Union-32 Ends Jacks’ Season in Quarterfinal

Windsor — Both Windsor and U-32 came into Friday’s Vermont Division II field hockey quarterfinal on hot streaks, but it was the Raiders that continued playing well with a 2-0 win at MacLeay-Royce Field.

Windsor, which had a sluggish first half, played much better in the second half, but not good enough as the fourth-seeded Yellowjackets closed out their season at 9-5-1. U-32, the 10th seed at 10-4-1, moves on to play Rice in the semifinals Tuesday in South Burlington.

“We were sluggish in the first half and played better in the second, but not good enough,” Windsor coach Sandy Clary said.

That sluggish first half was the ball game as the Raiders scored both goals and never let Windsor get a shot on goal. Only the sharp goalkeeping of Windsor’s Emma Saucier kept the Jacks within reach.

“We did pretty well,” said U-32 coach Melissa Muller-Moore, whose gleam in her eye meant she knew her team had played really well.

Had her team ever played any better? she was asked.

“On occasion,” she said after a long pause.

Windsor was out-shot 8-0 in the first half. U-32 took a 1-0 lead when Abby Daniels absolutely blistered a low liner from 15 yards that zinged past Saucier. Even Clary was impressed.

“That first goal was really hammered,” she said. “I’ll have to check the boards.”

The second goal came with 1:59 to play in the first half when the Raiders, with some slick upfield passing, got the ball to senior Nicole Lavigne, who slipped the ball to Daniels who gave it back to Lavigne. The veteran snapped it past Saucier, who was scrambling back and forth trying to keep track of the ball.

“Our passing was right on the mark almost all game,” said Muller-Moore, “and we also played with a lot of intensity. I think our girls wanted this one pretty bad.”

Clary wasn’t bummed out too much about the loss, though, knowing the Raiders were the quicker of the two teams, and the play of the Jacks in the second half kept the hopes up that goals would follow but never did.

“I guess it was a bonus that the second half was scoreless,” Clary said.

In the second half, Windsor’s Brooke Hurd fed a corner to Haley Wood, whose quick release shot was rebuffed by U-32 keeper Bailee Hudson. Moments later ,Wood got a shot from inside the offensive zone that looked like trouble, but was cleared away by the defense in front of Hudson.

At that point, Muller-Moore called a timeout to cool things down. It worked temporarily, as the Raiders did start picking up the pace and scored a third goal, but it was called back because of an obstruction violation.

Moments later Daniels, who was a pest to the Windsor defense for 60 minutes, rang a shot off the post to Saucier’s left.

Windsor’s last chance to score came with 4:15 to play, when the Jacks kept the ball in front of the Raider keeper, but just couldn’t get it by her.

U-32 finished with an 11-4 advantage in shots and 7-5 in corners. Saucier had nine saves.