Lakeland girls continue unbeaten

Published 9:12 pm Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lakeland junior Kasey Smith (15) works against the Oscar Smith defense while sophomore Morgan Fenton (6) awaits the ball during the Lady Cavaliers' 7-0 victory on Wednesday evening. Smith finished with two goals and an assist. — (Melissa Glover photo)

Lakeland High School’s field hockey team defeated Oscar Smith 7-0 Wednesday at home, with the game being called halfway through the second half due to the mercy rule.

“We continued to play well,” Lady Cavaliers coach Tara Worley said. “We just focus on doing the things that we know we need to do, and the girls executed well.”

The quick succession of scoring in the first half served as a perfect illustration of what Worley means by “executed well.”

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Lakeland (10-0, 5-0) began scoring six minutes into the game, when junior Kasey Smith took a shot that rebounded back to her off the goalkeeper, and her second effort put it in. Two minutes later, she struck again off an assist from junior Kristen Vick.

On a penalty corner nine minutes later, junior Summer Parker took a shot from the edge of the circle, and fellow junior Megan Smith deflected it into the goal.

Parker scored her first goal of the game on an assist from junior Jamee Albright a minute and a half later, and three and a half minutes after that, Megan Smith put in her second goal of the game, assisted by Vick. The five goals encompassed a span of only 16 minutes.

Parker completed a hat trick with two more goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, one assisted by Kasey Smith, to conclude the scoring.

“We need to stay mentally strong,” Worley said. “Yesterday’s game was a little bit frustrating when you’re playing against a team with a different skill set than yourself, and you don’t feel like the calls are being made in your favor, but you have to play through that. So, that’s a big issue, just staying mentally strong.”

Lakeland took 31 shots on goal and 20 penalty corners.

At the other end of the field, Worley was particularly proud of her goalkeeper, sophomore Erin Bradshaw.

“She has only allowed one goal all season,” Worley said. “That was her ninth shutout.”

That lone goal came against Nansemond River junior Madison Janek in a game last week.

The Lady Cavaliers were playing Wednesday without junior Alexis Albright, who broke her thumb during Lakeland’s 1-0 win against Cox last Friday.

“She can come back when she feels like she can play,” Worley said. “But we’re going to do our best to save her for the postseason and not take any unnecessary chances.”

Facing the tougher end of their district schedule, Lakeland will play Grassfield, Hickory, Western Branch and Great Bridge among its final six regular-season games.

“Those are must-win games to put us in a position for postseason, so again, I feel like we just have to remain focused,” Worley said. “The kids are playing really well right now, so there’s not a whole lot of specific skills or strategies that we’re working on. We’re really just continuing to build on what we’ve been doing.”

Great Bridge is up next on Friday for the visiting Lady Cavaliers.