Senior Day and SED title No. 9 for Lady Cavs

Published 9:42 pm Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wednesday was Senior Day for Lakeland’s field hockey program, or more specifically, it was Kaity Byrum Day. Even with Lakeland having a 12-2 record overall after its 6-0 victory over Great Bridge on Wednesday, Byrum is the Lady Cavaliers’ only senior this season.

Lakeland’s win also clinched a ninth consecutive regular season championship in the Southeastern District. With an 8-0 record and one district match remaining, the Lady Cavaliers have outscored their Southeastern foes 58-3.

Great Bridge made it relatively difficult for the Lady Cavaliers. The visitors never made a serious threat to the outcome of the match, as Lakeland outshot Great Bridge 43-0, had a shot on goal advantage of 27-0 and had 22 penalty corners to none for Great Bridge.

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The Lady Wildcats managed to hold Lakeland to one goal in the first 28 minutes with a defensive bunker which included, in effect, three goalkeepers in the cage at all times.

Even during the few times Great Bridge advanced the ball as far as the midfield stripe, five or six Great Bridge players remained back on defense including two Lady Wildcats remaining stationed in the goalmouth, one on each post similar to a soccer team defending a corner kick.

Lakeland got on the board in the 7th minute with Kendell Combs blasting a drive into the cage off a penalty-corner pass from Byrum.

It took until 1:38 left in the half for Lakeland to break through Great Bridge’s defense again. Kristin Buck knocked in a rebound off an attempt on goal into heavy traffic by Kelsey Smither.

After the half, Great Bridge maintained its “tri-goalie” strategy but tried to spread the field more with its remaining field players.

Lakeland scored four times in the last 21 minutes. Buck added her second goal with Jennifer Hedrick assisting.

Lakeland went up 4-0 on a goal nearly identical to its first of the day as Byrum fed Combs on a penalty corner and Combs sent a hard drive cleanly into the back of the cage.

Taylor Young and Alyssa Chirico added goals in the last two minutes.

During halftime, Lakeland head coach Tara Worley honored her lone senior.

“Normally we have gifts for our seniors right now, but we’re waiting until the end of the game today because there are too many gifts for Kaity,” said Worley.

The final week of the regular season includes two matches for the Lady Cavaliers. Lakeland faces Kecoughtan, of the Peninsula District, on Tuesday in Virginia Beach, then rounds out the district schedule on Wednesday at Grassfield. The Southeastern District Tournament starts on Oct. 22.