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Lady Warriors finish third in Suffolk tourney

Nansemond River High enjoyed hosting Saturday’s annual Suffolk Invitational field hockey tournament. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they invited a team just a tiny bit better than themselves and had to settle for third place.

Facing off against Beach District member Bayside in the tournament’s first game, Nansemond River opened the scoring on a Jessica Adams goal off a Kayla Johnson assist. However, the Marlins’ Caitlin Cahill scored twice in less than three minutes, the second goal on a long shot with six minutes to play in the first half. Bayside claimed a 2-1 victory.

The Warriors next faced Churchland and prevailed 2-1 on goals by Brittany Frame and Breanne Lowe. Nansemond River (7-3-1) surrendered a Truckers tally with two seconds to play.

Finishing second in their division slotted the Warriors in the third-place game. They faced Southeastern District and city rival King’s Fork, which had lost 8-0 to Hickory and tied Heritage 0-0. Nansemond River built a 4-0 halftime lead over the Bulldogs on goals by Frame, Katie Celeste, Lauren Daubenspeck and Johnson. Celeste and Perri Holloman added second-half tallies for a 6-0 final score.

Nansemond River coach Darryl Yandle was pleased to see Celeste and Holloman, two younger players who don’t normally start, get on the score sheet. Other reserves were also able to experience plentiful playing time.

“That’s not planned, but it turned into a nice perk,” Yandle said. “We’ve worked hard on keeping our sticks on the ground in the circle and Katie and Perri were rewarded for doing that today.”

King’s Fork coach Jessica Neblett lamented her team being shut out. But Neblett said she knew the Bulldogs (3-6-2) were facing an uphill battle when one of her best players left for work before the final game and four players who began the season on the junior varsity started against the Warriors.

“I don’t know how we didn’t score against Heritage,” Neblett said. “The only time our goalie touched the ball that game was once in overtime.

“I expected more out of our team, but I have to look at the bright side. I was able to give a lot of playing time today to younger players who are going to have to play a lot next year.”

Bayside defeated Hickory 3-0 in the tournament title game while Churchland downed Heritage 2-1 in the fifth-place contest.