BRATTLEBORO >> If coach Bethany Coursen ever reaches into the fridge and pulls out one of those "Share a Coke with a Superstar" cans, she probably won't know exactly who to invite over.
After all, her Bellows Falls varsity field hockey team is loaded with talented players and that special group was able to win the program's first state championship since 1991.
"We are all still in shock. The parade that the town gave us was amazing — nine plus fire trucks and police cars from Westminster, BF and Saxtons River escorting our bus through town with tons of fans out on the streets," said Coursen, whose team captured the trophy on Halloween. "It was an amazing experience for these girls and us as coaches. The outpouring of support has been incredible."
The Terriers went 12-2-2 during the regular season, despite playing a schedule full of Division 1 and 2 teams. They won the Marble Valley League title and also earned the top seed in the Division 3 Tournament.
"These girls worked very hard all season, played a hard schedule and never let down. They learned from each game. They pushed each other harder in each practice. They found a hunger that can't be taught," stated BF's head coach.
Bellows Falls used goals from Abbe Cravinho, Hannah Kelly and Leia Robinson to beat Montpelier 3-0 in the first round of the playoffs. Molly Kelly tallied twice to power the Terriers past Missisquoi Valley 4-0 in the semis. And in the 2-0 decision over rival Stowe in Saturday's title tilt at UVM, goalie Brigid Hodsden made four saves to earn the shutout.
"They pushed each other and were willing to try new things to improve. Just a great season," noted Coursen.
The Terriers scored 21 goals during the regular season and nine more in the playoffs. Robinson and Molly Kelly led the way with seven tallies each while Cravinho finished with six burials and Dani Marchica chipped in with four. Forwards Reaghan Baldasaro and Hannah Kelly also applied pressure this fall, with the former often seen making pretty crosses and the latter known for her blistering shots.
The Bellows Falls defense was equally impressive. The back line of Emily Stoddard, Murphy Hicks and Paxton Santorelli only gave up 28 shots all season long. Goalies Emma Lober and Hodsden allowed just five goals and combined for an unheard of 14 shutouts.
And the Terriers should be favored to defend their title next season, with 16 out of 19 players — or superstars — being eligible to return in 2016.
Members of the state champion Bellows Falls field hockey team are Abbe Cravinho, Reaghan Baldasaro, Leia Robinson, Dani Marchica, Molly Kelly, Sophia Hyslop, Ellie Guyon, Hannah Kelly, Madison Streeter, Fallon Vancor, Averie Lowe, Aly Bashaw, Paxton Santorelli, Murphy Hicks, Emily Stoddard, Faith Byfield, Sophia Cardini, Brigid Hodsden, Emma Lober, and coach Bethany Coursen.
Bellows Falls game results
6-0 over Springfield
0-0 tie with BBA
1-0 over Otter Valley
2-0 over Rutland
2-0 over MAU
1-0 over Brattleboro
1-0 over Woodstock
2-2 tie with Rutland
0-1 loss to Hartford
1-2 loss to Otter Valley
2-0 over Brattleboro
1-0 over Woodstock
1-0 over MAU
1-0 over Hartford
3-0 over Montpelier
4-0 over Missisquoi
2-0 over Stowe