BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – In many ways, their field hockey history is nothing alike. But, in some ways, they are very much the same. Bellows Falls and Spaulding meet for the Division II 2017 Field Hockey crown Saturday at high noon at the University of Vermont Field.
Spaulding has most of their history in the sport in Division I. The Terriers have split their time between Division II and Division III. BF has won back-to-back Division III titles and has been to three finals in the last four years. The Crimson Tide had won one field hockey play-off game before this year, since dropping down to Division II back in 2009. This looks like a Purple advantage.
However… most coaches will tell you, history has nothing to do with what these teams have done in the 2017 season. These are different players wearing the same color uniforms. Neither team has recently been in a Division II title game, so in that sense, history goes out the window.
The Falls had more of a challenge than anyone expected in their 3-0 semi-final win over Burr and Burton.
“We played well enough,” two time defending champion Coach Bethany Yates said, and it should be pointed out the two teams had played three times this season, any coaches curse. The Terriers had won convincingly 8-1 and 5-1 the first two times, so to only be a goal closer, the next team is no cause for panic.
Coursen says, “Each game is different. “They are quick and they cut to the ball very well. Having played us three times, they knew whom to mark and had experience doing it. They are also more use to the surface then we are,” referring to the fact, the Bulldogs play half their games on turf, while BF toils on grass.
The Purple and White scored two goals in the first half as both Molly Kelly and Dani Marchica scored. Abbe Cravinho tallied the second half goal.
Cravinho had an outstanding game in BF’s 6-0 triumph over Middlebury in the quarterfinal game at Bellows Falls last Friday. In a game, which the Terriers outshot the Tigers 18-0, Cravinho had a goal of her own and four assists. Reaghan Baldasaro and Marchica had two goals each, and Kelly also had a goal. Baldasaro’s goal was the teams’ 100th of the season.