LHS field hockey team routs Heritage
Published 10:38 pm Wednesday, October 2, 2013
The Lakeland High School field hockey team faced its first non-Suffolk conference opponent on Wednesday when Heritage High School came to town.
The Lady Hurricanes did little to deter the Lady Cavaliers, as Lakeland jumped out quickly to a 6-0 lead just shy of 11 minutes into the game on its way to a 9-0 win.
The Virginia High School League’s realignment created Conference 18, which includes six schools of like size. Suffolk’s three public high schools form half the conference and are naturally quite familiar with each other after having been Southeastern District members.
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They are less familiar with the other three schools from Newport News and Hampton.
Of Heritage, Lady Cavaliers head coach Tara Worley said, “We didn’t really know exactly what to expect, but I knew the coach,” so she knew they would be a disciplined group.
However, Lakeland’s offense has simply been too efficient for most opponents as sophomore midfielder Shannon Leonard scored off an assist from senior midfielder Kristen Vick one minute and 47 seconds into the game.
Lakeland senior forward Summer Parker said, “Once we figured out how they played, we worked around it.”
Worley said, “I felt like we played well.”
Parker assisted the second goal, scored by senior back Kasey Smith just over two minutes into the game. Then, Parker proceeded to score her team’s next two goals.
Jumping out to a quick lead meant Worley could work with her girls on different fundamentals of the game.
“We’re really working on finding space,” she said, and also mentioned quick transitions and counterattacks and an up-tempo pace as things Lakeland focused on.
Senior back Kelsey O’Leary was happy with the team’s versatility and depth, saying, “Even when we switched up our positions, we still were able to keep up our connections.”
O’Leary, usually a defender, got the rare opportunity to play up on offense. She said she was a little nervous, but “I pushed aside my nervousness and just did my best, which obviously showed since I scored, which was super exciting.”
Her goal, her first of the season, was the last of the game, coming on an assist from Parker.
Parker led Lakeland with three goals and four assists. Commenting on the rapid pace with which she has been scoring this year, she alluded to the school record for scoring, which she now owns.
“Knowing the record, it makes me want to score more,” she said, to pile up her own tally.
Senior forward Kiersten King scored twice while Kasey Smith and senior forward/midfielder Alexis Albright each scored once. Vick chipped in two assists and O’Leary had one.
Lakeland produced eight penalty corners and 16 shots on goal while Heritage had none in either category.
Worley brought up two junior varsity players to give them more experience — freshman Kaylene Thomas and sophomore Heather Heuberger, sister of recently graduated player Ashley Heuberger.
Commenting on the Lady Cavaliers’ progress this season, Worley said, “Anybody who knows me knows I’m always looking for them to be better, but I’m pleased with where we are, and I think we are on track.”
Lakeland (11-0, 3-0) hosts Denbigh High School next Wednesday.