Lady Cat Defense Pitches Third Straight Shutout

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photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union freshman Taylor Thompson (No. 8) advances the ball up the field as teammate Kelsie Rivard (left) and Chloe North (right) of the CCSU co-op team follow. The Lady Cats got by Danville 1-0.

by Ken Brown

DANVILLE – The Hazen Union girls’ soccer team blanked Danville and Blue Mountain for their third straight win last week, improving to 5-2-1 on the season.

Senior Caitlyn Davison found the back of the net for the first time this season, converting a first half penalty kick to lead the Lady Cats to a hard-fought 1-0 road win over Danville-Twinfield-Cabot (CCSU) last Wednesday. Ella Renaud returned to the goal for Hazen, directing the defense and making six saves to preserve the shutout. Leah Klark made three stops for the Lady Bears in the loss as they fell to 2-4 on the year.

“It was a very competitive match against CCSU with both teams having good opportunities, but Hazen got the edge this time around. With losing matches on the schedule that were originally to be against Craftsbury Academy and Twinfield-Cabot, we’ll match up again with CCSU later this month,” said head coach Harry Besett.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Hazen Union goalie Ella Renaud returned to the starting line up this week to help the Lady Cats defense post a pair of shutouts. She missed two games recently from an injury.

Craftsbury Academy’s (CA) Sadie Skorstad celebrated her first homecoming weekend experience at Hazen Union with a pair of goals to help power the Lady Cats to a resounding 4-0 win over Blue Mountain on Saturday.

Freshman Kelsie Rivard fed Skorstad just two minutes into the match to give the home team an early 1-0 advantage.

Fellow freshman Autumn Dailey served up a beauty to Rivard five minutes later for a 2-0 lead and the rout was on.

Skorstad struck again unassisted at the midway point to give the Lady Cats a three-goal advantage heading into the break.

Sophomore speedster Isabelle Gouin finished off a feed from Davison early in the second half to end the scoring on the day with her team-leading sixth goal of the season.

Felicity Sulham made 15 saves in the loss for the Lady Bucks, as they fell to 1-6. The Hazen offense peppered Sulham with 32 shots on the day. Renaud made four more saves for the Lady Cats to preserve the fourth shutout of the season for the defense.

photo by Vanessa Fournier
Kelsie Rivard (No. 15) of Hazen Union controls the ball just ahead of Blue Mountain’s Maddie Houghton (No. 20) on Hudson Field September 30. Hazen won 4-0.

“This was a rematch from our 3-2 comeback against Blue Mountain two weeks ago and we did a good job of starting the match on the front foot in front of our Homecoming crowd. Our offense consistently drove the ball to the outside and put a ton of pressure on their goalkeeper. For the first time this season, we came out and controlled the match early and were able to kill it in the first half with three quick goals,” said Besett.

Besett’s squad has vaulted up to fourth in the current Division IV standings, outscoring their opponents 14-6 on the season. The addition of Skorstad and her CA teammates, along with a dynamic freshman class surrounding Davison, Gouin, and Renaud, have made the Lady Cats surprise contenders at the halfway point in the division. Besett has been rebuilding his program the past two seasons after guiding Hazen to the Division IV state title match in 2020.

“The Craftsbury Academy girls came in this fall ready to work hard with a positive attitude. They’ve been a great boost to our program this year and if the freshman continue to stick to developing their soccer skills, they’ll help make us much stronger for years to come!” added Besett.

The Lady Cats will have a week off from live action and are scheduled to travel to Division II Missisquoi Valley next Wednesday.

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