By DONNA FLANDERS
SWANTON — Missisquoi coach Jeanne Rainville wasn’t bothered by the score in the Thunderbirds’ first loss of the season Wednesday.
“6-0 just doesn’t indicate how we played,” said Rainville. “We had the opportunities; we just couldn’t finish.”
On a dark and dreary afternoon, there was plenty of action in Colchester’s visit to Missisquoi as three of the last four unbeaten Vermont field hockey teams met, each coming in with a 5-0-1 record.
Colchester struck three times in the first half on two goals by Meg Lehouiller and one from Kelsey Leclair, and padded the final margin with three scores in the final five minutes.
Thunderbird Danielle Cummings made several great runs up the field, showing off great stickwork, but couldn’t break past the Laker defense. With 13:55 on the clock Naomi Edele received a great pass from Rhianna Sweeney, but again Colchester remained strong.
“Rhianna had an excellent game. She battled really really hard for us” Rainville said.
Renee Bouchard also played a strong defensive game for MVU, clearing numerous shots from in front of the cage, to provide support for goalie Cassidy Dunphy.
“Cassidy in the goal, I think she had 12 saves. She played well,” said Rainville.
With 17:03 left in the half Lehouiller connected again, this time on a ball that was slapped hard and left Dunphy chance to reach, for a 3-0 lead.
“Meg is an incredibly talented field hockey player,” commented Colchester Coach Katie Comeau. ” [she] has colleges interested in recruiting her. She has been nominated to first team for the metro division by other coaches in our area since she was a sophomore.”
Both goalies were tested in the second half and kept the ball out of the cage.
Annie Ploof made a good run up the right side for MVU, and Cummings joined her to cross the ball in efforts to break through the defense. MaKenzie Reed worked hard in the midfield, putting pressure on CHS on several occasions.
Lehoullier earned her hat trick with 5:01 left in the game, then scored again on her next trip down the field for a 5-0 lead.
At the 3:45 mark Petra Bajuk set up teammate Jackie Palaza for the final goal of the day.
Dunphy recorded 12 saves in the goal for MVU while Ciera Morse finished with 11 for Colchester.
Photos by Josh Kaufmann, CVNG