Lady Saints ground Eagles

Published 11:20 pm Friday, August 29, 2014

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy field hockey team’s positive start to the season continued throughout the week.

Following a year in which the Lady Saints went 4-13, they improved to 2-0-1 in 2014 with an 8-0 rout of host Williamsburg Christian Academy on Thursday evening.

“I was thrilled with their performance,” NSA coach Ashley Skinner said. “They really worked together.”

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The game, preceded by Tuesday’s 1-1 tie against Hampton Roads Academy, was a rematch the Lady Saints had been anticipating for a while.

“Last season, Williamsburg Christian was our last game of the season, and they actually beat us by one, and so we had really wanted to play them again, because we felt like they were comparable (to us),” Skinner said.

While she said the Lady Eagles may have lost some players since then, they were still aggressive. But she highlighted her team’s proper utilization of passing options and lanes and its generous shot-taking as reasons why it was able to pull away.

Additionally, Nansemond-Suffolk drew penalty corners like it had not been doing previously.

“We had a total of 11 corners, which is more than we had all season,” she said.

Senior Jessie Lerner made a huge impact offensively with five goals and one assist.

“I even moved her back some,” Skinner said, but again, the Lady Saints’ strong passing continued to create opportunities for her, as she did the same for others. “She really played a great game.”

Senior Sarah Higinbotham scored a goal and contributed two assists, while freshman Tori Psimas added one goal and one assist.

“Our goalie, Madi Glynn, went into the field of play, and she had one goal assisted by Morgan Morrell,” Skinner said.

Glynn, a senior and veteran goalkeeper, has played field hockey since seventh grade, and this marked the first goal of her career at NSA.

“That was her goal for the season — to get one goal this year,” Skinner said.

While the Lady Saints’ offense excelled, the defense did so, as well, limiting the Lady Eagles’ opportunities by giving up zero penalty corners.

“And we held them down to having only one shot (on goal),” Skinner said.

Nansemond-Suffolk visits Bruton High School on Tuesday. Then the Lady Saints continue a busy week, visiting Southampton High School on Thursday and hosting Northampton High School on Friday.