By Owen Gotimer
Ashburn (September 22, 2016) – In what fans, coaches and players touted as the game of the fall in the first season of varsity field hockey in Loudoun County, Heritage High School traveled to Ashburn to take on Stone Bridge High School on September 20 with the No. 1 spot in the LoCo standings up for grabs. The Lady Pride – led by super sophomore midfielder Josie Rossbach – pressured the Lady Bulldog defense and finally found the openings they were looking for in the second half as Heritage defeated Stone Bridge, 3-1.
“We went back to the basics. We attacked down the right flank, got the ball wide and used our width. We looked for opportunities and stayed patient in the circle,” Heritage head coach Derek Ryan said. “It showed our team that if we stay focused on the system, the system will win out over one girl every time.”
After controlling time of possession and time in the circle in the first half, the Lady Pride came out with a renewed purpose in the second half as sophomore forward Sydney Krieger scored the game’s first goal less than two minutes into the half to give Heritage a 1-0 lead.
“During halftime, our coach really helped us stay relaxed and stay focused on the goal,” junior defender Elizabeth Manser said. “It really helped us to just stay focused, and it showed in the second half.”
However, the one-goal lead was short-lived as Stone Bridge had an answer in the form of junior midfielder Rachel Del Rosso’s penalty corner goal just seven minutes later.
Heritage connected on a penalty corner of their own when Rossbach passed a corner to freshman midfielder Emma Grinnell who found sophomore midfielder Josephine Robson in front of the net for the goal.
“When the first penalty corner goal went in on a broken play, everybody just relaxed,” Ryan said. “They knew that if they stayed persistent and stayed with the ball good things were going to happen.”
The Lady Pride were extremely persistent throughout the game intercepting Stone Bridge passes and controlling the ball in the circle with chances on goal nearly 20 different times. Yet, the Lady Bulldog defense – led by sophomore Emma Logue – made sure Rossbach and company did not have an easy night.
Still, Rossbach found a way to slide passed the Stone Bridge defense and to slide the ball passed the Lady Bulldogs’ goalkeeper with just under five minutes left in the game to give the Lady Pride the cushion they were looking for.
— LoCoSports (@LoCoSports) September 21, 2016
“Once they tied it up, we were able to get that lead back really quickly,” Manser said. “The momentum really helped in the game.”
On September 26, Heritage travels to Broad Run High School to battle with the Lady Spartans while Stone Bridge hosts the Lady Huskies of Tuscarora High School on September 28.
“We’re going to have to come together and play as a team,” Robson said. “We’re going to have to play like we did tonight, every game.”
2H 28:39 H Sydney Krieger
2H 20:38 SB Rachel Del Rosso
2H 14:42 H Josephine Robson
2H 4:57 H Josie Rossbach