Lady Cats Drop Two Against Stiff Competition

by Ken Brown

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union junior Tessa Luther (No. 2) shifts to pass the ball as BFA player Leigh Brown (No. 22) follows the play. BFA Fairfax won the September 9 contest 8-2.

HARDWICK – The Hazen Union girls’ soccer team fell to a couple of division powerhouses in Blue Mountain and BFA-Fairfax last week, dropping their record to 1-2 on the season.

Jordan Alley scored twice and assisted on three other scores to lead Blue Mountain to a 6-1 road win over the Lady Cats last Tuesday. After a defensive stalemate in the first half, Lilly Roy put the Lady Bucks on the board 11 minutes after the break. Freshman Ella Renaud evened the match for Hazen two minutes later with her first career varsity goal. Blue Mountain would wear down Hazen’s lack of depth the last 25 minutes with scores from Kennedy Perrigo, Kyra Nelson, Alley, and Perrigo again to pull away. Madeline Kaiser and Renaud combined for 10 saves in the loss. Felicity Sulham made 13 stops for Blue Mountain who looks poised to build upon their 2021 Division IV quarterfinal run with a team that was made up of mostly freshmen.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union Lady Cat Natalie Michaud (left, No. 18) runs through the ball to gain possession against BFA’s Marianna Merritt (right) during play on Hudson Field in Hardwick September 9. BFA prevailed 8-2.

Ava ArdoVino exploded for four goals and an assist at Hudson Fields on Friday to power BFA-Fairfax to an 8-2 win. The Lady Bullets jumped out to a 5-1 lead at the break behind a balanced attack. Freshman Isabelle Gouin used her speed to beat BFA’s defense and finished off a breakaway to put the Lady Cats on the board before the break. Paige Cargill, Taylor Duquette, Emma Spiller, and Raegan Decker supported ArdoVino’s stellar day to round out the scoring for BFA’s potent offense. Tessa Luther found the back of the net for Hazen in what was her first goal of the season. Ella Renaud made 17 stops in the loss and Mikaela Tobey made 17 saves for the Lady Bullets, who improved to 2-0 on the season. BFA-Fairfax has outscored Hazen and Vergennes 12-3 this season and look primed to improve on their 2021 division III Final Four appearance. Head coach Harry Besett struggled through a rebuilding year with a young Lady Cat team last fall that labored to generate consistent scoring chances. Despite the outcome of their matches this week, there is real evidence of his developing team taking a step forward. Blue Mountain and BFA-Fairfax will be contenders in their respective divisions this season, yet Hazen Union combined for over 30 shots on goal in the two matches.

The Lady Cats traveled to Peoples Academy on Monday and will welcome division rival Danville to town on Saturday afternoon.