The Black River High School girls' soccer team recently began the defense of their Division IV state championship. In fact, the Lady Presidents are shooting for four in a row.
Taking on number- fourteen seed Danville in Ludlow, Black River could have easily looked past this match.
However, you don't win three straight state titles by taking any team for granted.
Senior Hannah Josselyn led the way for Black River with a hat trick, while Angie Valente and Amanda Chambers also pitched in with a goal each to round out the scoring.
Lady President goal keeper Zoe Trimboli was only forced to make four saves to earn the shut out, in front of her smart and stingy defense.
The win put Black River at 12-1-2 entering the quarter finals against a Proctor team they would be facing for the fourth time this season, previously producing two wins and a loss.
In the following quarter final round, the number-six seeded Proctor Lady Phantoms indeed came to Dorsey Park for up the fourth meeting with Black River, with really nothing to lose against the defending state champs.
Therefore they played conservatively on offense and deliberate on defense, content to only push the offense when the opportunity was clearly there.
And for most of the first half the strategy worked and kept them in the game.
At the start, neither team could get much offense going as play hovered around midfield, until the Lady Presidents finally broke through 10 minutes in, when senior Hannah Josselyn lofted a corner kick into the box that bounced high, before senior Tina Valente planted it inside the left post for a 1-0 lead.
However, Proctor answered right back just two minutes later when Mikayla McCormack made a nice one-on-one move past a defender before lofting a shot just inside the far post to tie the game.
Black River would then wake up and begin to click a little more on offense, putting more pressure on the Proctor defense until they finally broke the tie with under three minutes left when a lofting Josselyn shot bounced through the hands and over the head of keeper Elizabeth Falco, with Angie Valente right there to tap the loose ball into the net.
In the second half, Proctor would continue to play smart, conservative soccer, however as they began running out of time in the match, started to take more chances in the offense end, but couldn't get the tying goal.
The Lady President sealed the game in the final two minutes, when Josselyn planted a penalty kick for the 3-1 win. Josselyn also had assists on the other two Black River goals.
At press time, the Lady Presidents were getting ready for a semifinal round match up at number-two seeded South Royalton, who are 15-0-1 coming into the match.