Lady Bulldogs post a 2-0 week
Published 7:55 pm Saturday, September 6, 2014
Last week was a winning one for King’s Fork High School’s field hockey team, but it had plenty of stressful and even frustrating moments.
Lady Bulldogs coach, Courtney Van der Linden, set a new standard and tone when she took over the program in 2012, and her team has proven it can win, but she’s looking for more than just Ws in the stat book.
Playing its second game of the week on Thursday, the Lady Bulldogs defeated visiting Deep Creek High School 4-0.
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“In terms of comparing the teams, we were definitely a better skilled team, and I think that definitely made a difference,” Van der Linden said.
The difference in skill levels only helped underscore why she was frustrated with her squad’s performance, though.
“It definitely was not what I wanted it to be in terms of the level of play, the consistency of their play, the intensity of their play, and quite frankly, the amount of goals that we had,” she said.
The game was called due to lightning with less than 20 minutes remaining in the second half. Though the Lady Bulldogs had managed to rack up about 15 offensive penalty corners during that time, they capitalized on only four of them.
But there were key King’s Fork contributors worthy to be highlighted, including senior Hannah Washburn.
“She had a hat trick,” Van der Linden said. “I think she made the biggest difference of all the players.”
The coach also praised senior Lexus Mills for having a great defensive game. It capped off what was likely the best week of her career, even while battling a knee injury.
“She’s finding a way to push through some injury pain, and she’s doing a phenomenal job,” Van der Linden said. “She definitely has heart, and I think that goes a long way.”
The coach said she thought that without Mills, the Lady Bulldogs would not have won on Wednesday at Great Bridge High School.
“She probably played the best defensive game of her life today,” Van der Linden said on Tuesday, after King’s Fork’s 2-1 victory in strokes.
Van der Linden said it was a sloppy game played on hard, short turf, which caught her girls off guard, despite warnings about it. They improved as the game went on, but the contest remained scoreless through regulation and a 15-minute overtime, leading to strokes.
At that point, another star emerged as KF sophomore goalkeeper Skylar Wall “did a phenomenal job in the cage,” Van der Linden said.
Wall, whose skills have continued to develop through her training with assistant coach Brian Van der Linden, blocked all but one Lady Wildcats shot.
Offensively, senior Rachel Gist scored on the Lady Bulldogs’ first stroke. Last year, Great Bridge secured a win when senior Randi Fiel missed the last stroke. This time, she made it.
“It definitely was a sweet moment for us,” Courtney Van der Linden said.
King’s Fork (2-1) visits Indian River High School on Monday.