No. 1 Essex edges Tigers in field hockey semi-finals

MIDDLEBURY — In a Wednesday Division I field hockey semifinal played at Middlebury College, No. 4 Middlebury Union High School fell to No. 1 Essex, 2-0.
Essex, the defending champion, improved to 13-0-1 and went on to defeat Champlain Valley, 2-1, for the title on Saturday. The 8-5-2 Tigers suffered only their second loss in eight games, both to Essex.
The Tigers had chances in the first half: Sara Kelley shot wide on a pass from Tajah Marsden, and a Kelley feed to Lauren Bartlett near the left post just missed connecting.
MUHS also defended three corners well, while goalie Baily Ryan (11 saves) stopped a Jenna Puleo breakaway and a drive from Hornet all-star Kathleen Young. But with a minute to go before the break Young carried past a defender and set up teammate Grace Murphy at the right post to make it 1-0 at the half.
The Tigers earned two penalty corners early in the second half, and Essex goalie Madison Corkum made her only save of the night on the second, denying Kelley. Two minutes later, Murphy tipped in a blast from Young, and the Tigers were unable to dent an Essex defense that allowed only four goals this fall.
Four Tiger seniors played their last field hockey game for MUHS: Ryan, midfielders Harley Downey-Teachout and Emma Snyder-Whyte, and defender Alli White.

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