Lady Cavs fall in state title game
Published 11:05 pm Saturday, November 16, 2013
It was not supposed to end this way. But it did.
With sudden-victory overtime not even a minute old in Saturday’s state championship game, Lakeland High School’s undefeated season ended the moment Chancellor High School senior Kate Colley’s shot found the back of the Lady Cavs’ goal.
It was an achievement that proved elusive for the Lady Chargers for the vast majority of the Virginia High School League Group 4A state title game, but two late goals resulted in a 2-1 loss for Lakeland.
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“I think that it could have gone either way; it just didn’t go our way,” Lady Cavaliers head coach Tara Worley said as tears began to flow.
Throughout the game at the U.S. Field Hockey National Training Center, each team took turns making forays into the other’s circle. Lakeland got more statistical results from their offensive drives, and senior forward Summer Parker made one of them a goal with 8:41 remaining in the first half. It came off a pass from senior forward/midfielder Alexis Albright.
The Lady Cavs took this 1-0 lead into halftime. At that point, the teams were dead even with three penalty corners apiece. Lakeland held a 3-2 advantage in shots on goal.
After the second half concluded, Lakeland’s offense took the lead in penalty corners, 11-8, and shots on goal, 10-5.
“We didn’t capitalize on our shots,” Alexis Albright said.
Chancellor, however, finally did, with 4:34 remaining in regulation. Senior Allison Weiland scored off an assist from senior Chelsea Galera.
After this, the foot of a Lady Charger’s defender prevented a would-be Lakeland goal, giving Parker a penalty stroke. She missed wide left.
“There were many opportunities,” senior midfielder Kristen Vick was quick to point out after the game. “It wasn’t just that stroke.”
Lakeland found itself in tight battles, both in Friday’s state semifinal against James Monroe High School and on Saturday.
“These teams had scouted us, and they came in with a plan,” Worley said. The plan was to disrupt the Lady Cavaliers offense, and they had some success.
The going was not much easier for opposing team’s offenses, however.
“I think we played tough defense today,” Worley said.
Making life difficult for the Lady Chargers were Lakeland’s back three, seniors Kasey Smith, Kelsey O’Leary and sophomore Stasha Waterfield. The Lady Cavs midfield was also effective in the defensive effort.
Lakeland finished the year with an overall record of 22-1.
“They had a great season,” Worley said. “I felt like they gave it all they had.”
After the game, Worley and her players illustrated that how people deal with loss is at least as important as how they deal with victory.
Worley and Lady Cavaliers watched and applauded the Lady Chargers players as they were given their awards.
Lakeland players comforted each other after the game.
“They’re our family and we’ve been through thick and thin,” senior midfielder Jamee Albright said.
Though it was difficult to talk about it and put things in perspective, they did not shrink from discussing the game or the season, overall.
“I think it’s been a good year,” Alexis Albright said. Then she quickly added, “It’s been a great year, actually.”