Conference champs: The Lakeland High School field hockey team celebrates after clinching the inaugural Ironclad Conference 18 tournament championship on Saturday. The Lady Cavs defeated Nansemond River High School 7-0 on Captains Turf Field at Christopher Newport University. (Melissa Glover Photo)
Conference champs: The Lakeland High School field hockey team celebrates after clinching the inaugural Ironclad Conference 18 tournament championship on Saturday. The Lady Cavs defeated Nansemond River High School 7-0 on Captains Turf Field at Christopher Newport University. (Melissa Glover Photo)

Lady Cavs rule the conference

Published 12:51am Sunday, November 3, 2013

For the past 12 years, Lakeland High School’s field hockey team has made a habit of winning the Southeastern District tourney title.

Saturday’s showdown against Nansemond River High School marked the first Ironclad Conference 18 tournament championship game and with it the prospect of a new winning tradition for the Lady Cavaliers.

“I’m glad we started it,” Lakeland senior back Kasey Smith said, after her team won 7-0 on Captains Turf Field at Christopher Newport University.

When these two Suffolk teams met in the regular season, the 4-0 final score was in Lakeland’s favor, but far closer than Lady Cavs head coach Tara Worley thought it should have been.

“And don’t think that I did not remind them of that,” she said on Saturday.

Senior forward Summer Parker cited a key improvement in this second meeting: “We stayed more in control.”

“I felt like the girls came out and they stuck to the game plan,” Worley said.

She wanted a quick start to keep the Lady Warriors from hanging around, and senior midfielder Jamee Albright obliged with an unassisted goal less than five minutes into the game. She later assisted her twin sister forward/midfielder Alexis Albright on the first of her two goals.

Smith was active early as a facilitator with two assists, including one to senior forward Kiersten King.

“I think the passes were pretty sharp today and where they needed to be,” she said.

Smith capped off the first half scoring with a goal of her own to make it 5-0.

For anyone wondering which teams dominated the conference this year, the game served as an echo of the all-conference announcements this past week.

Of the 16 players named to the first team, 14 of them were from either Lakeland or Nansemond River. Eight came from the Lady Cavaliers: forwards Alexis Albright, Jessie Cox and Parker; midfielders Jamee Albright and Kristen Vick; defenders Kasey Smith and Kelsey O’Leary; and goalkeeper Erin Bradshaw.

Worley was named Coach of the Year, and Parker was Player of the Year. Parker scored twice on Saturday, and had one assist.

The six Lady Warriors on the first team included forwards Kimberly Bates and Amber Daubenspeck, midfielders Claire Janek and Jaclyn Mounie and defenders Madison Janek and Cali Valdivieso.

Suffolk accounted for all but one of the first-teamers, as King’s Fork High School’s Rachel Gist was also named as a midfielder.

Nansemond River head coach Ali Mowry did not think her team’s intensity level was where it needed to be on Saturday, but she said, “I thought we definitely gave a better showing than we did Thursday night against King’s Fork.”

She told her players Monday’s starting line-up for regionals would be based on Saturday’s performance.

In the opening round of the 4A South regional tournament on Monday, Nansemond River (11-6) will play Churchland High School at Powhatan Field in Norfolk at 5 p.m. Lakeland (18-0) will host Deep Creek High School at 4 p.m.

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