MANCHESTER — The neon team defeated the white team 5-3 in the inaugural North-South field hockey game on Sunday at Burr and Burton Academy. There were 34 total players, from 11 different schools in Vermont, participating.
“I have always wanted to do a North-South game. There is such a divide between the top of the state and the bottom that I thought that if we got girls together, they would get to know each other and maybe make our state a little closer while growing the game of field hockey in Vermont,” said Bellows Falls varsity coach Bethany Coursen who put the event together along with Saint Johnsbury coach Tara Bailey.
Hartford’s Caroline Hamilton, Windsor’s Peyton Richardson, Windsor’s Karen Kapuscinski, and Bellows Falls’ Maya Waryas — they all had a goal in a state championship game this fall — were among the participants. Waryas, who finished with 17 tallies during her senior season, scored on a penalty corner for the white team during the North-South contest.
Madi Donaldson, the goalie for Division 2 champion Mount Abe, also took the field.
Both Jaia (Caron) and the Brattleboro goalie (Brittney Wright) had quite a few really great saves, as did the Mount Abe and BBA goalies,” noted Coursen.
With the majority of the players representing a school in the south, they were randomly broken up into two teams of 17. Kim Wilkinson, who had guided the Bellows Falls junior varsity team to an undefeated season, coached the white team, and Coursen was in charge of the neon team — with players wearing white shirts and neon yellow pinnies, respectively.
“It was a great game. The players all chatted and got to know each other while warming up or waiting to go in the game,” Coursen commented. “It was a great day. Lots of fans, lots of smiling faces, so fun to see everyone out there one last time.
Grace Wilkinson, Grace Bazin, Madi Haskell, Kayleigh Illingworth, Waryas and Caron represented the Terriers, who had a perfect regular season and eventually reached the Division 1 championship game. Brattleboro’s Logan Austin, Taylin Bauer, Nicole Potter and Wright also played on Sunday.
“I hope that we continue with this game and add an underclassmen game as well,” said Coursen. “The more opportunities we give our players, the better the sport will be in Vermont.”
North-South participants: BRATTLEBORO — Logan Austin, Taylin Bauer, Brittney Wright, Nicole Potter. BELLOWS FALLS — Maya Waryas, Grace Wilkinson, Grace Bazin, Jaia Caron, Madi Haskell, Kayleigh Illingworth, coach Bethany Coursen, coach Kim Wilkinson. Saint Johnsbury — Madigan Maurer. Windsor — Karen Kapuscinski, Peyton Richardson, Reese Perry. Woodstock — Megan Tarleton, Sophie Yates. Burr and Burton — Annabelle Gray, Tatum Sands, Perrin Marion, Maggie Crabtree, Mac Thuermer, Serena Harris, Lili Zens, Charlotte Swenor, Jenna Parker. Fair Haven — Tegan Hoard, Marissa Holcomb. Rutland — Alyssa Kennedy. Hartford — Gracie Gardner, Caroline Hamilton. Middlebury — Patience Hanley, Kenene Otis, Viva Hammond. Mount Abe — Madi Donaldson. Officials — Carol Lolatte, Patti Canden.