The Champlain Valley Union High School Redhawks played only two games in the regular season where they scored just one goal.
Both of those contests were with South Burlington.
Coming into the quarterfinal matchup against the Rebels, the Redhawks knew they would need to ignite their offense in order to move on to the next round. That spark came from junior forward Haliana Burhans, who netted a hat trick en route to second-seed Champlain Valley’s 4-0 win over 10th-ranked South Burlington.
A big crowd was on hand to watch host CVU make another run at the championship game, and Burhans and the Redhawks wasted little time giving their audience a show.
Just under the 20 minute mark in the first half, a CVU midfielder sent a ball into the 18. Burhans, who is quite speedy, picked up the pass for a breakaway and drove it past charging goalkeeper Taylor Gloyd for the first tally of the game.
It looked like South Burlington would respond quickly, when forward Kayla Gilding broke away from the Champlain Valley backline. But Redhawk senior fullback Abby Eddy came out of no where to chase down Gilding and knock the ball away keeper Lily Harris.
However, the Redhawks possessed for much of the half, keeping the ball in their offensive end with great first touches and passing. Those two components translated into the next goal for the hosts in the closing minutes of the frame. Paige DuBrul won a 50-50 ball near midfield, and sent another long thru pass up the middle. In repeat fashion, Burhans beat a Rebel defender to the ball, and headed it over the outstretched hands of Gloyd.
The Redhawks picked up where they left off starting the second half, netting their third goal four minutes in. Burhans struck for her third and final goal off of a cross from the endline that she one-timed into the lower left corner.
Despite the scoreboard, the visiting Rebels defense was physical and stymied many scoring opportunities for Champlain Valley. South Burlington head coach Curt Belton was particularly impressed with their efforts. “Our defense was tough, great today, and that bodes well for next year. We only have one senior in that group,” he said.
The final CVU goal came in the 68th minute, when Mackenzie Buckman beat Rebel keeper Gloyd to a ball just outside six yard box. Freshman Megan Gannon received the pass wide open in front, and gave the Redhawks some added insurance.
South Burlington’s Taylor Gloyd finished the day with five saves, and Lily Harris and Maddie Turnau combined for the three-save shutout for the hosts.
Brad Parker, Champlain Valley head coach can be pleased with his team’s performance “The CVU kids were just so focused today, ” he said, “A couple of those goals were just the way we had worked. That’s when it’s fun to be a coach.”
South Burlington ends their season at 8-7-1, but coach Belton is ready for next Fall. “It’s a sign of where we’ve come, but we have a ways to go. We wish CVU the best, they are a quality team, but we’re already looking to next year,” he said.
Champlain Valley is 14-1-1 and will host a semifinal Wednesday afternoon.