Patriots and Bulldogs battle to a tie
MANCHESTER >> Down by one with 55 seconds left to play, the Burr and Burton field hockey team saw sophomore Amber Rachele poke a shot into back of the cage to salvage a 2-2 tie with rival Mount Anthony on Friday afternoon.
After the teams played a scoreless first half of field hockey to begin the contest, the two rival offenses began to find their niche in the second half.
With almost 20 minutes gone by in the second half, BBA broke through for the game's first score when sophomore Charleigh Carthy slapped in the Bulldogs first goal of the season.
Leading 1-0, the Bulldogs looked like they had things in control, but the Patriots still had some tricks up their sleeves.
Controlling the ball in the Bulldogs' zone, senior Whitten Coyne fired a shot that went just under the foot of BBA's goaltender Molly Dingley and landed into the stick of fellow senior Kaitlin Banks who poked the ball into the back of the cage to tie the game up with just over five minutes to play.
Coyne was back at it again for the Patriots just moments later, driving into the Bulldogs zone and firing in her first goal of the season to give the Patriots their first lead of the game.
"I was very happy to see the girls battle back after BBA took the lead in the second half," said MAU coach Amber Cottrell. "It's great to see that there is no quit in this team and that they didn't get down on themselves after playing a great first half and then seeing BBA take the lead."
With 3:40 left to play, it was now BBA in need of a comeback down one.
As the Bulldogs got control of ball and moved in the Patriots zone, Rachele found herself in the right place at the right time for BBA.
After a BBA player shot the ball in front of the cage, Rachele was able to come out of the scrum with ball and poke it in to tie the game and force overtime.
"You never want to give up a lead in a close game last, so it was great to see the girls fight back and force overtime," said BBA co-coach Barb Miceli. "It's great to see that we have a team that can pull themselves together after giving up a lead and not shy away from adversity."
The Bulldogs had a great chance to win the game in overtime when sophomore Chloe MacDonald had a breakaway opportunity, but Patriots' goaltender Savannah Rogers made a great kick save to keep the game tied.
Rogers finished with six saves on the day for MAU.
On the other side, the Bulldogs defense and Dingley did a great job holding the Patriots offense in check the whole halftime period.
Dingley finished with seven saves on the day for BBA.
As time expired in the overtime period, the two rivals battled to a tie and now start the season 0-0-1 respectively.
"I thought the team did an amazing job out there today," Cottrell said. "They played really well against a very talented opponent. I couldn't be prouder of the effort the team gave today."
The tie will be great motivation for both teams when they face each other next Thursday, this time at MAU.
"We saw a lot of good things from our team today," said BBA co-coach Julie Fifield. "I thought our team meshed better as the game went on and I though on both sides of the ball played very well in the overtime period. There was a lot of good things that came out of this game and we just build on the going forward."
Next up for the Patriots will be a road game against Bellows Falls on Tuesday, while BBA will host Rutland on that same day.
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