BRATTLEBORO -- Revenge can be sweet. Especially when your team is victorious over a rival that historically beats you.
"We usually don’t beat the Raiders, so it’s a big deal," said Maddie Rollins, after the Brattleboro girls lacrosse team defeated Rutland, 8-3, Wednesday night on Natowich Field.
Brattleboro dropped both regular season games against Rutland last year.
Rollins led the Colonels with three goals and teammate Hannah Lynde had two, propelling Brattleboro to its third win of the season.
"We came out strong, but Rutland never gave up," said Brattleboro defender Molly Goodhue. "Our team has been improving."
Goodhue, with textbook defensive slides, also had three knockdowns during the second half of the contest to keep the ball on the ground for the remainder of the night, so Brattleboro could maintain possession and use the clock to its advantage.
The only time it was apparent the Raiders had substantial possession in the decision was during the last part of each half.
"I think Rutland realized they needed to step it up more on defense," said Rollins. "That’s how they got the turnovers."
But turnovers didn’t seem to concern the Colonels too much, given the fact they were up 4-1 after the first half.
Rollins jogged into the Raiders’ side from midfield, darted in front of Rutland’s goalie, and tossed one into the bottom left corner, unassisted, 30 seconds into regulation.
When the momentum shifted, and Rutland had its first chance at goal, Brattleboro goalie Gaia Uman denied them with a brilliant save, two minutes into the first half.
Uman tended goal for the first half until Marissa "Sharky" Semenovich took over in the second.
"It is nice to have two goalies," said Colonel coach Maud Lonergan. "Our defense put a lot of pressure on the ball. It’s something we had to do to break up Rutland."
Semenovich came up with two big saves in the last part of the second half, including a block on Rutland sniper Logan Boyle.
Boyle scored her team’s first goal during the first half, after receiving it from Shannon Mee.
Brattleboro’s Katelyn Donovan hurried down the mid-right side to get a pass off to Lynde, who put away the team’s second goal, just a few minutes after Rollins sunk hers.
Rollins second goal came with 13 minutes left in the first, unassisted. Then she helped Lynde get her second goal and the team’s fourth, after the two emerged after passing it around behind the Rutland net, two minutes before the break.
At the start of the next half, Rollins got behind the Rutland goalie again, and it looked like she was setting up another play. Not finding an open teammate from the end line, Rollins decided to run away with it, and found a spot around the corner, just inside the net, for her third goal.
A key play in the matchup, according to Lonergan, was Brattleboro’s Megan Siggins’ goal in the second half, since it seemed like Rutland might have begun to turn the tables as the now desperate team started to intercept Brattleboro’s passes. Once she had control, Siggins buried the Colonels’ sixth goal from 25 feet out as the field lights buzzed at full strength.
"There was so much patience in our playing," said Lonergan. "We made good choices setting up our plays. It was a possession game. With a shot clock, keeping control dictates the pace of the game."
Brattleboro attackers Lizzie Clarke and Anna Gagnon-Burch had back-to-back goals, both unassisted, in the final minutes of the second half. The insurance goals came about six minutes apart. Gagnon-Burch picked up a loose ball, and had no intention of passing it, to score the Colonels’ final goal.
Missy Brown scored two Rutland goals, unassisted, towards the end of the second half. Her first goal came off a steal she made, and the last one came with only two seconds in the game remaining.
"I loved Rutland’s spirit tonight," noted Lonergan.
The 3-2 Colonels will play at Northampton on Monday.
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.