Purcellville, Va. — Since field hockey became a VHSL sanctioned sport in 2016, Heritage High School has been a perennial state title contender. And over the past five years, the Pride have knocked off just about every team they faced, including posting a 5-0 record against Loudoun Valley, while outscoring the Vikings, 26-2.
Avery Goodlin had seen enough.
With the fall season pushed to the spring due to COVID-19 precautions, the Loudoun Valley senior forward turned in her gymnastics chalk for a field hockey stick and her first team All-LoCo gymnastics nomination for a hat trick in Loudoun Valley’s first ever field hockey win over Heritage, 3-1, on March 10 in Purcellville.
“I love this sport, and I love putting all my effort into it for this team, for myself, and all the Loudoun Valley teams from the past,” Goodlin said. “Getting a win against Heritage was what we’ve been looking for.”
Over the years, when the Loudoun Valley field hockey team had fallen into a hole, they just kept falling, so after Heritage senior forward Lindsey Blythe put the Pride up 1-0 early in the first quarter, it looked like history was about to repeat itself.
However, Goodlin and co. had other plans.
Late in the first quarter, the Vikings successfully defended more than half a dozen penalty corners as senior goalie Genna Marsh got rolling, holding the Pride scoreless over the last 56 minutes of the contest.
“These seniors are the seniors we started with as freshmen, so they have a special place in my heart,” Loudoun Valley head coach Nancy Adams said. “They’ve certainly grown and improved tremendously through the program, and now’s their time to shine.”
With their defense intact, the Vikings went into attack mode. Having already defended nearly ten penalty corners, Loudoun Valley converted on a penalty corner on the offensive end as Goodlin caught a piece of the shot with her stick, tying the game up at 1-1 early in the second quarter.
Then late in the second quarter, Goodlin scored her second goal of the night, giving the Vikings a 2-1 lead and the momentum heading into the half.
Even with the lead, Goodlin wasn’t content.
“We didn’t have a great first half, but we came out in the second half strong and put all our effort into getting the win,” Goodlin said. “Sometimes we have a tendency to shut down, but we never did tonight; we got stronger all four quarters.”
After another well-executed defensive effort in the third, Loudoun Valley was looking for a little bit more cushion which they got early in the fourth quarter when Goodlin scored on a penalty stroke to complete her hat trick as the Vikings held on to defeat the Pride, 3-1.
“That definitely boosts our confidence,” Adams said. “The girls need to keep up the energy and enthusiasm, but that win will definitely propel us into the next game.”
Sitting alone at the top of the Dulles District, Loudoun Valley will look to ride their momentum into their game against Tuscarora on March 13 at Park View as the Vikings and the rest of the teams throughout Loudoun continue to battle through the changing requirements brought on by the craziness of 2020-2021.
“These girls have persevered through so much over the last year academically, socially, athletically, and just the different challenges they might have faced in their own homes,” Adams said. “To have a season means a great deal to them. They are making the most of it, considering the circumstances. That just shows the resilience they have.”
|2Q||9:39||Loudoun Valley||Avery Goodlin||1-1|
|2Q||0:56||Loudoun Valley||Avery Goodlin||2-1|
|4Q||10:00||Loudoun Valley||Avery Goodlin||3-1|