NRHS shows growth in blowout win

Published 10:24 pm Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Nansemond River High School field hockey team has not reached perfection, but on Wednesday, it did meet several goals set for it by coach Ali Mowry on the way to a 10-0 victory over visiting Indian River High School.

She said the Lady Warriors featured improved passing in the second half and great finishing throughout the contest.

“We had a lot more finishing in the circle than the Great Bridge (High School) game, with all the opportunities that we had in both (games),” Mowry said, referring to last week’s narrow 2-1 win over the Lady Wildcats.

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The finishes came early and often on Wednesday, led by sophomore back Mackenzie Roach, who scored less than four minutes into the game, assisted by freshman forward Ashlyn Rogers.

Senior forward/midfielder Desiree Patterson scored more than four minutes later, assisted by junior midfielder/forward Ashley Hiltabrand. Later, senior forward/midfielder Juliana Stewart, junior midfielder Claire Janek and Patterson each put in unassisted shots.

Sophomore back Victoria Czuprynski capped off the scoring for the half on an assist from Roach with 8:15 remaining.

Mowry wanted at least three goals in the first half. Mission accomplished.

“I was definitely good at six with the first half, but I wanted to see some things improve for the second half,” Mowry said, referring to the Lady Warriors’ passing game.

“We’re trying to get our backs more involved, switching the ball around in the back and them feeling confident and comfortable doing that, and they showed that, Mackenzie and Victoria both,” Mowry said.

Mowry was also pleased with how her team improved at varying its offensive attacks and gave Janek, at center midfielder, much credit for this.

“Claire always does a great job in the middle,” the coach said. “I think she’s responding to these switches now. We use her in the middle to switch the fields a lot. It’s just a matter of finding those players, getting comfortable, timing their runs to our outside mids, our outside backs.”

Junior midfielder Jaclyn Mounie started the second half scoring and was followed by Rogers, junior back Cali Valdivieso and senior midfielder Logan Crews, who was assisted by Janek.

The Lady Warriors (2-1) earned nine penalty corners. On the defensive side of things, they did not give up any corners, meeting one of Mowry’s goals, another of which was preserving the shutout.

The development on display was good, but Mowry said, “We’re going to still have to fine tune some things before Lakeland (High School) on Monday. That’s a big conference game for us.”

Lakeland’s win streak against Southeastern District foes dating back to 2002 was recently snapped, but Mowry was not preoccupied with that.

“We’re going to come out here against Lakeland like we always have — like they’ve been undefeated for years,” she said. Referencing the Lady Cavaliers’ new coach, she added, “I know Cortney Parker, I’ve played with her in college, played against her in high school, and if she’s anything like me, she’ll have them ready.”