Lady Saint attack takes off

Published 9:06 pm Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ball: Nansemond-Suffolk’s Sarah Simms goes for the ball against a North Cross defender during Friday’s match at NSA. The Lady Saints beat Roanoke’s North Cross 6-1. Simms had a goal and two assists for the Lady Saints.

Nansemond-Suffolk raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first 24 minutes of the match and kept going for a 6-1 win, NSA’s second victory of the field hockey season, over Roanoke’s North Cross School on Friday afternoon at NSA.

Senior center forward Liza Bart Dolan scored four goals, including three of the first four for the Lady Saints.

It was a total team effort, though, as the Lady Saints pinned North Cross in and around its arc for long stretches of the match. NSA finished the day with a 45-6 advantage in shots.

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“We had a really good warm up and then we just kept that focus through the first half,” Dolan said. “We started scoring and everyone’s confidence just increased from there.”

“We’ve been coming together as a team and that’s made us better,” said fellow forward Brooke Starling.

“We’re not just dribbling down the field and trying to shoot. We’re actually passing and communicating a lot better, and that’s helped us a lot,” Starling said.

Quick passing set up Dolan for the opening goal less than six minutes in. Starling sent a pass ahead for Dolan to chase down, then go on to dribble into the right side of the North Cross arc. With a narrow angle, Dolan sent a high shot, ruled legal, into the upper left corner of the cage to put the Lady Saints ahead.

Starling assisted on the next Lady Saint goal, with Sarah Simms poking in a rebound from Starling’s shot in the 14th minute. By that time, the Lady Saints already had a 10-1 margin in overall shots with five shots going on goal.

Simms set up Dolan to make it 3-0 NSA less than three minutes later. Kelsey White started the attack in midfield with a pass to Dolan. Dolan shot once, Simms kept the saved shot alive, and Dolan wound up tipping the ball over the line amongst a lot of traffic.

Dolan made it a first-half hat trick, off another Simms assist, with six minutes left in the half.

North Cross got on the board in the 28th minute for a 4-1 halftime score.

The Lady Saints went the first 26 minutes of the second half without a goal. In many ways, though, they were even more dominant in possession and keeping the play almost entirely around the North Cross goal than during the first half.

The attacking paid off with Dolan scoring again in the 56th minute, with Julia Rapoport getting the assist 65 yards away from the North Cross goal. Dolan sprinted with the dribble for 50 yards before firing a low, hard drive into the cage.

Alexis Clary scored, shooting in a rebound from a Dolan shot on goal, to make it 6-1 NSA with two minutes remaining.

The Lady Saints (2-6-1) have the first of six Tidewater Conference matches on Tuesday, hosting Walsingham at 3:30 p.m.