Lady Cavs advance in conference tourney

Published 9:07 pm Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Lakeland High School’s young field hockey team may be inexperienced, but it demonstrated the postseason poise in Tuesday’s conference tournament game that has been the program’s trademark for more than a decade.

During the regular season, the Lady Cavaliers defeated Heritage High School 7-0, and they reproduced that result down to the score in the quarterfinals on Tuesday at Powhatan Field in Norfolk.

“I felt they played really well,” Lakeland coach Cortney Parker said. “They were solid, they were making good connections and just had a good overall game.”


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The Lady Cavs only have three players with playoff experience, so Parker took special note to motivate the team before the game by underlining the stakes involved.

“I said you can either choose to have our season end today or we can continue to go on, and they understood,” she said.

Parker cited her team’s conditioning as a deciding factor in the contest as the playing surface — turf — allowed the game to move much faster than on grass.

“A lot of my girls have had experience on turf,” she said.

Sophomore Kendall Lewis scored the game’s first goal with 14:10 to go in the first half, assisted by sophomore Kaylene Thomas. Lewis assisted junior Shannon Leonard on a goal less than two minutes later.

Within the last three minutes of the half, freshman Maddy Carr scored off an assist from Thomas, and junior Stasha Waterfield scored unassisted, making it 4-0 at halftime.

Lakeland was dominant, offensively and defensively, over the course of the game, earning 15 penalty corners on offense while allowing the Lady Hurricanes none.

“They didn’t even make it into our circle,” Parker said.

Offensively, the Lady Cavs played unselfishly.

“They just looked for the open person,” their coach said.

With an assist from junior Taylor Roten, sophomore Lexis Munford registered a goal a little under two minutes after halftime.

Sophomore Haley Beale converted a stroke less than a minute later after a Heritage defensive penalty.

Waterfield scored her second goal of the game on an assist from junior Chaunsa Saunders, and the game was later called early due to the mercy rule.

In the semifinals tonight, Lakeland (8-8) will get a rematch against cross-city rival King’s Fork High School (11-5). The Lady Bulldogs won the regular season meeting, 2-0.

“We’re looking forward to playing them again, getting a second chance,” Parker said. “We know it’s going to be a tough game.”

Far more is at stake this time, because the winner of the semifinal not only advances to the tournament championship but also secures a regional berth.

“This is huge,” King’s Fork coach Courtney Van der Linden said. Of the Lady Cavaliers, she added, “We’re definitely not taking them lightly.”

The Lady Bulldogs can make school history with a win, qualifying for regional field hockey play for the first time ever.

“I kept telling them that they should look at leaving a legacy, and if anything, this is it,” Van der Linden said.

The game will be played tonight at Powhatan Field with a start time of 8:30 p.m.