MANCHESTER — On Halloween, Grace Bazin was a combination of Wonder Woman and Supergirl.
The junior used her awesome strength twice in the third quarter to drive the ball into the goal, helping the top-seeded Bellows Falls varsity field hockey team to a 2-0 victory over No. 3 Champlain Valley Union in the Division 1 state championship game on Taylor Field.
“We came together as a family this season,” said the hero. “We’ve been practicing hard and we all really wanted it.”
With the teams deadlocked at 0-0, Bellows Falls found something that worked late in the third quarter. Sadie Scott sent a corner feed to the top of the circle, Maya Waryas received the ball and dribbled to her left before passing in front to Bazin, who slammed it home.
Three minutes later, it was a near instant replay — with Scott, Jules McDermid and Bazin teaming up for a second penalty corner conversion to make it 2-0.
Bellows Falls goalie Jaia Caron would make five big saves in the last 15 minutes to preserve the shutout.
“Jaia was on fire. She was amazing,” said winning coach Bethany Coursen, noting that her netminder was playing with a broken fingertip. “It’s huge that she communicates with her teammates during the entire game.”
The Redhawks had an 8-2 advantage in corners in the opening half. They managed just one quality chance, however, with Hailey Chase’s blast from the left wing being stopped by Caron.
“At halftime, we figured out what we were doing wrong and what we needed to do better,” Bazin explained.
Bellows Falls began stringing together passes. On one play, Ella Clark kept the ball in the CVU zone and found Bazin, who made a beautiful cross to Waryas.
The fans in purple also got to see some impressive runs from Waryas, Bazin and Scott. And those three were in on the game-winning tally.
“I was in the right place at the right time,” Bazin pointed out.
Ashlin Maxfield, Ava LaRoss, Grace Wilkinson, Kayleigh Illingworth, McDermid, Clark, Scott, Bazin and Waryas all made a big time steal on the day for the Terriers.
“Grace Bazin and Grace Wilkinson controlled the middle for us,” Coursen stated.
The win capped a perfect season for the Terriers, who had defeated Burlington and South Burlington in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
“Going 11-0 is just the icing on the cake,” mentioned Coursen. “To get here and win it is just amazing. It feels amazing to be that little school that wins it. We showed that we can hang with the big boys.”
It was the sixth straight finals appearance for the program. The Terriers won it all from 2015-18, including three undefeated seasons and a remarkable 58-game winning streak.
Bellows Falls roster: Coaches — Bethany Coursen, Mel LaRoss, Kim Wilkinson. Players — Anna McGrath, Maya Waryas, Grace Wilkinson, Grace Bazin, Madi Haskell, Kayleigh Illingworth, Ashlyn Boucher, Arian Wunderle, Jaia Caron, Jules McDermid, Ashlin Maxfield, Ella Clark, Mary Wallace, Emma Hillock, Sadie Scott, Ava LaRoss, Eryn Ross, Delaney Lockerby.