Lady Cavs roll into final

Published 9:45 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Three goals: Lakeland senior Kelsey Smither scored three goals as the Lady Cavaliers beat Nansemond River 8-0 in the semifinals of the Southeastern District Tournament in Virginia Beach Wednesday. Lakeland (16-0) goes for its 10th straight district tournament title Friday afternoon.

VIRGINIA BEACH – Lakeland’s field hockey team needed only 37 minutes to pile up eight goals and move past Nansemond River with an 8-0 win into the final of the Southeastern District Tournament Wednesday at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center.

Kelsey Smither’s hat trick, with her three goals coming consecutively in a seven-minute span of the first half, turned the match into a rout. It was a steady barrage of attacking from the whole Lady Cavalier team though as Lakeland finished the match, cut 15 minutes short via mercy rule, with a 42-1 margin in shots.

Taylor Young added a pair of goals and gave the Lady Cavs the lead in the sixth minute.

Email newsletter signup

On Lakeland’s second penalty corner of the day, a shot toward goal by Smither was deflected by Kendell Combs, then by Young into the cage.

Even with the good start, Lakeland head coach Tara Worley called a timeout a couple minutes after the opening goal.

Worley was pleased with the end result of many shots and eight goals, but finishing a higher percentage of chances is something she wants to see heading deeper into the postseason.

“From a coaches’ point of view, we really weren’t finishing a lot of our shots,” Worley said.

“We adjusted as we went along. We were taking a lot of shots from five yards or so out. We talked about adjusting during timeouts and at halftime to start shooting when it’s there at the top of the circle and actually hitting the ball,” she said.

Smither, off a pass into the arc by Young, wound up and slammed a shot into the back of the cage to make it 2-0 in the 13th minute.

Combs passed to Smither on a penalty corner play to make it 3-0. Jennifer Hedrick and Smither worked a give-and-go to set up Smither’s third goal, again as another set play from a corner. Lakeland struck for four goals on corners out of 16 chances.

Lakeland made it 5-0 with four minutes left in the half. Kasey Smith and Hedrick set up the attack from outside the top of the arc with Hedrick finding Combs who slid a wrist shot into the goal.

As one way as the attacking was, it actually could’ve been a bigger Lakeland lead at halftime. Lady Warrior sophomore keeper Lindsey Hunter made 13 saves in the first half, including many in back-to-back nature, especially off of Lakeland corners.

The Lady Cavs put the match into mercy rule territory with three goals in less than two minutes shortly into the second half. Young scored an unassisted goal. Jillian Bates scored off of Combs’ fourth assist and Ashley Heuberger scored off a Bates assist.

Nansemond River finishes its season 11-5. Lakeland (16-0) will go for its 10th straight district tournament championship Friday at 3 p.m. at the National Training Center against Western Branch or Hickory.