NRHS clinches regional berthPublished 12:49am Saturday, November 2, 2013
The field hockey team at Nansemond River High School had been stopped the last two years at the brink of qualification for regional competition.
Not this year.
The Lady Warriors eked out a 1-0 win on Thursday over cross-town rival King’s Fork High School in the semifinal round of the Ironclad Conference 18 tournament at Christopher Newport University.
Nansemond River senior back and team captain Madison Janek scored the contest’s lone goal on a penalty stroke with eight seconds left in the first half.
“Goal achieved,” Lady Warriors head coach Ali Mowry said. “I can’t say it was the way we wanted it to be achieved.”
What intensity she felt her team lacked, Lady Bulldogs coach Courtney Van der Linden seemed to find in her own players.
Van der Linden said, “The growth that the girls have made is kind of like a culminating experience.”
She described it as a really close match that came down to the last few seconds.
“A lot of the play was in the middle of the field,” she said.
Mowry did not let her short-term disappointment with her team’s play distract her from the big picture, however. “It doesn’t take away the way the girls have played all season long,” she said.
She also cited the exemplary performance by one of the later additions to this year’s roster, freshman Victoria Czuprynski.
“If I could say one player that did not let down the whole game, it was definitely Victoria,” Mowry said.
Van der Linden said she would have naturally liked her team to have advanced, but she was pleased with the 10-6 final record, the best in King’s Fork varsity field hockey history.
Nansemond River (11-5) will face Lakeland High School (17-0) in the conference championship set for 2:30 p.m. today at Christopher Newport University.