Assistant Sports Editor
BENNINGTON -- Mark Boudreau's Patriots gave him just what he was looking for in his Mount Anthony Union High School coaching debut Thursday night.
It was oh-so-close to a dramatic win under the lights, too.
Emma Hallett rolled Burr and Burton Academy's fourth penalty kick into the bottom right corner to clinch the tie-breaking round, 3-1, after the Bulldogs played to a 2-2 draw against MAU in the first round of the 12th Annual Lady Patriot Tournament at Spinelli Field.
"That was everything I could've hoped for -- they fought hard," Boudreau said. "The big thing for this team was buying into a new system and they did it.
"Their intensity was right where it needed to be."
Burr and Burton will face Hoosick Falls, a 6-0 winner against Brattleboro in the first game, in the championship game at 7 p.m. on Saturday.
Mount Anthony draws the Colonels in the consolation at
For the Bulldogs (2-0), it was the second game in their last three decided by penalty kicks, dating back to a playoff loss to Rice last fall. For the hosts, it was the second year in a row that spot kicks kept them from a place in the championship.
"Early in the season ... look at the atmosphere this whole tournament provides. We're thrilled to be here," BBA coach Dan DeForest said. "It was a hard-fought game, back and forth."
MAU forward Shelby McLenithan set the see-saw in motion in the 10th minute. The senior latched onto a Samantha Mears through-ball just shy of BBA goalkeeper Joanna Jorgensen (five saves), slipped left with one touch and chipped into the empty net for the early lead.
Five minutes later, BBA sophomore Daisy Sullivan leveled the score, 1-1, after dribbling to the edge of the box, shrugging off one defender and looping a shot over Mount Anthony goalie Julie Elwell (three saves).
Sullivan's second goal vaulted the Bulldogs to the lead in the 24th minute, capping a swift move down the left and a well-weighted centering feed from sophomore Deirdre Walsh.
But MAU made sure the gap never widened, holding the Bulldogs without a shot on target in the second half.
"We got away from our game a little bit and I think that's a tribute to the MAU style of play," DeForest said. "We did got away from passing the ball short and on the ground, started doing a little more kick-and-run, which doesn't suit our people quite as much."
Capitalizing on her game-breaking speed, McLenithan struck again with 18:35 left in regulation. This time she chased down a ball from Emily Hunt behind the BBA back line, cut to her left around a defender and finished inside the right post.
"We play the small ball to open up those lanes and that's proof in the pudding there," Boudreau said. "She's a fantastic finisher."
Neither squad budged in two 10-minute overtime periods, sending the game to penalties.
Kate Goodell's kick pulled MAU even, 1-1, after two rounds, but Sullivan and Hallett each converted in the right side after Patriot misses to seal the result.
Playing in goal for the second half and overtime periods, sophomore Alexis Wright made three stops for MAU.