BRATTLEBORO >> The defending Division 3 champion Bellows Falls varsity field hockey team will open up at Brattleboro on Friday at 4 p.m.
The Terriers blanked the Colonels, 3-0, last October in Westminster. Abbe Cravinho, Madison Streeter and Sophia Hyslop did the scoring in that contest and all three have returned for Bellows Falls.
"They're a very good team and we're still in the learning process," said Brattleboro co-coach Sherryl Libardoni, who had watched goalies Olivia Weeks and Natayla Forkin combine for seven saves against BF.
The Colonels would finish the 2015 season with a 3-10-2 record, including a 4-0 loss to Hartford in a Division 1 playdown game. The Terriers went 13-2-2 and claimed their first state crown since 1991.
"As a team, we are working on our conditioning and ball handling. We have had several scrimmages and done well. The girls are very motivated and want to continue to build on last year's success. We have a great group of incoming freshmen to keep the upper classmen on their toes," stated BF coach Bethany Coursen.
The Terriers have 14 returning players, having lost Marble Valley League All Star Emily Stoddard, Averie Lowe and Sophia Cardini to graduation.
On Friday, the Colonels will be trying to tally against a team that outscored its opposition 30-5 and had 14 shutouts last season. The Terriers have their top three offensive players back, including Leia Robinson (7 goals in 2015), Molly Kelly (7 goals) and Cravinho (6 goals).
Brattleboro will be counting on veterans Kharisma Boyd and Kylie Shatrou, who scored and assisted respectively during a 2-0 victory over Fair Haven last season. Kalin Noble is also a returning playmaker, having set up the game-winner in a 2-1 decision over the Slaters in 2015.
Bellows Falls roster
Coach — Bethany Coursen. Seniors — Leia Robinson, Aly Bashaw, Murphy Hicks, Fallon Vancor, Dakoda Carter. Juniors — Dani Marchica, Reghan Baldasaro, Paxton Santorelli, Faith Byfield. Sophomores — Emma Lober, Abbe Cravinho, Sophia Hyslop, Brigid Hodsden, Molly Kelly, Madison Streeter, Michelle Marchica, Alice Salter-Roy.
Coaches — Sherryl Libardoni, Kelly Markol. Seniors — Maddie Fortier, Olivia Weeks. Juniors — Hannah Blake, Kharisma Boyd, Molly Durling, Kayla Leonard-Houle, Ky'Leigh Peterson, Meera Seary, Kylie Shatrou. Sophomores — Emily Crespo, Natayla Forkin, Gracie Frost, Mya McAuliffe, Kalin Noble, Olivia Reil, Katie Taggard. Freshmen — Madel Brady, Edie Cay, Sarah Gordon-Morey, Camden Haskins, Avalon Johnson, Zenia Muhammed, Liiy Quintero, Alana Ward.