NEWPORTâTrailing 1-0 after one half of play, the North Country field hockey team fell victim to Rice's offensive outburst in the second half and came up a little short, losing their season opener 4-0 on Saturday morning.
"They did pretty well considering Rice is probably the second best team in the state," said head coach Chantelle Bouchard.
Rice was all over the Falcons early on and goaltender Danielle Gabucci was put to the test time, and time again.
The Green Knights finally found the back of the net on an unbelievable penalty shot by Erika Gonyaw.
The senior sent the ball up and over Gabucci to get the visitors on the board with 7:32 left to play in the first half.
Rice kept coming, but Gabucci and the Falcon defenders, especially Brittany Verge who saved another goal herself with a tremendous stop, were able to keep Rice at bay.
Eight minutes into the second half Rice got the lead up to two when Lucy Stillman snuck one behind Gabucci on a broken play.
The Falcons responded and came charging up the field by, led by sophomore Adrianna Fournier.
Her hustle created two great chances, and the only two shots North Country would get on goal all game.
Said Bouchard, "When they got there it seems like they were a little bit scared and didn't quite know what to do.â
A meleeÂ´ in front of the Falcon net led to Rice's third goal of the contest.
Gabucci made several outstanding saves before Kelley St. Marie found the back of the net.
"I'm a little discouraged. We gave it our all, but we've got to do better if we want to get a win," said Gabucci.
Bouchard was very pleased with her netminder's play saying, "She really wanted to step it up this year, and starting right in the first game of the season she did."
Rice added another tally late in the game to seal the win.
With the Labor Day holiday keeping the kids out of school on Monday, the girls did not have a change to work on anything before today's showdown against Montpelier.
Bouchard hopes to go over a few things during the pre-game warm-ups, but knows that time will be limited.
The Solons and the Falcons square off at North Country starting at 4:00.