Season ends in sudden death for Lady Warriors

Published 8:40 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH – Western Branch scored 7:51 into sudden-death overtime to beat Nansemond River 1-0 on Wednesday in a semifinal match of the Southeastern District Tournament at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center.

Western Branch controlled the match and kept the game pinned in Nansemond River’s half of the field for most of the way. The Lady Bruins finished regulation with a 15-0 advantage in shots, a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal and an 8-0 margin of penalty corners.

There were only a couple stretches of the match in which the Lady Warriors looked as though they might get on the scoreboard first.

The opening minutes of action were about 50-50 in terms of possession and field position. Early in the second half, NR earned a number of restarts in the WB half of the field and forced some of the action into the Western Branch arc, but no shots came from NR’s efforts.

For the final 12 minutes of regulation, the ball was almost entirely in the Nansemond River half, if not the final third, of the field.

NR goalkeeper Stephanie Tarafas was a perfect 9-for-9 in save chances through regulation. Tarafas came up with a sliding save to turn away a Western Branch corner with just under three minutes to play.

As the clock ticked toward a minute left in regulation, Western Branch had a shot on goal with a quick tip and redirection of a hard cross in from the right wing. Tarafas stopped the first shot and a whistle for a Lady Bruin foul came just before another shot could’ve come from the rebound.

NR got its only shot of the contest at the 8:32 mark of overtime. Brittany Frame’s pass into the arc found Perri Holloman. From just beyond the penalty-stroke mark, Holloman’s shot went just wide of the left post.

The victory for the Lady Bruins moves them into the final of the district tournament, which is set for 3 p.m. Friday at the National Training Center, and it gives them a berth into the Eastern Region Tournament.

The loss ends the season for Nansemond River. The Lady Warriors finish with an 11-6 record.