NR girls top KF in strokes-decided thriller

Published 8:46 pm Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday’s showdown between the field hockey teams of King’s Fork High School and host Nansemond River High School was an instant classic.

Both squads stayed alive through regulation and an overtime session, carrying a 1-1 tie into strokes. The Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Bulldogs 2-1 in strokes for the victory.

“I thought it was one of our better games,” NR coach Ali Mowry said, noting her players were prepared.

King’s Fork High School's Hannah Marston, left, tries to push the ball past Nansemond River High School's Ashlyn Rogers on Monday during a contest that went to strokes. (Caroline LaMagna photo)

King’s Fork High School’s Hannah Marston, left, tries to push the ball past Nansemond River High School’s Ashlyn Rogers on Monday during a contest that went to strokes. (Caroline LaMagna photo)

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KF coach Courtney Van der Linden said, “It was a great game. It was exciting, it was fast-paced.”

She said she was not even upset about the loss because her team played well, like Nansemond River.

The game was scoreless until 10:20 remained in the second half.

“We scored first, which is really exciting,” Van der Linden said, referring to senior Randi Fiel’s unassisted goal.

Nansemond River had seven offensive penalty corners, and the Lady Bulldogs only had one, but it helped them produce the first goal of the game.

“We had the game for five minutes, and then they scored,” Van der Linden said. “They came back with a lot of intensity after that first goal.”

Mowry said her team had a lot of chances in the circle and felt the referees were not awarding as many offensive penalty corners as they should have, but nevertheless, she did note that her team has displayed the ability this season to answer back when the other team scores first.

Mowry called a timeout with about six minutes remaining to settle her players down, letting them know there was still time on the clock.

“Right after that timeout, they went out and scored,” Mowry said.

Junior Jaclyn Mounie scored off an assist from freshman Ashlyn Rogers with 5:19 to go in regulation.

Though there was no scoring in the overtime period, Van der Linden said, “We even had some opportunities there.”

The drama grew to new heights in strokes. Senior Rachel Gist scored on the first stroke for King’s Fork, as did junior Ashley Hiltabrand for Nansemond River. Lady Warriors sophomore Victoria Czuprynski later put in what proved to be the game-winner on her team’s third attempt.

Mowry especially praised her team’s composure because of the many things that could have provoked frustration: the length of time the scoreboard read 0-0, the lack of calls from officials and the volume of fans.

She praised her goalkeeper, junior Alex Wilde, for keeping the Lady Warriors in the game, registering six clearing hits and two saves.

Mowry also gave broad praise to the rest of her team. “I think all my 10 field players, everybody was in sync,” she said.

Van der Linden was pleased with the play of her goalie, sophomore Skylar Wall, who had five saves, as well as junior Emma Marston on defense and Fiel and Gist on offense.

And the stage is set for a potentially epic rematch.

“We’re looking forward to the next time we’ll play them in the tournament,” Van der Linden said of the Lady Warriors.

Nansemond River (4-1, 1-0) hosts Hickory High School today, while Oscar Smith High School comes to town to visit King’s Fork (2-2, 0-1).