CVU field hockey team soars to 5-1 record (Sept. 18, 2008)

Sept. 18, 2008
By Mal Boright
Observer correspondent

After a trip to U-32 in East Montpelier on Wednesday, the red hot 5-1 Champlain Valley Union field hockey team returns home Friday for a 4 p.m. bash against Essex. Last Tuesday night, the Redhawks knocked Essex out of the ranks of the unbeaten with a 1-0 win at the Hornets’ nest.

(No, there is no substance to the rumor that the hornets flocking around the scorers’ perch during Saturday’s Spirit Day game against Middlebury were scouts from Essex.)

After taking care of business under the lights in Essex, coach Kate McDonald’s combine took out another unbeaten team Saturday in the 3-1 triumph over the visiting Tigers, now 4-1.

Observer photo by Pogo Senior
Katie Longshore, a senior captain of the Champlain Valley Union High field hockey team, works the ball past Middlebury defender Allison Kipp.

“It was an awesome effort and an awesome game,” McDonald told the team after the contest.

The Redhawks rapped early, when senior captain Katie Longshore flipped a loose ball into the Middlebury cage after goalie Casey O’Donohue blocked a shot by Emmaleigh Loyer.

The Redhawks generally dominated play through the first half, going ahead 2-0 when a pair of sophomores got loose — Louise Gibbs scored on an assist by Gillian Shelley.

Middlebury got a goal back before halftime on a rare penalty shot by Lindsay Lalonde. The shot was awarded when CVU goalie Elizabeth Godette was found to be lying on the ball in front of the cage after stopping a Tiger attack.

“I didn’t know where the ball was,” Godette said after the game. “I didn’t want to jump up and have someone score on a shot.”

Lalonde’s uncontested shot at Godette from 5 feet in front of the cage snapped a two-game shutout streak for the CVU net minder, who admitted she was nervous before the contest; Middlebury knocked the Redhawks out of the Division I semifinals a year ago in double overtime.

“I just tried to stay focused,” Godette said.

She did, coming up with seven stops as Middlebury applied serious pressure, especially in the second half.

CVU’s final score came with 18:05 remaining in the match, when KK Logan rolled in on the left side of the Tigers’ cage and fired her fourth goal of the season.

The junior’s tally came just moments after another junior, Kelsey Jensen, had a score denied when her long blast from beyond midfield bounced into the cage. In field hockey, goals have to be from in close.

Jensen should perhaps be known as “FedEx.” Her frequent long forwarding strokes from deep in foreign territory jumpstart the CVU offense. Some of the pokes are said to even enter different zip codes.

O’Donohue had eight saves for the Tigers, with Logan (twice), Gibbs, Jensen and Longshore all working their way to decent scoring opportunities.

Junior Kathryn Powell was among the leaders on the CVU defensive end.

Last Thursday, the Redhawks nipped Colchester High 1-0 on a Lucy Barrett tally, assisted by Longshore. CVU outshot the 1-2-1 Lakers, 11-6.