By LAUREN READ
With rain – and maybe some snow – pouring down, the temperatures dropping, and the always-questionable Champlain Valley Union soccer field deteriorating, the Division I girls quarterfinal match between No. 1 CVU and No. 8 Burlington was certainly not pretty.
The Redhawks turned on the offense despite the weather and emerged with the 5-0 win over the Seahorses on Saturday to set up a D-I semifinal with No. 5 South Burlington.
“It feels really good,” said CVU senior Lilly Cazayoux. “Our coach gives the speech every season, you don’t get dropped on top of the hill, you have to work your way up.
“I think we did a lot of that.”
CVU was to play the Wolves at home on Wednesday at 3 p.m. after press time. Their goal: winning back-to-back state championships.
The two teams played an even first half Saturday until the Redhawks broke through about midway through, with Josie Pecor scoring on a penalty kick to give CVU the lead.
Lilly Cazayoux doubled the lead for the Redhawks minutes later, scoring on a pass from Sydney Jimmo.
“Lilly will always make the hard run, she will always make the aggressive run,” said CVU coach Stan Williams. “She just timed it so well. She was composed. That was great execution.”
CVU continued to pour it on in the second half, scoring on just two minutes into the second frame. Catherine Gilwee got the goal, while Jimmo earned another assist.
“It was sloppy, it was messy,” Williams said. “We certainly played to the conditions much better in the second half.”
Sara Kelley made it 4-0 for the Redhawks, knocking in the rebound, and Madi Hubbard added the fifth and final goal for CVU.
Maryn Askew made six saves to earn the shutout for CVU, while Klara Martone stopped 10 shots in a losing effort for Burlington.
With the win, the Redhawks now face the Wolves, the team they beat in last year’s semifinal. The two teams faced off twice in the regular season, with CVU emerging with shutout wins in both games.
“South Burlington is a great team,” Williams said. “They are fast, they’re technical. We have had two really good games with them. We are looking forward to it.”