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Hurricanes Back In Division I Final

  • Players from the  Hartford girls field hockey team celebrate as the last few seconds of the game tick by with no goals for South Burlington during the  Hartford at South Burlington in the Vermont Division I field hockey semifinals. Hartford won, 1-0. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Players from the Hartford girls field hockey team celebrate as the last few seconds of the game tick by with no goals for South Burlington during the Hartford at South Burlington in the Vermont Division I field hockey semifinals. Hartford won, 1-0.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hartford Field Hockey Coach Heather Scudder reads her notes from the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game during halftime in South Burlington Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013. Hartford won, 1-0. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Hartford Field Hockey Coach Heather Scudder reads her notes from the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game during halftime in South Burlington Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013. Hartford won, 1-0.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Hartford's Megan Newton sprints to the goal during the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game in South Burlington, Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Hartford's Megan Newton sprints to the goal during the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game in South Burlington, Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Players from the  Hartford girls field hockey team celebrate as the last few seconds of the game tick by with no goals for South Burlington during the  Hartford at South Burlington in the Vermont Division I field hockey semifinals. Hartford won, 1-0. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap
  • Hartford Field Hockey Coach Heather Scudder reads her notes from the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game during halftime in South Burlington Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013. Hartford won, 1-0. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap
  • Hartford's Megan Newton sprints to the goal during the first half of the Hartford at South Burlington Vermont Division I field hockey semifinal game in South Burlington, Vt., on Oct. 29, 2013. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

South Burlington, Vt. — After being knocked out of the postseason in the opening round the last two years, Hartford High will return to the Vermont Division I finals for the first time since 2010 after edging defending champion South Burlington, 1-0, Tuesday.

The second-seeded Hurricanes (12-4) used Rachel Fogg’s goal early in the second half to gain the upper hand against the No. 6 Rebels (7-6-3). Veteran coach Heather Scudder will now attempt to lead Hartford past either No. 1 Essex or No. 4 Mount Mansfield in Saturday’s championship game at the University of Vermont.

“I think I have a (title) contender every year,” said Scudder, who has won 10 championships (six in D-I) in her 26-year career. “But whatever that elusive ‘it’ is in athletics, this team has it.”

The Hurricanes were playing on turf for only the second time this season, and they lost that other game at Hanover. But a defensive effort spurred by leading scorer Megan Newton helped deliver the team’s sixth shutout of the season.

“I really have to single out Megan’s effort,” Scudder said. “She was pressuring every ball and even out-hustling our links to make plays.”

After a scoreless first half, Hartford earned a corner that came to Courtney Murray. Her shot was stopped, but Fogg was on the carom to drill it past goalie Alex Warshaw with 27:29 remaining.

“I had the rebound and some open space and just was able to knock it in,” Fogg said. “But I didn’t think one goal would win it. I was scared we’d have to score again.”

South Burlington, which was gunning for its fourth consecutive trip to the finals, had upset third-seeded Champlain Valley Union, 1-0, on a goal with 28 seconds remaining in the quarterfinals. The Rebels had almost an entire half to find an answer to Fogg’s goal, but could not break through the Hurricanes’ defense.

“Looking at the scores of the two teams over the season, I thought it could be a 1-0 game,” said SB coach Anjie Soucy. “Once they got the goal they packed it in and had practically the entire team behind the 50-yard line. We just couldn’t finish.”

Hartford ran off a seven-game winning streak during the season, but Scudder believes the Hurricanes are playing their best right now.

“We came out today and we weren’t intimidated, we responded to every situation and were really on our game,” she said. “This team doesn’t want the season to end.”