It was a week where we had to cross the river to get familiar with a New Hampshire team before assembling the Rutland Herald / Times Argus field hockey power rankings.
Hartford’s loss to Hanover did nothing to taint the Hurricanes’ top ranking. The Marauders are a juggernaut and their 1-0 win over Hartford was their seventh shutout this season.
Windsor looks to be a clear favorite in Division III, but Stowe and a few other teams probably think otherwise.
It is not too early to begin talking about playoffs with the field hockey tournament pairings scheduled to be released Oct. 21.
Division I and Division II? More wide open than ever.
CVU is on the rise in Division I and Rutland is a contender. Those teams, along with Colchester and Bellows Falls, are the D-I teams in this week’s rankings.
They all have a realistic chance to capture the title in what looks to be a wild scramble. But so does South Burlington, the D-I runner-up from last year.
There are others lurking. There is no power that everyone is gunning for. It is going to be wild.
No less so in Division II. Hartford, Otter Valley and Mount Abraham are red hot contenders in that division and might be as good as anyone in Division I. Any game that pits any of those three teams against one another in the postseason is a must-see event.
Here are this week’s Rutland Herald / Times Argus field hockey power rankings with last week’s ranking in parentheses.
1. Hartford 8-2-1 (1) A 1-0 loss to 9-1-1 Hanover does not hurt the Hurricanes. It only strengthens their case for No. 1. This is a big week for the ‘Canes and it includes a rubber game with a Rutland team that it beat in overtime and lost to by a goal. That game is Friday in White River Junction.
2. CVU 8-3 (4) Whoa, where did these Redhawks come from? They have won their last five games, giving up a total of two goals during that span.
3. Otter Valley 7-2 (7) The Otters have won their last three and six of the last seven.
4. Mount Abraham 6-2-2 (2) The Division II Eagles lost two straight but each by a goal to Division I teams.
5. Windsor 8-1-1 (3) The top Division III team in our rankings, the Yellow Jackets not only have that gaudy record but some quality results within it. A tie with Hartford, a win over Otter Valley and a convincing 4-0 victory over a sound Burr and Burton team is extremely impressive.
6. Stowe 7-2 (UR) Tradition never graduates in Raider Land.
7. Bellows Falls 6-6 (UR) The defending Division I champions might be getting it together. Beating BBA and Rutland on the road consecutively is eye-catching.
8. Rutland 5-4-1 (3) The Loss to BF after three straight wins was tough to swallow.
9. Colchester 6-4-1 (UR) Three wins in a row including one over a South Burlington team that might be rediscovering its magic makes the Lakers a team to watch in playoffs.
10. Spaulding 6-1-2 (UR) The Tide has been steadily building their case.
On the bubble: South Burlington, Lyndon, Burr and Burton, Rice, St. Johnsbury, Missisquoi.