Hickory ends Lady Warriors season

Published 9:20 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nansemond River High School’s field hockey season came to an end after a playoff loss to Hickory High School.

The Lady Warriors finished up a solid season this fall. The team drew a tough matchup in the 5A regionals against a Hickory High School team that’s considered among the best in the area. During the regular season, the Lady Warriors finished third behind Great Bridge and Hickory in the Southeastern District standings. Nansemond River finished 7-2, while Hickory finished 8-1.

Hickory defeated the Lady Warriors 5-1 with Sarah Rhiel scoring Nansemond River’s only goal of the game Monday afternoon. Hickory was the much better team, but the Lady Warriors did not cave in.

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“I applaud my girls for that,” Lady Warriors coach Allison Dize said. “We were able to get a goal towards the end of the game. It was like that in our matchup during the regular season as well. We continued to keep fighting and fighting.”

Overall, Dize believes the team finished better than most had expected. Nansemond River lost five productive seniors from last season’s team.

“With a challenging schedule, I feel we held our own,” Dize said. “We gave a lot of the strong teams a good match.”

“I think we did well while improving every game,” Lady Warrior Ashlyn Rogers said. “We are in a tough conference, and we are surrounded by lots of talent, so it is unfortunate our season ended early. I am proud of our improvement throughout the season.”

Of course, the ultimate goal for the Lady Warriors was to be playing in the middle of November, but Dize was satisfied with the way Nansemond River was able to compete with some of the elite teams. Last year, the Lady Warriors lost in the conference semifinals. Dize is hoping that the Lady Warriors will get past their usual playoff stop soon.

“It is going to have to start in the offseason if we want to be still playing in the middle of November,” she said. “Just being committed to the process and the team.”

Nansemond River did have five players recognized on the all-district team this year. Dize puts the player’s names out there but ultimately other coaches around the district vote on the team. Dize believes that speaks to the talent on the team and how hard the girls work.

The five recognized were Ashlyn Rogers, Sarah Rhiel and Allison Fischer on the first team and Nyah McNeal and Lydia Peral on the second team.

Returning for next year will be a senior-heavy team. The junior varsity team amassed a 12-2 record, so the talent on that team will help the Lady Warriors next season.