TURNER — A playoff tune-up is what both Leavitt and Lawrence needed on the final day of the field hockey regular season.

Lawrence capped off its perfect regular season to win its first-ever KVAC Class B championship with a 2-0 victory Tuesday.

Both teams had reasons why they were looking forward to the matchup originally scheduled earlier in the season.

“We have been out for a little bit here with COVID. It’s only our second game back,” Lawrence coach Shawna Robinson said. “We were a little worried (about) not playing (Leavitt) because we knew they were a quality opponent and there’s a reason why they only lost a few games this year.”

The Bulldogs are the No. 1. team in Class B North, while the Hornets (11-3) entered the day as the No. 3 team in Class B South. The teams can’t meet again until the state championship game, but for Leavitt coach Wanda Ward-MacLean, Lawrence does give the Hornets a glimpse of the type of competition they will see with South regional teams.

“It makes us think about those teams, a lot of the teams in the South we don’t see,” Ward-MacLean said. “It was good to play a real quality team because, unfortunately, we have played a lot of weaker teams this year.”

Both of the Bulldogs’ goals on Tuesday were scored by Haylie Niles.

“It was huge for the team, but I think it was huge for Haylie’s confidence to get a couple (goals) in today for her confidence level,” Robertson said. “We are pretty happy that we scored one early, but I am pretty happy for Haylie too.”

The Bulldogs (11-0) got off to a quick start when both teams battled in Leavitt’s circle. Niles was able to jam the ball in off a pass from her sister Maddie Niles.

“It was big for us, we always want to come out with a lot of intensity and we definitely did that today,” Haylie Niles said.

The Hornets weren’t in rhythm early on.

“We need to be more patient, especially early in the game,” Ward-MacLean said. “We panicked a little too much and that led to some mistakes.”

Lawrence continued to put pressure on the Hornets’ defense in the first quarter but couldn’t get any shots off on Leavitt goalie Paige DeMascio.

Late in the first quarter and into the second quarter, Leavitt started to flip the field and started getting the ball to Lawrence’s end.

Just like Lawrence, the Hornets couldn’t get any shots off.

In the final two minutes of the half, the Bulldogs received the first corner of the game. Hope Bouchard sent the ball to the near post, where Niles was standing to tap it in.

Bouchard has the option of what to do with the ball off a corner.

“The ball will usually go straight to (Bouchard on a corner) and she will either hit it in or pass it off to somebody,” Haylie Niles said.

The Hornets’ defense did a good job defending the Bulldogs’ seven corners in the second half. Leavitt finally got its first shot in the fourth quarter against Lawrence, but goalie Emma Poulin didn’t need to stop any that were on-target.

“We did a little better covering the middle (of the field), which gave us more opportunities (offensively),” Ward-MacLean said. “We switched our formation up a little bit, that helped, but unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”


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