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Senior Day for eight Lady Bulldogs

Passing: King’s Fork senior Jennifer Humphrey passes to fellow senior Haley Cavenas Wednesday during KF’s Senior Day game against Hickory. Hickory beat the Lady Bulldogs 6-0. The Lady Bulldogs finish the season 5-9.

College sports teams can usually find a way to soften their schedules for special dates such as homecoming and senior days.

High school squads usually don’t have the same luxury, and King’s Fork’s field hockey team had to host Hickory for its senior day Wednesday evening. Hickory, tuning up for next week’s district tournament, beat the Lady Bulldogs 6-0.

King’s Fork finished its first year under head coach Elena Nicholoff perfect, 5-0, against non-district opponents, but 0-9 in the district. The Lady Bulldogs beat Newport News’s Heritage High 4-0 Tuesday at home.

Wednesday’s match was the last high school contest for eight Lady Bulldog seniors, Lindsay Goben, Kiara Anthony, Haley Cavenas, Lily Flynn, Naomi Filio, Kierstan Lamb, Jennifer Humphrey and Kristin Moore.

Hickory opened the scoring in the ninth minute and led 3-0 at halftime. The match barely beat what little sunlight there was on the overcast day as Hickory arrived at 5:05 p.m. for the 5 p.m. start and the match started about 25 minutes late.

While all eight seniors played, for a stretch of the second half eight of the 11 Lady Bulldogs on the field were underclassmen. Building for upcoming seasons has been a prime goal for Nicholoff since preseason practices in August.

“I wanted to instill hard work, commitment and respect in them, all the core values I think all athletes should have,” Nicholoff said.

“We spent a lot of the season breaking bad habits. We did that and now we’re starting to get to field hockey plays and field-hockey-specific skills,” Nicholoff said, “I’m really looking forward to next season.”

Moore, KF’s goalkeeper who finished with 13 saves against the Lady Hawks, is looking at playing collegiately at Christopher Newport or Virginia Wesleyan. Anthony, a defender, is also hoping to continue playing collegiately, Nicholoff said.

“Both will be fantastic additions to whatever school they choose to go to,” she said.