OAK HILL HIGH SCHOOL’S Danielle Samson, right, controls the ball against Lisbon’s Courtney Lawrence during their MVC field hockey game in Litchfield on Friday. The host Raiders defeated the Greyhounds, 4-0, in a battle of unbeatens.

OAK HILL HIGH SCHOOL’S Danielle Samson, right, controls the ball against Lisbon’s Courtney Lawrence during their MVC field hockey game in Litchfield on Friday. The host Raiders defeated the Greyhounds, 4-0, in a battle of unbeatens.

LITCHFIELD

If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind where the balance of power in Mountain Valley Conference field hockey lies this season, the Oak Hill Raiders put that to rest unequivocally Friday. The Raiders turned a nailbiting, one-goal halftime advantage into a comfortable, sigh-of-relief-inducing four-goal margin with three flicks of Kylee Veilleux’s wrists in a 1:42 span of the second half, running off with a 4-0 win over the visiting Lisbon Greyhounds at Carrie Ricker Middle School.

“We knew this was going to be probably out toughest match of the year,” Oak Hill coach Betsy Gilbert said. “Lisbon is usually able to put together a strong, solid team. We knew we just needed to be that one percent better.”

The win lifts the Raiders’ record to 5-0 on the young season, and gives the team a benchmark win against a well established perennial contender.

“It’s awesome to be able to feel this way about winning a lot,” Veilleux said. “Before, we used to be a team that would just lose 10-0 in all of our games, so to be that team, it feels great.”

Even Veilleux, as surehanded a sniper as there is in the MVC, was surprised with her output, and was quick to share the compliments.

“It was really surprising, I didn’t expect it,” Veilleux said. “I couldn’t do anything without the rest of the team all together.”

The loss for Lisbon (3-1) was frustrating, particularly after a spell of solid pressure to begin the second half. But it isn’t the end of the world for the Greyhounds, who won the Class C state crown in 2012 and made another deep playoff run a year ago.

“We’re right there,” Lisbon coach Julie Wescott said. “We got a little deflated when they got the second goal, and the third goal and then the fourth one. They’re really good. They were cutting to the ball better than us, and we can’t take that away from them. We got beat.”

That Lisbon pressure in the second half was an 11- minute stretch during which the Greyhounds took 10 shots and forced Oak Hill keeper Abby Fuller to make six of her eight saves on the afternoon.

“It was nerve-wracking, but I made sure to keep my head in the game,” Fuller said. “I had to keep going. My defense was behind me the whole time. I was able to come out and be strong and make those saves.”

“We were on fire,” Wescott said. “We’re inexperienced up front, we’re young. It’ll come, we just need to learn to finish better.”

One rush was all it took for the Raiders to turn the tide. After scoring on a tip at the left post in the first half, Veilleux again took her position at the Lisbon goal line. Her sister, Kayla Veilleux, sent a hard shot through the circle and it skipped past Lisbon keeper Stevie Charest, right to Kylee, who rammed it home for good measure.

“When I’m down there I just want to make sure the ball gets in,” Kylee Veilleux said.

Kylee Veilleux did the work herself on her third tally, a strike that took just 23 seconds after the restart. She carried the ball into the circle and beat Charest on her own.

With an extra attacker in the circle on a penalty corner try, Kylee Veilleux capped her four-goal afternoon with 17:02 to play in the game.

The Greyhounds pressured again later in the half against Oak Hill’s second keeper, Megan Labbe, forcing her to make four more saves to preserve the shutout.

“We’ll only get better,” Wescott said. “We lost 11 girls from last year, we have some experience to fill, but we’ll get better.”


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