by Ken Brown
ENOSBURG – The Hazen Union girls’ soccer team rebounded from a last-minute collapse against Enosburg earlier in the week with an impressive divisional win against Richford, improving to 3-2-1 on the season.
Kailie Morrill willed her Enosburg team to an improbable 3-2 win at home last Tuesday, scoring a pair of late match goals and getting the assist on an own goal in overtime to send the Lady Cats home in disbelief.
The Lady Hornets outshot Hazen 10-5 in the first half, but the two teams would enter halftime knotted at 0-0.
Isabelle Gouin struck first for the Lady Cats, burying it in the back of the net 10 minutes into the second half for a 1-0 Hazen lead.
Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) Sadie Skorstad made it 2-0 Hazen 15 minutes later for the senior’s first goal in a Lady Cat uniform.
Enosburg ratcheted up the pressure down the stretch, moving Morrill up to an attacker position and the defensive specialist didn’t disappoint, finding the back of the net from 18 yards out with less than two minutes left in regulation. Morrill let it fly from the same spot just 60 seconds later, beating the Lady Cat defense to send the match into overtime. Morrill completed the unbelievable comeback with less than three minutes remaining in the extra period, delivering a dangerous cross in soggy conditions that caromed off Hazen defenders for a 3-2 win.
Mariah Lamothe made 11 stops for Enosburg as they improved to 2-3 to move up the Division II standings.
“It was an ugly rainy afternoon, but we fought hard and felt we were the better of the two sides in a scoreless first half. After Isabelle and Sadie gave us the lead in the second half, we probably started thinking about beating our second out-of-division opponent in a row with time ticking down in the match. Some defensive mistakes in the last two minutes of regulation let them back into the match and similar mistakes and lack of focus in overtime led to their game-winner,” said head coach Harry Besett.
The Lady Cats bounced back in a big way on Friday, turning away a stout Richford squad at home 2-0.
Gouin buried a feed from freshman Mya Lumsden for her fifth goal of the season to give Hazen a 1-0 advantage midway through the first half.
Freshman captain Taylor Thompson made it 2-0 for the home team five minutes later on a beautiful curling shot from 22 yards out.
The Lady Cat defense redeemed itself the rest of the way and freshman Kelsie Rivard made six stops to earn her first career varsity shutout.
Hazen Union outshot the Lady Rockets 16-7, with Vanessa Tessier making seven saves in the loss. Richford fell to 2-2-1 on the season, suffering its first loss within the division. The win vaulted the Lady Cats up to fifth in the Division IV standings.
“We rebounded from our collapse against Enosburg with a lot of passion against a Richford team that came in with a thin bench. The girls did a good job of stringing short passes together to dominate possession and wear them down throughout the match. Mya had a nice throw in to set up Isabelle on our first score and Tessa Luther did a nice job of laying it back to Taylor on a perfect shot in the top right corner. Our only two losses of the season have come out of division in overtime and we are trending in the right direction at 3-2-1. We had a great time hosting elementary students at a soccer clinic over the weekend and enjoyed a well-deserved two-day rest in recognition of Yom Kippur,” said Besett.
The Lady Cats will look to improve their divisional seeding this week as they travel to Danville on Wednesday, before hosting Blue Mountain on Saturday for Home Coming Weekend.