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Bulldogs draw against Great Bridge

The King’s Fork High field hockey team couldn’t maintain an early lead Wednesday against visiting Great Bridge but held on for a 1-1 tie in the teams’ Southeastern District contest. The result gives King’s Fork the first three-game unbeaten streak in program history, following victories over Southampton and Indian River.

The Bulldogs (3-5-1, 1-4-1), who have already set a program record for season victories, took the lead on a Jennifer Humphrey goal in the 16th minute. Humphrey, who began the season on the junior varsity, fired in an Ashley Carter pass in the midst of a scramble inside the Wildcats’ circle that began with Nicolette Santora’s penalty corner.

Great Bridge (0-7-1, 0-5-1) tied the game with 10 minutes remaining in the second half on Natalie Sympson’s goal. The teams played two 15-minute overtimes.

“I’m very disappointed at the result but I liked a lot of what we did today,” said King’s Fork coach Jessica Neblett. “The things I’ve been yelling about all season, passing and switching the ball to the other side, it’s starting to happen.”

Defender Kiara Anthony was especially noticeable for the Bulldogs, repeatedly snuffing Great Bridge forays into her team’s end and racing dangerous balls away from the middle of the field and out to the flanks. Neblett said the second-year varsity player may be her team’s most improved performer this season.

“I knew she’d gotten a lot better over the summer but I wasn’t expecting her to come out as good as she has,” Neblett said. “In the past, we haven’t had players stick with the program, but she’s an example of someone who’s done that and gotten better and better.”

King’s Fork is next in action during Saturday’s Suffolk Invitational at Nansemond River High, then visits 8-time defending district champion and crosstown rival Lakeland on Oct. 1.