Playing to the whistle

Published 9:42 pm Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Goal work: Nansemond River senior Loren Daubenspeck works in front of the Lady Warrior goal Wednesday during the Southeastern District Tournament at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center.

Even walking from the team huddle to her position before the opening whistle came with obvious limping and wincing.

Nansemond River senior defender Loren Daubenspeck came into Wednesday afternoon’s district semifinal match with an injured back.

“It was just a few days ago. We don’t know if it happened in a game or a practice,” said Nansemond River head coach Allison Mowry.


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“We held her out of our last few practices before today, to see if it would get any better. It’s unfortunate, because we sure could’ve used her in the back. She’s a senior though. She didn’t hold anything back. She gave me all she had to keep playing,” Mowry said.

The Lady Warriors faced top-seeded and undefeated Lakeland, which hasn’t lost a Southeastern District match, regular-season or tournament, since 2002. Last Wednesday, Lakeland put together a straightforward 4-0 win over Nansemond River. This time around, it was 4-0 20 minutes into the match and it wound up as an 8-0 Lady Cavalier win.

After playing, almost entirely playing defense within 15 yards of her own goal, for the first 15 minutes, Daubenspeck was subbed out. She sat on the bench for a couple minutes before seeing a trainer for a couple more minutes.

With her limping, Daubenspeck’s injury looked at a glance as though it must have been something to a knee or ankle.

With the score already 4-0 and the result almost assuredly settled, it would’ve been completely understandable and maybe even practical to call it a day. Daubenspeck came back on and played the final few minutes of the first half and the 15 minutes of the second half.

“We’ve been dealing with injuries all season,” Mowry said, “A broken toe, a couple concussions and a personal tragedy.”

“They’ve played exceptionally all season long for me and they can be proud of themselves,” said Mowry, a Lady Warrior field hockey alum, a standout at Radford and now at the close of her first season coaching Nansemond River.

The pride was there no matter how Wednesday’s tournament match turned out. One of Mowry’s seniors simply made it clearer for anyone to see.