WESTMINSTER — Despite graduating four All-Stars from last year’s squad, the Bellows Falls Stickers still have to be favored to win a state championship.
It’s what they do.
The field hockey program that’s earned an impressive five crowns over the past seven seasons, will begin its quest for another title when hosting rival Springfield on Friday at 4 p.m.
“Our forward line is fast and they have all played together for a while,” said legendary coach Bethany Coursen, referring to Ava LaRoss, Emma Bazin, Ashlin Maxfield and Sadie Scott.
In Coursen’s 4-2-2-2-1 setup, seniors Jules McDermid and Ella Clark are the new first-line links.
“Jules has a shot that will go through anything in its path. She is always in the right spot to defend her end and get the ball back in the offensive zone,” said the BF coach, who noted that Scott is cat quick and that Bazin is very aggressive inside the circle.
Returnees Emma Hillock, Nola Sciacca and Eryn Ross will be counted on to keep the ball away from goalies Mary Wallace and Livie Clough.
“Last season, you know, it ended unfortunately in the state championship without a win. You know, the girls worked hard and I don’t see this group changing that work ethic at all,” said Coursen. “They’re going to continue to work hard, and hopefully we’ll get back to the finals.”
Bellows Falls seems capable of putting together another long winning streak, like the recent one of 27 in a row and the amazing 57 straight prior to that.
Either way, college coaches around the northeast will likely be paying attention.
Several young women who went through this powerhouse program are currently playing at the next level, including Maya Waryas (Saint Joseph’s of Maine), Grace Bazin (University of New England), Jaia Caron (Russell Sage), Madison Streeter (Rivier University) and Abbe Cravinho (Clark University).
BF’s roster: Coaches — Bethany Coursen, Mel LaRoss, Kim Wilkinson. Players — Jules McDermid, Ella Clark, Mary Wallace, Ashlin Maxfield, Emma Hillock, Ava LaRoss, Sadie Scott, Hannah Terry, Eryn Ross, Tela Harty, Reghan Ryea, Delaney Lockerby, Nola Sciacca, Izzy Stoodley, Hadley Gleim, Emma Bazin, Livie Clough.
Sept. 2: vs. Springfield, 4 p.m.
Sept. 7: at Windsor, 4 p.m.
Sept. 10: vs. Rutland, 10 a.m.
Sept. 13: at Brattleboro, 4:30 p.m.
Sept. 15: vs. Windsor, 4 p.m.
Sept. 22: at Springfield, 4 p.m.
Sept. 27: at Hartford, 4 p.m.
Sept. 30: at Rutland, 4 p.m.
Oct. 4: at Otter Valley, 4 p.m.
Oct. 7: vs. Burr and Burton, 4 p.m.
Oct. 11: vs. Hartford, 4 p.m.
Oct. 13: vs. Woodstock, 4 p.m.
Oct. 19: vs. Brattleboro, 4:30 p.m.
Oct. 22: at Burr and Burton, 11 a.m.