Cavs claim regional crown

Published 11:59 pm Friday, November 8, 2013

Lakeland High School’s field hockey team defeated Tabb High School 4-2 to become the Virginia High School League Group 4A South regional champions on Thursday at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center.

After the game, Lady Cavaliers head coach Tara Worley shared something she has learned in the course of coaching.

“There’s no real special feeling you get,” she said. “It’s just about the overall journey and the work the kids put in to get there.”

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The girls had to work harder on Thursday against the Lady Tigers than they have against most opponents this season.

“Honestly, all our games from here on out will probably be like that,” Worley said. “I knew that from the very beginning of the season. I knew what we had to overcome was the fact that we were going to play a lot of games that weren’t going to be as competitive.”

She said on Thursday, “We definitely came out a little tight, and we didn’t really relax into our groove until after the first goal.”

Senior forward Kiersten King scored off an assist from senior midfielder Jamee Albright about 11 minutes into the game. Two minutes later, Albright added a goal of her own, assisted by senior back Kasey Smith.

Senior forward Summer Parker gave Lakeland its largest lead of the game on an unassisted goal with 13:52 to go until halftime. Shortly thereafter, Tabb’s offense started breaking through.

“Once they scored, we got a little tight again, but we never got flustered,” Worley said. “We never lost our composure.”

The Lady Tigers made it 3-2 at halftime. However, Lakeland shored up its defense in the middle of the field for the second half and Parker’s goal from King about midway through gave the Lady Cavs a cushion.

Worley praised Parker, Lakeland’s all-time leading goal-scorer, for her clutch offense. The coach highlighted Jamee Albright and her twin sister forward/midfielder Alexis for their non-stop intensity on offense and defense.

Also, Kasey Smith repeatedly made crucial defensive stops and was key in restarting the offense.

Junior goalkeeper Erin Bradshaw had five saves.

The Lady Cavaliers (21-0) play in the state semifinals at 10 a.m. next Friday at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center in Virginia Beach.