More in Sports
Falcon stickers sweep the Rebels
BETHEL -- The ability to respond after dealing with dose of adversity was certainly on the minds of the Mountain Valley field hockey team, who passed the test in a game Wednesday afternoon.
Senior Whitney Ruff was in position and her thought process paid off with eventual winning goal as the Lady Falcons proved to be dominating en route to knocking off Telstar, 2-1. It was Mountain Valley’s first-ever season sweep of the Rebels, following a 1-0 win in the season opener at Hosmer Field.
The rematch was contrasting because the teams had experienced different results two days earlier. Telstar scored a goal with seven seconds remaining to beat Dirigo. The Falcons lost 1-0 at Spruce Mountain.
Mountain Valley (4-2-1) and Telstar (3-4-3) were tied 1-1 after the first half. However, the Falcons asserted pressure by controlling the ball early in the latter half. Sweeper Sidney Yahn cleared one ball the entire game.
“These girls know that every game is important,” said head coach Melissa Forbes. “We need every game(a Class B team, playing a Class C-laden schedule). There are times when the team might come out playing tight and it’s my job to help settle them down and remain focused.”
Finally, the opportunity materialized in the second half by another frontline rush towards the cage. This time, Nicole Burgess carried the ball in on the right, past two halfbacks. A centering pass went through to the far post and Telstar goalie Haili Barter made a kick save. A scramble ensued and Ruff had positioned herself in the middle of the crease. The forward lifted a shot, six-inches off the ground, past Barters right leg pad with 23:51 left to play.
“The loss to Spruce Mountain was tough,” said Ruff. “So I knew that I had to score the goal, in order to position the team better in the MVC and for the playoffs.”
MV midfielders Ayla Allen, Chelsea Bordeau and Lexi Fryover stepped right in and advanced loose balls directly into the offensive zone. This placed a great deal of pressure on Rebels HBs Autum and Mariah Morin and sweeper Hunter Verrill.
“It became very frustrating,” said Ruff. “We had dominated the play, but Telstar had packed everybody back on defense. It was like going through a wall of bodies.”
Telstar had reversed the action midway through the first half and advanced the ball into the circle, first and only time. Kallie Brown fired a shot that was promptly kicked away by Falcon goalie Emily Gallant (five saves), but the rebound went to Lyndsay Merrill, who blasted it home.
“The girls look very good at times,” said Telstar coach Gail Wight. “But it’s only in spurts. They have yet to sustain it throughout an entire half. They were hesitating on defense and not reacting to the ball until Mountain Valley players were going by them.”
The lead proved to be short lived (1:06) because the Falcons proceeded to take full advantage of the Rebels' glaring mental mistake. MV controlled the tap and found themselves right on the door step. Becca Maifeld took a shot that Bordeau tapped over to Payton Provencher near the left post and past Barter, who was unable to rotate over.