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The defending Division II state field hockey champion Harwood Highlanders extended their win streak to 17 with a 4-0 win over the Yellow Jackets from Milton on September 3. This was the first game of the new season: no one was sure of the outcome. With nine seniors graduating last year, most of them starters, the Harwood fans watched a very young team take command of the field.
The offense got busy early receiving numerous passes from the midfield. Finally in the eighth minute Hailey Spittle handled a pass from co-captain Sophie Lisaius and sent it past the goalie for the first score of the day. Milton rallied and put pressure on the Harwood defense for the first time. Led by co-captain Kayla Dillon, Harwood bent a little but never broke. The momentum shifted and soon had Harwood back crashing the Milton goal.
With minutes to play in the first half Lisaius made another 40-yard run down the center of the field. As the defense swarmed around her she found Sarah Reed on the far side of the goal with a tap pass and Reed hammered it home. It was an unstoppable textbook field hockey goal.
In the second half Harwood would maintain pressure with ample scoring opportunities. Ashley Nelson and Taylor Koran both dinged the metal in the back of the goal with scores 3 and 4. Even though it was a dominant day for Harwood outshooting Milton 21 to 3, the Yellow Jackets never gave up and did some of their best work late in the second half.
The JV squad battled to a 0-to-0 tie. However with only one substitute, they played better than the score showed. Like the varsity, they certainly didn't fear running and kept constant pressure up front and got back to reinforce the defense every time Milton threatened.
The middle school has just started practice this week and is still accepting players.
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