Giving up the game’s first goal didn’t bother South Burlington a bit. In fact, the Wolves seemed to just go with it ... and go ... and go.
They charged back to dominate and limit Rutland to that one shot on net in a 4-1 victory in nonconference field hockey Tuesday at Alumni Field.
The Wolves pounced three times before the intermission and in the end outshot Rutland 17-1.
Kate Hall and Hanako Memon had a goal and an assist each for the defending state champions. Ana Stich and Danielle Sleiman also scored while Jenna Sunderland scored for Rutland with an assist from Francie Ettori.
Memon and Sleiman did more than put the ball in the cage past the determined Jessica Ebbinghausen. They teamed with Caroline Desautels to form a rugged Wolves midfield that governed over Rutland’s attempts to counterattack.
“We definitely rely on those three to just kind of keep everything settled,” said coach Anjie Soucy after her team went to 4-1.
Rutland suffered its first loss and is also 4-1.
“Rutland scored on their opportunity there and that can sometimes make you tight but we went down and took care of business at the other end,” Soucy said.
“(The Wolves) work hard all the time. What’s nice is that it’s starting to come out early on in games. Today we were definitely connecting from the start. Rutland hadn’t lost a game so we were ready for a battle.”
The Wolves came out firing and put three shots in succession on Ebbinghausen, who booted them all away.
The Raiders countered smartly with Sunderland connecting past Ainsley Hultgren off Ettori’s pass but that was the last time the Raiders challenged the Wolves keeper.
“Our intensity needs to come the whole 60 minutes and when we are in that circle the one thing we weren’t doing that we had been doing is finishing,” Rutland coach Karen Poljacik said. “I thought we got excited and jittery.
“I’m not complaining at all. We were keeping up with them and I’m happy with what they did out there today. That’s a 4-1 score against the defending state champions.”
They played like it with some heavy pressure on Ebbinghausen (13 saves).
They tied things when Stich redirected a Lindsey Booth pass 15:06 before the half and took the lead with Sleiman’s score on one of 11 penalty corners (Rutland had six). Hall made it 3-1 3:11 before the break with a score off a penalty corner restart.
Memon capped the scoring with 16:58 left.
“I thought Stef Allen played excellent at midfield and at fullback ... and Jess really stepped it up today,” said Poljacik.
“We talked to her about what it was going to be like today and how different it was going to be from what she’s seen so far.”
Ebbinghausen and the Raiders might be taking another big step Monday when they visit southern powerhouse Bellows Falls, 3-0, coming into Tuesday’s play.