By Gregory J. Lamoureux
MORRISVILLE: The fifth-seeded Lady Hornets stunned Peoples on Saturday with a 1-0 win, ending the season for the fourth-seeded Wolves with a 25-yard direct kick from Enosburg’s Sophie Burns.
That kick came with less than 10 minutes left in regulation and set up the upset for the Hornets.
It was the third shot that Burns had in the game to put her team on the board, and the third time was the charm, placing the ball in the top right corner of the net for the Hornets.
“It was evenly matched,” said coach Jason Hart said after the game, “It was as good of a 4/5 matchup as you could ask for.”
Both teams had their chances to get on top Saturday, but it came down to a hurry-up goal, leaving the Wolves unprepared.
“Sophie buried it,” Hart said, “Even if we didn’t score that goal, I’m tremendously proud of them.”
Bur the Hornets did indeed burry that goal, and went on to hold off Peoples for the remainder of the 80 minutes of play, advancing the Hornet’s to the semifinal matchup at Thetford today.
Hart said his team was firing on all cylinders Saturday when they defeated the favorite to advance to the final four, “They moved the ball extremely well, they were communicative, and they were tough.”
Hart said it took a team effort to make the win happen, “Our midfield was super strong. Megan Gervais did a phenomenal job of moving the ball through the field, as did Sophie- and our front runners worked hard to keep the pressure on their [defensive] backs all day long, and our defense was as stout as ever.”
“Hannah Burns and Emily Adams are just so strong and consistent for us in the back, protecting our goal,” Hart said calling out a few key players on Saturday’s matchup, “Zoe was big when she needed to be. But in the end of the day, Sophie Burns has got to step up to the ball when a couple of hundred people are screaming at her and put it in the top corner of the net.”
Hart said Sophie Burns’ ability to set aside the emotions of the game and get the job done was key, “The nerves on that kid are amazing, that’s a difference maker.”
Sophie Burns would not take all the credit for Saturday’s win through, giving much of the credit to her goaltender Zoe McGee.
“She has improved so much over the past few games,” Burns said of McGee’s skills, “She has saved so many goals that are phenomenal over the past few games.”
The Hornets continue their playoff run today with a trip to top-seeded Thetford today, hoping to extend their season a few more days. Gametime is set for 3:00 pm.
The Hornets have tallied ten wins in about the last six weeks, only giving up one loss in that time period. That loss was to BFA Fairfax, who fell to the Thetford Panthers on Friday 5-0.
The winner of today’s matchup will advance to the Division 3 Championship, played at Hartford High School on Saturday morning. Game time is set for 10 am.