BRATTLEBORO >> Emily Altland didn't seem to be affected by rust, the thick fog, nor the double teams on Tuesday evening at Tenney Field.
Having recently returned from an injury, the senior co-captain fired eight shots and finished with a hat trick as the MAU varsity girls soccer team topped rival Brattleboro, 3-1.
"She is a good player. She really made a difference in the game," said Colonels coach Edwin de Bruijn of Altland.
Brattleboro goalie Megyn Ayotte made eight straight saves to begin the game. She robbed Maddisyn Kinney, who had been set up in close by Brenna Harris. And then she somehow recovered to deny Harris following a beautiful cross.
For the hosts, Gabby Carpenter missed wide with a header, a shot from long range by Evy Williams was caught, Venus Fu made a dangerous run and Hailey Derosia pressured from the right wing, before a direct kick by Samantha Cragin bounced over the head of MAU keeper Erika McCarthy to give the purple and white a 1-0 lead with 8:41 to go in the first half.
And then it was all about Altland.
The senior blasted one into the upper left corner to deadlock the contest at 1-1 just 12 seconds before the break. She tucked a low, hard penalty kick just inside the post with 24:35 remaining. And she drilled a shot through Ayotte's hands at the 5:09 mark.
"Even good goalies can make mistakes," stated de Bruijn. "Megyn was very upset about that third goal. She takes the game very seriously."
Ayotte finished with 15 saves. Cragin intercepted a cross by Altland and Carpenter made a couple of timely clears to lead the Brattleboro defense.
The Colonels had a few chances down the stretch. Axis Balsley showed off her speed on a 2-on-2 breakaway, while Jenna Murrow and Olivia Romo were each stoned by McCarthy.
Brattleboro (3-8-1) will finish the regular season with a home game against Rutland on Saturday at 5 p.m.