By Tris Wykes

WHITE RIVER JUNCTION – The rain arrived late during Tuesday’s Hartford High field hockey game. The soaking didn’t put as much of a damper on the Hurricanes, however, as a Burr & Burton goal with 34 seconds remaining that earned the visiting Bulldogs a 1-0 victory. 

Abby Farrington received a sudden pass against the flow of play, then wound up from the right side and blasted a low shot that slammed into the goal’s backboard with a clunk that could be heard from more than 100 yards.

Hartford High coach Heather Scudder speaks during halftime of Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to visiting Burr & Burton. Listening are, from left, Marina Grassi, Bailey Cameron, Elsie Davis, Chloe Jensen, Nedra Dwinell and Grace Gardner.

“It was a brilliant goal that reflected (the Bulldogs’) level of expertise,” said 32nd-year Hartford coach Heather Scudder, whose team staged its opener against a 1-0 foe playing its second game of the season. “It was a great pass and a great shot after a corner.”

Junior goaltender Bailey Cameron made seven saves for the Hurricanes, who took five penalty corners. Burr & Burton starting netminder MacLean Thuermer made one save and yielded at halftime to Hannah Callen, who did not stop a shot. The Bulldogs took seven corners. 

“I knew it was going to be a tough game and I was happy to get a strong performance on our part,” said Scudder, whose team hosts Lebanon on Friday and visits Bellows Falls and Hanover next week. October 13 brings a rematch at Burr & Burton. That’s a five-game stretch against four of the Twin State’s best programs.

“We may go into the (playoffs) looking like an easy draw, but if we improve every game, we’ll be the most ready team in the tournament,” Scudder said. “We have five seniors but they haven’t been in leadership roles before so they have to step up.”

Hartford High’s Madison Willey, right, and Burr & Burton’s Ava Walsh watch the airborne ball.

Scudder spent plenty of time shouting reminders Tuesday. Two hands on your stick, bend your knees, pass to your teammate’s stick side.

“Hartford needs to not be its own worst enemy,” she said with a chuckle. “There were a ton of non-forced errors and my job is to make sure Hartford knows what to do and is able to do it. Right now, with this group, fundamentals are where we’re at.”

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Hartford High’s Zoe Pfeiffer cuts behind Burr & Burton’s Perrin Marion (8).