Lady Cats Continue to Gain Momentum with Late Match Magic

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Craftsbury’s Natalie Hill (No. 16) and Hazen Union’s Natalie Michaud (No. 8) head for the ball on Dustan Field during the OSSU Derby in Craftsbury October 12. At left is Sarah Collier (No. 7) of Hazen. The Lady Cats took the win 4-1.

by Ken Brown

HARDWICK – The Hazen Union girls’ soccer team earned a stunning comeback win over Rivendell Academy last week before outlasting Craftsbury Academy to capture the second annual OSSU Derby last week to improve to 4-7-1 on the season.

Caitlyn Davison provided late match heroics for the second straight week with an improbable equalizer and Isabelle Gouin wasted little time to bury the game-winner as the Lady Cats stunned Rivendell Academy with a 3-2 overtime thriller at home last Monday.

Harper Trendley put the Lady Raptors on top just 30 seconds into the match, but both defense would stiffen the rest of the half as the visitors took a 1-0 advantage into the break. Tessa Luther evened the match at 1-1, 13 minutes into the second half, but Trendley would strike again just five minutes later to make it 2-1 Rivendell.

With time running out, Davison saved the day once again for the Lady Cats, burying a free kick just outside the 18 yard line with 90 seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime. One minute into the extra period, Alexis Christensen sent a free kick into the penalty box that Gouin collected and calmly placed just inside the left post for the game winner. Ella Renaud made seven saves on the day for Hazen. Lauren Smith and Wayah Cook combined for five saves for Rivendell as they fell to 5-8 on the season.

“They scored 30 seconds in and almost went up 2-0 in the first five minutes, but Ella scraped a would-be goal off of the goal line after it hit the top of the goal post. We eventually woke up and scrapped our way back into the match, mitigating their quickness by keeping the ball in their half and off their striker’s feet. We fought and fought and fought in the second half after going down 2-1 and were finally rewarded with a free kick and some quick thinking from Caitlyn. The girls came out passionate and desperate for the win in overtime and after a narrow miss by Isabelle to start, she was rewarded with a great game winner after setting up the free kick by winning a great 50-50 ball and drawing the foul. It was a great fight and win and nice to hear the massive cheer at the end from the home supporters” said head coach Harry Besett.

Caitlyn Davison scored the game-winner and added an assist to lead Hazen Union to a 4-1 road win over Craftsbury Academy last Wednesday in the second annual OSSU Derby. Freshman Isabelle Gouin continued to emerge as a scoring threat, giving the Lady Cats a 1-0 advantage 11 minutes in. Anika Leahy evened the match for the Lady Chargers 11 minutes into the second half, before Davison buried a feed from Tessa Luther with 12 minutes left in regulation for the eventual game winner. Alexis Christensen gave the visitors a 3-1 lead eight minutes later and Maverick Murphy ended the scoring on the day with three minutes left in regulation. Ella Renaud made four saves in the win for Hazen, who have won three of their last four matches. They currently are ranked tenth in the division IV standings, with a pair of pivotal divisional match-ups this week that will determine playoff seeding.

The Lady Cats traveled to Richford on Tuesday and will wrap up the regular season on Friday with a match-up against Twinfield-Cabot at Hudson Fields.