Lady Warriors defeat Lady Cavaliers, 2-1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Heather Horton and Tara Williams scored as Nansemond River (9-3, 3-1) defeated visiting Lakeland (6-5, 3-1) at field hockey for the first time since 1999 on Wednesday. The loss was the Lady Cavaliers’ first since 2000.

&uot;This win was very well-deserved,&uot; said Ashley Witt, in her first victory over Lakeland since becoming a Lady Warrior. &uot;We’ve worked really hard since last year. We may be the same players, but we’re a different team.&uot;

The teams went head-to-head from the start, as neither side was able to even get off a shot for the first 21 minutes. But with just under nine minutes to play in the first half, the Lady Warriors struck.

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Megan Belch broke down the right side of the field, and charged into the circle in front of the Lakeland goal. Her shot bounced off Lakeland goalkeeper Kelsey Cutchins’ leg pad, sending it into the middle of the circle. Horton was waiting there, and sent the ball into the back of the net.

&uot;I knew it was going in as soon as I shot it,&uot; said Horton, a sophomore. &uot;I felt like I was in a dream, and the ball was moving in slow motion. I just pushed it in.&uot;

The Lady Warriors went back on the attack for the next six minutes, but Lakeland’s Erin Bradley took a pass from the center, and sent the ball to a wide-open Katelyn Smither at midfield. With no one between her and the goal, Smither hauled down the left sideline and blasted the ball into the right side of the Nansemond River goal.

Smither nearly scored again with 23 seconds left in the half when she broke down the clear sideline. But Natalie Sims and Denise Quattlebaum overtook her, and the ball went out of bounds to end the half.

After Nansemond River goalkeeper Ashley Payton fought off another breakaway by Smither less than three minutes into the second half, neither team was able to get an advantage, combining for only five shots. With just over six minutes to go, a penalty against the Lady Cavaliers gave the Lady Warriors a corner shot.

Witt received the penalty shot on the left side of the circle, and sent a short pass to Ali Mowry in the center. Mowry took a shot, but the ball rolled to the left of the Lady Cavalier net. At the last minute, Williams lunged forward, deflected it in, and gave her team the deciding goal.

&uot;I was thinking, ‘Please God, this is my chance! Just let it go in!’&uot; said Williams. &uot;Words can’t even describe how I feel about this win, except ‘It’s about time!’&uot;

Nansemond River’s next game will come against Tabb on Friday, while Lakeland will visit Western Branch next Wednesday.