The best I've ever seen
BRATTLEBORO — While talking to captains Madison Streeter and Abbe Cravinho after the Division 1 state championship game at UVM on Saturday, I considered asking if they wanted to put their 57-game winning streak on the line against a team of area sportswriters and photographers.
Keep in mind, I hadn't yet let Kristie Lisai know she would be our captain or talked Doug MacPhee into wearing a kilt.
But I thought back to my first taste of field hockey as a freshman — practicing with my sister in the backyard and later embarrassing myself in her parents versus kids game at Brattleboro Union High School — and decided not to challenge the duo.
And then I wondered during my long drive to the victory parade in Westminster, was there any team from my past that could possibly beat these Terriers?
I was 14 when I cheered on a BUHS squad that made it all the way to the title tilt. Sheri Covey, my cousin Heather St. Germain, Kelly Millerick, Kari Greenbaum and Jen Lane are some of the players I remember from that team.
Interestingly, those 1989 Colonels also beat South Burlington in the playoffs.
About 10 years later, I was covering sports for a newspaper in Massachusetts. Greenfield had a dangerous player at the time named Kelly Doton, who went on to star at Wake Forest and for the United States Olympic team. She is now the head coach at Boston College.
"Dote" is who I think of every time I see Cravinho in action. The hard shot, speed in the open field, control, quick movements, ball hawking, aggressive play, and that heart.
And then there's that pretty, behind-the-back pass that No. 1 started making during penalty corners this season.
South Burlington found out on Saturday, however, that Bellows Falls is no one-woman show. The Wolves double-teamed the senior forward who entered with 32 goals, but still had to deal with smooth wing Maya Waryas, the attacking Molly Kelly, and Streeter's blasts from just inside the circle that seemed to travel as fast as Chris Sale's heaters.
I never even told MacPhee that I had him penciled in as the goalie on my All Media team.
We would only be asking him to stop about 50 shots or to mirror the play of Emma Lober, who recorded a shutout at UVM. Then again, BF defenders Halle Dickerson, Taylor Goodell and Madi Joy are also gifted.
When I referred to Bellows Falls as the most successful field hockey team in Vermont history in Monday's article, I got an email asking if I'd ever heard of coach Bev Osterberg and her great Stowe program.
Stowe's best four-year period was from 2004-2007, with four state titles and a 62-4-2 record. These Bellows Falls seniors went 54-2-2 and also captured four crowns.
The Terriers' 57-game unbeaten streak is the longest ever in the Green Mountain State.
And they are the best field hockey team I've ever seen.
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