Second half rally sends BBA to semifinal

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MANCHESTER — The longer the No. 4 Burr and Burton field hockey team remained in a scoreless tie with No. 5 Woodstock during the teams' Division II quarterfinal on Friday afternoon, the more worried the Bulldogs were about something weird transpiring.

"We definitely dominated but it could have been one of those games where we're like, 'If we don't put one in, a bad bounce and a breakthrough [could be the difference]," said BBA coach Barb Miceli.

Brianna Mayne broke the tie 40 seconds into the second half and Sabina Buffa added an insurance goal with 10 minutes left as BBA moved past the Wasps with a 2-0 victory at Taylor Field.

"Being able to get it that quickly after halftime was obviously a huge relief and also a motivator," Miceli said. "The girls just kept going hard after that, I think it was pretty deflating for Woodstock."

Woodstock goalie Maggie Parker was standing on her head the entire game, making 19 saves, including 12 in the first half as she kept BBA off the scoreboard.

"Their goalie was amazing, and we talked at halftime about trying to move the ball around her, work it around, get it not only on goal but around her," Miceli said. "It was nice to do it so quickly."

BBA dominated in penalty corners as well, with 20 compared to one for Woodstock, who had their only penalty corner of the afternoon with less than three minutes left.

With 10:36 left, Charleigh Carthy pulled the ball wide and knocked a nice pass to Buffa, who was positioned near the cage. Her shot went to the far post and doubled the lead.

"It was a picture-perfect pass to Char, who got it and passed it to Sabina," Miceli said. "Sabina has been great this year [in that situation], getting deflections in front of the goal."

In the first half, BBA pressured throughout, but Parker kept the Bulldogs out of the cage, including a pair of point-blank saves about 20 minutes into the half.

On the other side, BBA goalie Hannah Callen had one save, Woodstock's only strong chance coming in the final few minutes of the first half.

"The defense does a nice job of covering each other, move up nicely, the sticks are low and when they get the ball, they do what we ask over and over again, they carry it wide and turn it up the field," Miceli said. "

The Bulldogs, who improve to 7-6-2, move on to the Division II semifinal, where they'll have a tough matchup against defending champion Bellows Falls on Monday at Middlebury College, scheduled for 6 p.m.


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