SOUTH BURLINGTON — Freshman Tatum Shappy put Milton ahead nine minutes into Saturday’s Division II girls soccer state championship game against No. 1 seed U-32, and senior Cait Dabagian added a pair in the second half for a 3-1 victory.
The title is Milton’s fifth in the past eight seasons.
Taylor Quintin set up Shappy’s early goal with a corner kick, giving the No. 2 seed Yellowjackets a 1-0 lead in a half that was evenly played. Shappy turned playmaker in the second half, setting up both of Dabagian’s goals.
Dabagian pushed Milton’s advantage to 2-0 when she scored nine minutes into the second half.
Ferron Pursell got the Raiders back within one goal when she got to a loose ball deep in the penalty area off a corner kick, driving a shot into the left side of the goal to make it 2-1 with just 10 minutes remaining in regulation time.
U-32’s momentum was short-lived, though. Less than a minute later, Shappy slid a pass behind the defense for Dabagian, and the senior sprinted into the box before easily sending a 15-yard shot past the charging Raiders goalie and into the open right side of the netting to make it 3-1.
Dabagian got another breakaway two minutes later and pushed her shot wide to the near side, but the damage had already been done by her previous goal.
U-32 did not get another shot on goal off against Milton’s stellar defense, which held the top seed in Division II to just 10 shots on goal — five in each half.
Freshman keeper Madison North came up with five saves for the win, which leaves Milton with a final record of 14-4.
The Raiders had only been held as low as one goal three times this season, with two of those coming in the first two games of the fall. Milton finished with a dozen shots while U-32 goalie Natalie Lavigne made six saves.
The 2015 trophy will join honors from the girls recent 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 state titles. It is the 13th state championship in program history.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” Dabagian said. “I’m just so happy we accomplished this, because this was obviously our main goal for the season. I’m just proud of the team that we came together for the end of the year, and we ended it with the biggest prize of all.”
Defender Adrianna Desranleau was especially appreciative of the experience.
“It means so much. For me, this is probably the last game I’ll ever play,” she said. “I was a sophomore, but I was injured last time we won it. Since the beginning of the season, it’s been our goal the whole time so it just means so much.”
“It feels great,” coach Cory Payson added. “Our first off-season practice was all building up to this moment. I thought we had a really good shot at getting here, so now getting here and finishing the job it just feels great. It’s so satisfying.”
Upon the girls’ arrival back home, they were escorted through town by Milton police, fire and rescue crews. See the video above, courtesy of Milton PD.