Laker field hockey cruised into the Division I state tournament with its place in the school record books assured, smashing the program record for wins while finishing off an undefeated regular season in style.
Finishing with games against Essex, South Burlington, and Mt. Abraham — a No. 4, No. 2, and No. 1 seed, respectively, and a combined 31-7-4 this fall — the path to perfection was a steep climb.
A dramatic, final-minutes comeback to avoid a loss to Essex (11-3) and earn a 2-1 win Oct. 16 set up a showdown for second place at South Burlington two days later. The Wolves (12-1-1), whose only loss had been to Essex two days into the season, had won 11 in a row since. Colchester, winners of four straight after a 1-1 tie against Rice, played South Burlington to a scoreless draw ending with 20 minutes of 7-on-7 overtime, the teams totaling just 14 total shots (8 for the Wolves).
It was the first and only time all fall either team was held scoreless.
Closing out the schedule was a Division II game, though Mt. Abraham isn’t the typical opponent one faces when playing down a division. The Eagles (8-3-3) had wrapped up the No. 1 seed, and on Friday will host a quarterfinal as heavy favorites to reach their fifth semi in seven years.
Mt. Abe had been shut out once in 13 outings — by Essex — but CHS did it again, getting six saves from Ciera Morse for their 10th shutout in 14 games while Meg Lehouiller scored 10 minutes in, on one of just five Laker shots on net, for a 1-0 victory that added one more to the program’s new record.
The 11-0-3 regular-season mark featured two more wins than any previous Laker team — nine-win campaigns in 2017 (9-4-1), 2004 (9-5), 2001 (9-5), and 1989 (9-1-4). The third seed was the program’s best since 2007, trailing only a No. 2 in 1990. Colchester scored 35 goals in 14 games while allowing just four.
After allowing just four goals while scoring 35, Colchester opens the playoffs Thursday at home against No. 6 Rutland (6-5-2).