Leesburg, Va. — The Loudoun County High School Raiders field hockey team proved any doubters wrong by handily defeating Woodgrove, 5-2, on September 4 at Heritage High School. While both teams came into the contest with 2-0 records, Loudoun County dominated the time of possession in the game, holding possession for roughly 75-percent of the time. While Woodgrove scored at opportune times to make the game a contest, in the end, the talent and cohesiveness of the young Raiders team outdid the Wolverines.
“We lost a lot of physical, talented seniors, and we are a young team,” Loudoun County junior forward Emily Tyler said. “We did a good job of keeping our composure and playing tough through the entire game.”
Within the first twelve minutes of the game, Loudoun County sophomore Alyssa Markell had scored two goals – the first unassisted with the second coming via an assist by Tyler.
Woodgrove halved the Loudoun County lead with a nice flick by sophomore Makenna Miller up and over a defender and through the five-hole of the goalkeeper’s pads, only to have Loudoun County quickly take away the momentum, with sophomore Isabella Mitchum scoring a goal less than a minute later, leaving the score 3-1 at halftime.
Early in the second half, the Wolverines trimmed the Raiders lead to one goal, off of a score from senior Caroline Catterton – Woodgrove’s leading scorer on the season. The lead once again grew to two goals for Loudoun County shortly after, with a goal by Raiders sophomore Charlotte Penberthy. Late in the game, Loudoun County senior Caili Shanahan scored the Raiders’ fifth and final goal of the contest.
“In the beginning, we were up. We kind of coasted in the middle of the game, and we were nervous when they scored quickly on us. But, we beat them by keeping our heads high and passing,” Shanahan said. “That’s what is so great about this team: we want it more, and we let one another on our team know that.”
Loudoun County head coach Maggie Darby and assistant coach Kelly Petrella – both new to coaching at Loudoun County High School – said they were very happy with how the girls performed. They advised that their coaching mantra involves using the skills you have as a team and not trying to dribble too much, but to actively pass the ball to move up and down the field.
Woodgrove (0-0, 2-1) will look to bounce back with a game against rival Loudoun Valley on September 5 in Purcellville.
Up next for Loudoun County (0-0, 3-0) is a clash with fellow undefeated team Riverside, who knocked off Heritage 4-0 on September 4. The game is set for 6:45 p.m. at Stone Bridge High School on September 9.
“Our chemistry is so good when we work together,” Markell said. “So, we have committed to doing that the rest of the season.”