BENNINGTON -- Southern Vermont College women's soccer coach Mike Zauzig has a notebook that he carries on the sideline during games to write down adjustments and other notes.
On days like Monday's 8-0 win over Wheelock at Everett Field -- a victory that clinched a New England Collegiate Conference playoff berth -- the comments tend to lean to the positive side.
"I used [the notebook] just as much today as I did on Saturday, [a 2-1 loss to Elms]," Zauzig said. "But it was more for individual changes than team ones. Everyone seemed to do well today."
Freshman Melodie Orrell recorded a hat trick, her fourth, fifth and sixth goals of the year, while senior Kaitlyn Forant added a pair.
The first goal of the night came less than 90 seconds in as Arlington Memorial High School graduate Mazie Holton headed in a corner kick off the foot of Abigail Rosas for her first collegiate goal.
"She's just a hard worker," said Zauzig, who noted that Holton had moved to the offensive side of the field out of her normal position on defense. "She came up earlier in the year and she's really worked on doing different roles. Every day she's growing as a soccer player."
Neither team could find the net for the next 30 minutes, with the Mountaineers pushing into the Wildcats' zone but either shooting wide or right at goalkeeper Meghan Lewis.
Orrell tallied her first goal in the 38th minute, getting above the defense to head in a cross from Forant for a 2-0 lead. A moment later, Forant made a run through the Wildcat defense and went one-on-one with the goalie and the easy finish made it 3-0.
"She changes the dynamic of our attack," Zauzig said. "She gives us extra pace up top and whether she finds the net or not, she really gives up depth."
With two minutes remaining in the first half, Bridget Kelly added her first collegiate goal, firing it past Lewis' right shoulder and the rout was on.
Southern Vermont outshot Wheelock, 19-2 and outcornered them, 5-0.
"We started slow, I think [scoring] the first goal [so fast], hurt us because I think we went into coast mode a little bit," Zauzig said. "We had more workman-like shifts in the second half."
After halftime, Orrell scored her second five minutes in and then senior Lindsay Pilling scored her first collegiate goal to make it a half-dozen. Orrell then tallied with 11:17 left into a wide-open net for a 7-0 advantage and Forant finished the scoring three minutes later.
"We really try to time the play so we can run onto the pass," Orrell said. "But [my teammates] are spot on with their passes, playing the right ball."
Just as important was the defense, who allowed only two shots on goal and not many opportunities to even reach the 18-yard box.
The Mountaineers have won six of seven and still sit in third place in the NECC behind unbeaten Lesley and Elms and just ahead of Regis and Bay Path -- the last two opponents on their schedule.
"It's huge momentum to play at home -- you know how the field plays and you don't have to ride a bus for hours," Zauzig said.