By Jay Cummings
For the County Courier

WINDSOR: When you’re ranked number four, and face the top-seeded, undefeated, 2019 State Champions, on their home field, in a semi-final match, you’d better bring the best game you’ve ever played.

Windsor has a very strong squad including 9 seniors and a deep bench. Those seniors lead the Yellowjackets to an undefeated season, despite playing 84% of their games against D2 or D1 teams. Equally as impressive, they scored 31 goals in the COVID-shorted regular season, averaging over 5 goals per game. This, all while giving up only 3 goals the entire season.

From the opening whistle Wednesday, The Thunderbirds were caught on their heels as the Windsor Yellowjackets rushed in for 3 quick goals, not only in the first quarter, but in the first 9 minutes of the match.

Sophomore Goalie Kali Faverau-Ward spent the remainder of the first quarter, second quarter, and third quarter slowing the Yellowjacket barrage to just one goal in each of the second and third quarters.

MVU Sophomore Bella Bigelow takes a big cut on the ball. (Jay Cummings)

Widdling away the Thunderbird defense, Windsor would capitalize on two more scoring opportunities in the fourth quarter, taking the semifinal win 7-0.

Faverau-Ward spent most of the regular season in search of action, but Wednesday the sophomore goalie was anything but lonely. She was nearly always surrounded by a swarm of Yellowjackets, but still managed to haul in her career-high 20 saves in a single game- amounting to more action than the entire regular season combined.

The Thunderbirds were coming into the Yellowjackets hive with great momentum, winning their last four games with complete domination, but the highly skilled and senior-heavy Yellowjackets were by far the mightier team. 

MVU Head Coach Mel Hurlbut said her squad defiantly got tired and by the fourth quarter they were exhausted.

“We just never got the chance to play our game and we were chasing Windsors game most of the match,” she said.

Windsor Head Coach Tammy Wood was very pleased with her team, “The Windsor girls came out with a lot of intensity, passed the ball well and did a great job transitioning from defense to offense and we have been working on that all season. We beat MVU to the ball. We played extremely well.”

Wood gave props to Faverau-Ward’s effort on the night, “My hat goes off to the MVU goalie. Our girls practiced all year pounding on our goalie in practice and the MVU goalkeeper had an amazing game. She never gave up, had some incredible saves, kept her composure, even after we had second and third shots on her. She had a great game. For a Sophomore that just started playing goalie last season, she was amazing!”

Top in their division, Windsor is heavily favorited in the Championship against second-seeded Stowe in the Division III Finals on Saturday at South Burlington High School.