NR falls, but still shines

Published 7:36 pm Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Nansemond River High School field hockey team’s 2015 regular season came to a conclusion this past week with a loss, but the Lady Warriors have much more to celebrate at this point in the season than mourn.

They enter the Conference 10 tournament this week as the No. 2 seed after finishing the year with a 5-1 record in conference play, but even more significant is that their overall record was a cut above the standard they have established in recent years.

Nansemond River ended up going 12-3 this year.

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Lady Warriors coach Ali Mowry said improving the overall record “was one of my goals for this team going into the season,” and “they did just that, and they know it could have been even better than 12-3.”

They were involved in some close games this year. Tuesday’s road game against Gloucester High School was not one of them by the time it ended, but Mowry was still happy with her girls’ performance for the majority of the 5-0 loss.

“I was, overall, very pleased with the way we played considering they’re one of the best teams in the area,” she said, referring to the Lady Dukes.

The Lady Warriors held Gloucester scoreless for the majority of the first 30 minutes of play.

“We gave up a goal with (46) seconds left in the first half, so I think that kind of shifted the momentum a little bit,” Mowry said.

The coach noted that what enabled Nansemond River to play the Lady Dukes so close was its intensity and effort.

“That was what I’ve been looking for,” she said. “They didn’t let up the whole first half, and even into the second half, I thought we were playing solid defense.”

The Lady Warriors kept the score 1-0 until about 10 minutes into the second half when Gloucester scored again. The Lady Dukes made it 3-0 with 17:08 remaining and then put in their final goals with under five minutes remaining.

“We had opportunities in their circle,” Mowry said, noting her team had five offensive penalty corners.

While five may not have seemed like much compared to Gloucester’s 16, Nansemond River proved it could do a lot with a little on Oct. 8 when it was out-cornered 20-3 against host Menchville High School and still pulled off a 2-1 overtime win.

Lady Warriors senior goalkeeper Alex Wilde helped limit Gloucester’s offense with 16 saves.

Nansemond River started the week with a 4-0 home conference win against Warwick High School on Monday.

In that contest, junior forward Ariana Samuel scored twice, while senior midfielder/forward Jaclyn Mounie and freshman midfielder Sarah Rhiel each had a goal and an assist.

No. 2 Nansemond River will face No. 7 Bethel High School on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Christopher Newport University.

If the Lady Warriors win that game, they will play in the semifinal on Wednesday. A win there would advance them to the conference championship on Thursday and give them a berth in the regional playoffs.