Photo: Paul Lamontagne

A Perfect Season for Three-Time State Champs

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Thursday June 20, 2013

It must be summertime in South Burlington. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and last week, every other car in the South Burlington high school parking lot was decked out in the Rebel’s trademark white and blue, plastered with staccato epithets about how the class of 2013 truly “ruled.”

And just as perennial as summer, and  high school graduations, is the coronation of South Burlington’s girl’s lacrosse as Division 1 Metro League champions.  The Rebels captured their third straight championship and capped an undefeated season by unceremoniously routing the Middlebury Tigers in a 14-7 victory this past Saturday. South Burlington has faced Middlebury in five of their last six championship matchups, and holds a 4-1 record against the Tigers.The preamble to Saturday’s matchup against the Tigers was a 17-6 victory over Brattleboro that was highlighted by a cornerstone performance in the career of graduating senior Anne-Marie Farmer. In a four year stint that has been highlighted by high scoring performances, Farmer led her team with eight goals and two assists against the Colonels, bringing her high school career total to a school-record 199 goals. Teammate and fellow dynamic scorer Allie Flaherty had four goals in the game, bringing her own tally to 150 goals in her four year career. The Rebels went on a six-goal scoring streak late in the first half to pull away from the Colonels for an 8-3 halftime lead. Ashley Norris netted two goals and two assists in the game, while Julia Hudson, Sarah Fisher, and Shannon Flaherty wrapped up South Burlington’s scoring with a goal apiece. Once again, the Rebels exhibited excellent ball movement and precision passing to overwhelm the Brattelboro defense. In addition to their scoring strikes, Hudson contributed three assists, while Fisher and Casey Johnson had two assists. Shannon Flaherty and Grace Johnson added an assist apiece in the victory. Courtney Barrett had another stellar defensive performance in goal, making seven critical saves to help South Burlington preserve its playoff win. 

With little time to rest and only one goal in South Burlington’s collective mind, the Rebels advanced to Saturday’s championship matchup against Middlebury. The Rebels came out firing on all cylinders and looked as sharp as they have all season, scoring four goals in the first four minutes against the Tigers. Middlebury called a quick timeout, but the intermission did little to slow down South Burlington’s offense. By halftime, the Rebels had built a 9-3 lead. Meanwhile, the defense continued to be as consistent as they have been throughout the regular season and the playoffs. “Courtney Barrett had some key saves and terrific clears.” said South Burlington head coach Anjie Soucy “ In addition, Emily Camardo, Sage Barton, and Haley Worgan managed to stifle any attempts at Middlebury breakaways.” 

The Rebels were consistently able to win the draws, and midfielders Shannon and Allie Flaherty fought hard to gain extra possessions for their team. On the offensive end of the field, Ashley Norris had one of her best games of the season, scoring four goals and adding four assists. Sarah Fisher and Grace Johnson, who have both had breakout performances this season to become critical components of South Burlington’s offense, both scored three goals apiece, while chipping in an assist. The Tigers refused to give up, however, cutting into South Burlington’s lead in the fourth quarter to make the game 11-6 with 9:30 remaining in the fourth quarter. A pair of quick scores by Norris and Fisher squashed the remaining hopes of a Middlebury comeback and solidified a championship win for the Rebels, while capping off an unprecedented 16-0 perfect season for South Burlington. 

With the win, South Burlington caps one of the strongest seasons in the school’s athletic history. While the 2013 season has seen this year’s varsity team continue to build and improve and become stronger both as individual athletes and as a cohesive unit, Soucy is quick to recognize the role of experience and veteran leadership on the team and the impact it has had throughout the playoffs and championship. Five players in last Saturday’s matchup have appeared for South Burlington in the last three consecutive finals, a group that includes Ashley Norris, Shannon and Allie Flaherty, Anne-Marie Farmer, and Emily Camardo. The Rebels have found a winning combination by unifying this experience with a tireless work ethic and a depth of talent throughout their roster that has made them the strongest program in the state. Congratulations to the South Burlington girl’s lacrosse team and head coach Anjie Soucy on an incredible 16-0 season and a third consecutive state championship victory.