by Ken Brown
HARDWICK – After playing to a draw earlier in the season, the Hazen Union girls’ soccer team played well on both sides of the ball to best Winooski at home, before falling to Division II power Missisquoi Valley to end their week.
Junior Caitlyn Davison scored a goal and added an assist to power the Lady Cats to a 3-0 home win over Winooski last Tuesday. Maverick Murphy fed Davison with a beautiful through ball with six minutes left in the first half to give the home team the advantage heading into the break. Alexis Christensen buried a feed from Davison five minutes into the second half to make it 2-0. Issabelle Gouin ended the scoring on the day with an assist from eighth grader Taylor Thompson. Ella Renaud made three stops on the day and the Hazen Union defense stiffened for their second shutout of the season. Ashlyn Parris made 17 saves for Winooski in the loss.
“We had a disappointing September and it was a hard fought battle with two teams trying to start off October with a positive result. We did a nice job of dominating play when the ball was on the ground, but they had a lot of success winning the 50-50 balls out of the air. The girls were resilient and positive and Caitlyn showed great composure and cool touch on her through ball from Maverick. Alexis and Isabelle both hit the post and crossbar multiple times before finding the back of the net in the second half to seal it. The girls had much to smile about with the win, celebrated with the fans who came out to support them, and then they all sprinted to the Hazen Bell to give it a loud ring to let the town know about their hard earned win,” said head coach Harry Besett.
Ava Hubbard kept Missisquoi Valley near the top of the Division II standings with a goal and an assist as they blanked Hazen at home on Friday 3-0. Hubbard gave the home team a 1-0 advantage midway through the first half, but the Lady Cat defense stiffened the rest of the way before Destinee Pigeon buried a feed from Alaigh Wilson five minutes into the second to make it 2-0. Abby Raleigh ended the scoring on the day with a pass from Hubbard as the Lady Thunderbirds improved to 8-2 on the season. Ella Renaud was solid again for Hazen, making 16 stops in the loss. Shannell Unwin made two saves for Missisquoi Valley’s defense, recording their seventh shutout of the season.
“Both teams played a sloppy match in sloppy conditions, but the girls did a good job of pushing back in the first half to keep it at 1-0. Both teams shifted tactics after the break and they overloaded the far post, creating new mismatches that they capitalized on. We created some good scoring opportunities, but couldn’t find the back of the net. Ella did an outstanding job in goal, making five or six crucial saves. We’ll look to start a run of wins in our next match and finish strong as we prepare for the playoffs,” said Besett.
The Lady Cats hosted Rivendell Academy on Monday and will travel to Craftsbury Academy on Wednesday.