Nansemond River sophomore forward/mid-fielder Ashley Hiltabrand tries to make a turn around the Grassfield High School defense during Monday’s season opener at Nansemond River High School. The Lady Warriors lost 2-1, but look forward to a re-match at the end of the season.
Nansemond River sophomore forward/mid-fielder Ashley Hiltabrand tries to make a turn around the Grassfield High School defense during Monday’s season opener at Nansemond River High School. The Lady Warriors lost 2-1, but look forward to a re-match at the end of the season.

Grassfield beats Lady Warriors

Published 9:49pm Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It was not quite the way Nansemond River High School’s field hockey team wanted to start off its season, but there was positivity to come out of Monday’s 2-1 home loss to Grassfield High School.

After the Lady Grizzlies kept the Lady Warriors out of regionals last year, NR head coach Ali Mowry really wanted this win, but she said, “I don’t think my girls played a bad game, and I’m still very hopeful and positive about the season ahead.”

Senior back Madison Janek, who scored her team’s lone goal, felt energized after the game, saying, “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season based on that.”

She also said she was looking forward to a rematch with Grassfield later this season.

“I just think we had a few mental breakdowns and a little bit of inexperience that led to a few goals for them,” Mowry said.

She said her team came out strong, controlling the first five to 10 minutes of the game, but the Lady Grizzlies scored first, with 14:55 remaining in the first half.

Nansemond River senior forward Amber Daubenspeck was pleased with the team’s response.

“We did a good job keeping our heads up after they scored the first one and keeping our composure as a team,” she said.

Janek scored her goal less than two minutes later, with 13:02 remaining.

The Lady Grizzlies’ scored the go-ahead goal more than six minutes later.

“We didn’t give up any second-half goals, which was good for us,” Mowry said, and Nansemond River successfully kept the ball on Grassfield’s side of the field for most of the game’s final 15 minutes.

Daubenspeck added, “I think it took the first half to get our mindset back in game mode.”

Coach Mowry could not help but notice what was still missing in the second half, though.

“We do a great job of working the ball up the field, but when it comes time in the circle, everybody wants to pass the ball up,” she said.

She said her players need to be hungrier to score at that point: “I need somebody to just unleash on the ball.”

Janek’s goal came off a penalty corner, but Nansemond River had at least four penalty corners in the second half, including one with 37 seconds remaining, that it could not capitalize on.

Mowry said she thought everyone on her team fought hard, and though Nansemond River’s defense was not perfect, she said, “I thought Cali Valdivieso had a good game in the back, stopping a lot of the balls and bringing them out.”

Mowry made sure the Lady Grizzlies would pop up again on the schedule; the teams will face off on Oct. 25, right before the conference tournament.

Nansemond River next plays on the road against Great Bridge High School today.

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