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Paige Samuelson carries the ball upfield during a game last season.

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MANCHESTER — On what was just about a perfect night to be outside at Judy McCormick Taylor Field, the Burr and Burton Bulldogs were nearly perfect, as well. The BBA girls raced out to an early lead and never looked back, overwhelming Brattleboro for a 20-4 victory at home.

Junior Paige Samuelson led the attack for the Bulldogs, scoring on all five of her shots taken and assisting on two other goals.

Her fellow attacker, Sadie Stefanak, and midfielder Tatum Sands weren’t far behind with four goals of their own as BBA unleashed an even scoring attack on its opponent.

BBA struck early and often, building a 5-0 lead within the first seven minutes of play. Brattleboro was finally able to respond when senior midfielder Jenna Powers made her way through the Bulldog defense for a close-range shot to get her team on the board.

Possession of the ball was fairly even throughout about the first ten minutes of the game, but the Bulldogs consistently kept the ball in front of them. Brattleboro found some offensive rhythm in the early going, but was unable to cash in on its opportunities like BBA did. Much of that was thanks to sophomore goalie Iris Nofzinger.

Nofzinger made several tough stops when the Colonels found space near the net, which was rare. She shut down any chance they had to get some momentum. She recorded six saves before giving way to her backup, Maizie Rukat, with the game well in hand about five minutes into the second half.

After that initial surge from the Colonels, the Bulldogs only looked to be further locked in and began to control the flow of the game with superior conditioning and an active ball-control offense that had Brattleboro legs looking heavy.

“There’s a lot of cutting into the eights to look for those better shots,” coach Ken Stefanak said of his offensive strategy. “There’s a lot of sets that give the girls options to run off of.”

Brattleboro had few answers for a very composed BBA unit that found attackers cutting toward the net with crisp passing all day. Bratleboro was able to keep BBA off the board for about seven minutes in the first half, the longest such stretch of the game. Even while the ball wasn’t finding the net at this point, the Bulldogs maintained complete control of the game.

BBA netted three more just before the half, including two by Samuelson, bringing the lead to 12-2. With under thirty seconds in the half, the BBA girls had one of their few defensive lapses.

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Powers made another nice play for the Colonels, intercepting a pass at midfield and caught the Bulldogs in transition. The BBA defense wasn’t back in time and Powers found Julianna Miskovich, who fired the ball in with just seven seconds remaining to get the lead back to single digits.

The Colonels wouldn’t score again until there was 3:15 remaining in the game.

It was more of the same in the second half as BBA continued to expand their lead. Midfielder Anabelle Gray seemed to be around the ball all day, and skillfully directed traffic for the offense.

Gray only had one goal as part of the Bulldogs’ offensive explosion, but it might have been the prettiest one of the day, juking and spinning between two converging defenders on her way to a high-percentage shot right in front of the net.

“Annabelle had a really good day. She plays really hard D. She can push the ball up the field well,” Stefanak said. “Her and Tatum, up top, they really initiate a lot of our offense.”

There was also a milestone late in the game as Stefanak was able to empty the bench with the big lead. Freshman Piper Morgan scored her first varsity goal with just over ten minutes remaining in the game. Stefanak asked for the game ball for her to keep.

Morgan, who splits time between JV and varsity for the time being, decided she liked it so much, she went back for seconds not even two minutes later.

“You can’t have that one!” Stefanak shouted to her, drawing a laugh from the bench.

It was good feelings all around for BBA, who improved to 6-1 on the year. They’ll travel for a showdown with 5-3 Saratoga Springs at noon on Saturday. Brattleboro falls to 0-7.

Michael Mawson can be reached on Twitter @Mawson_Sports or via email at