when four second-half shots sailed just wide of the target.
"Kya and Mariah keep pushing forward. It’s huge for us what they both do for our team. Kya controls the middle. Mariah doesn’t always do the things that get her in the newspaper, but she doesn’t know how important her stick is to us," stated the Bellows Falls coach.
Santorelli and Lauren Rowell each unloaded, but Bowen was able to deny them. Molly Dufault capped the scoring with 15:14 remaining, assisted by Clark.
The Terriers swapped goalies at the intermission, but Quinn Lawrence and Shea Wilkinson were never tested. Emily Stoddard and McKenzie Branden each kept the ball out of the danger zone in the first half, while Emily Dufault made a crucial clear down the stretch when the Bulldogs finally went on the offensive.
Bellows Falls (8-0) will host Springfield today at 4 p.m.
Box score: 1st half goals -- Anna Clark, BF, 15:17; Cassidy Santorelli, BF, 6:06; Averie Lowe, BF, 4:23. 2nd half goal -- Molly Dufault, BF, 15:14. Assists -- Mariah Barnett, Anna Clark.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.