LHS girls give up rare goal

Published 10:21 pm Thursday, October 4, 2012

On the way to 12-0, Lady Cavs have been scored on just twice

Lakeland’s field hockey team earned another district win on the road with a 6-1 victory over Western Branch on Wednesday evening.

The Lady Cavaliers (12-0, 7-0) appeared to win by a decisive margin, but head coach Tara Worley was displeased by elements of her team’s performance.

“Western Branch played us hard,” she said. “They worked really hard, they were flying to the balls, and there was a time in there where I felt like they were playing harder than we were.”

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One factor in the game was the playing surface.

“You come into a game where you’re used to playing on turf and you know it’s going to be a different game because of the grass — it feels a little bumpy — but I don’t like to make excuses,” Worley said. “The skills are all the same, the other team’s playing the same surface, you’ve got to execute.”

Lakeland junior Jamee Albright explained some of the compensations players had to make to be effective on this kind of pitch.

“We just had to cut to the ball and make stronger passes than we usually have to,” she said.

Albright assisted on one of junior Summer Parker’s two goals, and junior Kasey Smith had a goal and two assists, one of them on a score by Albright.

Lakeland took 21 penalty corners, but Worley was not happy with how her team handled most of them.

“What upsets me about the corners is, out of 21 of them, the five we scored are probably the only five that we executed correctly,” she said. “So, my problem was the execution, from start to finish. When we execute them, we have fantastic corners.”

Worley felt her team sorely lacked intensity, and Kasey Smith noted how it affected the offense.

“We just had a lot of 50-50 balls and we weren’t getting to them in time, and I think if we would have, the score would have been much better,” she said.

“I also feel like one of the things we talked about was the fact that because we’re on grass, you can’t take anything for granted defensively,” Worley said. “When the ball gets back there, you got to be recovering and have some intensity to get the ball out.”

Lakeland failed to do that with 3:46 remaining in the first half and for only the second time this season, they were scored on.

“It doesn’t happen so much, so you’re kind of thinking, ‘We’re going to get it out,’ and then something happens and (the ball) doesn’t (get out) and it’s like — too late,” Worley said.

Albright and Kasey Smith explained how the team handles lapses like this that have a greater impact because of their rarity.

“We just have to work through it,” Smith said.

“It’s a little disappointing, but it’s going to happen and we just got to come out harder and be stronger on defense and then score another goal to make up for it,” Albright said.

Juniors Kristen Vick and Megan Smith also scored for the Lady Cavaliers, and Smith was assisted by junior Jessie Cox.

Coach Worley is hoping for a cleaner performance in Lakeland’s next game.

“We’ve been doing a lot going forward and this, to me, is a drop down, and I want to get back where we were,” she said.

They play today in a key non-district game against Ocean Lakes at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach.