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Slater girls make Div. III semifinals

With just nine seconds left in regulation time last Saturday in Manchester Shannon Ellis scored to lift her Slaters past a favored Burr and Burton Bulldogs team 3 - 2 and into the Division III Field Hockey Semifinals. Fair Haven held a 2 - 0 lead in the Division II Quarterfinal with goals from Lisa Ramusckat and Calley Brown. Cathy Morris provided the assist on both goals. As the game wound down to under 10 minutes left to play it looked like it might be a walk-away for the Slaters, but then the Bulldogs struck for two goals in five minutes to tie the game at 2 - 2. Leah Rome, with a credited assist from Hannah Leach, scored the Dogs first goal and cut the Slater lead to 2 - 1 with just 9:27 left. About five minutes later Hannah Gowen fed Kelly Webster who knocked it in tying the game at 2 - 2. If the Slaters had been eliminated in this one it would have been a difficult loss to accept. This contest was controlled by the Slaters evident by their 13 - 6 edge in shots on goal, and a 20 - 6 advantage in penalty corners. The sixth ceded Slaters head into the semifinals with a 7 - 6 - 2 record, while Burr and Burton ends their season with a 5 - 6 - 4 record. In other D-II Quarterfinal action last Friday in Brandon the Otter Valley Otters advanced to the semifinals by eliminating the fifth seeded Union-32 Raiders with a 2 -1 overtime win. OV drew first blood quickly in this one. With just five minutes into the action Emily Waldrip jumped on a rebound and pushed it past the goal line. The Otters enjoyed that 1 - 0 lead until there was ten minutes left to play in regulation time, when Jennifer Swasey tied it up at 1 - 1 when she banged a rebound in for Union-32. Despite opportunities neither team would score for the rest of regulation time. With just over five minutes gone in the first overtime the Otters were awarded a penalty corner and they capitalized on it in a huge way. Waldrip entered the ball to Katie Root who blasted it past the Raider defense and into the net, giving the Otters a 2 - 1 win and a semifinal birth. The 7 - 4 - 4 Otters will face the top ranked, unblemished Woodstock Wasps. The twelfth seeded Rutland Raiders were eliminated from the Division I Tournament in the opening round by the fifth seeded Mount Anthony Patriots 2 - 0. The two teams played a scoreless first half, but Lizzie Curtin and Kaitlyn Surdam would score second half goals propelling the Patriots into the Division I Quarterfinals. It could have been much worse for Rutland had it not been for the solid performance of their goalie Sarah May who made a dozen saves. Rutland ends their season with a 3 - 11 - 1 record. Running back Ricky Ross carried the ball thirteen times for thirty-five yards and two touchdowns to lead his Blue Devils to a 20 - 13 win over the Burr and Burton Bulldogs in high school football action last Saturday in Poultney. Quarterback Kurt Hewes led the Devils rushing attack by gaining ninety-eight yards, including a four-yard touchdown run. The win was Poultneys fourth straight, and guarantees them a home play-off game. They are currently 6 - 2 overall (5 - 2 league,) and will finish their regular season Friday night in Fair Haven. With time running out last Saturday in North Clarendon the Lyndon Vikings were making a serious bid at an upset win as they held a slim 21 - 20 lead over the hometown Mill River Minutemen. But then the Vikings made a crucial error, and Mill Eiver did what good teams do, they capitalized on Lyndons miscue. Lyndon turned the ball over to Mill River inside their own ten-yard line. The Minutemen quickly drove it down to the one-yard line where Pat Benini carried it in fro,, giving Mill River the 26 - 21 win. Benini wound up gaining 54 yards on 13 carries, while teammate Mitch Blair rushed for 57 yards on 11 carries. Blairs biggest contribution however was a short pass that he caught from Poultney Quarterback Connor Burke and turned it into a 68 yard touchdown play. It was one of three TD passes for the Blue Devil quarterback. Burke, who also completed touchdown passes to Drew Poalino (26 yards) and Preston Kinney (nine yards), went over the 1,000 yards passing mark for the season when he completed 11 of his 23 pass attempts for 225 yards. Mill River is 6 - 2 and competing for the third or fourth seed in the upcoming Division III tournament. They will end their regular season this weekend in Manchester, taking on the Burr and Burton Bulldogs. The 2 - 6 Lyndon Vikings will host Saint Johnsbury Academy this Saturday for their season finale. The Otter Valley Otters were in action last Saturday too, but unlike Poultney or Mill River they couldnt pull out a win. Still reeling from the loss of their senior quarterback Ross Jakubowski the Otters fell to Rice 61 - 27. Quarterback Zak Williams did struggle, throwing some costly interceptions, and muffed a center snap that proved costly. The freshman did have his bright moments too, including touchdown passes to Ed Carter and Justin Lertola. Lertola ended the game with ninety-three receiving yards. The Otters were able to utilize running back Eric Becker effectively. Becker racked up 109 rushing yards, including touchdown runs of 18 and 12 yards. The Otters fell to 3 - 5 overall and 2 - 4 in league play. They will end their season this Saturday at Spaulding. Rice improved to 2 - 4 in Division II and 2 - 6 overall with the win. Last Friday night in Brattleboro Justin McCormack ran for two touchdowns to lead the Rutland Raiders to a 13 - 6 win over the Brattleboro Colonels. McCormack carried the ball 20 times for 139 yards and touchdown runs of 34 and 50 yards. The 5 - 2 (5 - 3 overall) Raiders are in a position to secure a playoff spot if they can win their last game this Saturday against their arch rivals the Mount Saint Joseph Mounties. That might mot be so easy either. The Mounties, who fell again last Friday night at home to the Mount Anthony Patriots 42 - 12, remain winless and would love nothing better than to end the season with a victory over Rutland. At 0 - 8 they have nothing to lose and will not be playing with any pressure, unlike Rutland who has a lot a stake in the outcome. Add to that the emotions fueled by such a rivalry and all the ingredients for an upset are present. Kick-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. but get there early if you want a good seat because this one will be packed. In their loss to Mount Anthony last Friday Patriot running back Kyle Curran ran for 252 yards and four touchdowns to lead Mount Anthony to the lopsided win. Will Hadeka scored both Mounty touchdowns with a pair of four yard touchdown runs. Mount Anthony improved to 4 - 4 overall and 2 - 4 in league play with the victory.

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