AUGUSTA, ME–Corrina Cota, Taylor Morley and the rest of the U-16 Vermont Shamrocks will once again get a chance to compete for the Tier II National Title.
Cota and Morley, who were a part of a North Country team that competed for the D II title just days before, would play a big part in the Shamrock's success over this past weekend.
After falling a little short in their quest for the gold last season, the girls are taking an even better team to San Jose, California from April 2nd through the 7th for what they hope will be a better experience.
"I could not be more proud of this team, it's a coach's dream to have what amounts to three "first lines" and two amazing goalies," said head coach Pat Burke. "The New England Championship is very sweet, but I suspect the girls have their sights set on advancing at Nationals as well.
"I would not bet against tiny Vermont, these girls have the hearts of lions."
The journey started in the fall, when the team competed in roughly twenty games to qualify for Regional Tournament play this spring.
The New England Tournament was held over St. Patrick's Day weekend (how appropriate) in Augusta Maine, and the Shamrocks were ready to take on all comers.
The girls opened the tournament by playing last year's national champions, the Polar Bears out of Connecticut.
The end result was a 6-2 win for the green and white.
Next up was the local team from Maine, the Portland Jr. Pirates.
The home-state crew gave Vermont little trouble, as the Shamrocks rolled to the 10-0 win.
More shut-outs would follow for the goalie tandem of Courtney Peyko and Victoria Gibson.
The other team from CT in the tournament, the Mid-Fairfield Stars, was the third opponent on the docket, and Vermont disposed of them 7-3 to advance to the semi-finals.
Corrina had a goal and two assists and Taylor had a goal in the win.
Sunday morning found the Shamrocks matched up against the Stars once again, this time with a chance to advance to the title game on the line.
Morley would get the eventual game-winner in the 3-0 victory.
In the finals against the NH Cyclones, Cota blasted home the opening goal in another 3-0 win, and the girls could call themselves the best team in New England.
Said Burke, "This group of amazing young women just beat a bunch of teams from states with huge populations and are loaded with Prep School all-stars.
"The game winning goal in the semi-final was scored by Taylor Morley, and in the championship, game Corina Cota sniped a shot past a goalie nobody else could figure out.
"Who would have thought that two girls from Lake Region High School would lead their team to a New England Championship and on to California to play for a National Championship?"
The team will now begin a brief fundraising initiative before their cross-country journey.
The Express will keep you updated on the team's preparations, as well as have live updates from the national championships.
For more information on the Shamrocks, you can check out their website, http://vtrocks.org