Terriers capture state title

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BURLINGTON >> No. 1 Bellows Falls scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the Division 3 high school field hockey state championship game on Saturday at UVM and never looked back as the team beat No. 2 Stowe, 2-0, to capture the program's first title since 1991.

"It's surreal," said Bellows Falls coach Bethany Coursen. "It's amazing. It's a great group of girls. It feels good to get the win."

Leia Robinson scored just over five minutes into the game for the Terriers (13-2-2), knocking in a shot off a pass from Molly Kelly. Kelly doubled the lead four minutes later, dribbling through three defenders and firing it past Stowe goaltender Carmen DiRienzo.

"We came out on fire," Coursen said. "We dominated the first half. We knew that if we were going to beat them and be successful, we had to come out strong and fight hard.

"They wanted it, they wanted this game."

It was also a measure of revenge for the Terriers, who lost to Stowe in 2013 in the D-3 finals and again in 2014 in the D-3 semifinals.

"It's Stowe, it feels like they have knocked us out forever," Coursen said. "The girls really wanted to do it."

Bellows Falls continued to control play for the rest of the opening frame but Stowe, winners of 16 state titles, did not go quietly. The Raiders pushed for a goal in the second half, earning seven penalty corners. Four of the set piece plays came in a one minute span but the Terriers, who allowed just five goals all season, held strong.

"Our defense, they were great. They have been awesome all season," Coursen said. "We were conditioned well, our offense did a good job coming back to help."

DiRienzo finished with 10 saves for the Raiders, who wrap up the season with a 13-4 record. Bridgid Hodsden made four stops to earn the shutout for the Terriers.

The win was just the second title for the Bellows Falls program, with the first coming over 24 years ago with a win over Woodstock in Division 2.

"It's been a long time," Coursen said. "The banners hang in the gym, so they see them every day. They knew when the last one was, so they knew and they wanted it."


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