CHANTILLY, Va. — Westfield head field hockey coach Starr Karl knew she was going to have a goalkeeping problem the moment All-American goalkeeper Callie Rennyson matriculated to Harvard.
But thanks to a young defense — junior co-captain Delaney Golian, freshman back Adison Moore, and sophomore goalkeeper Mary Craig — Westfield was able to hold off a determined Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) team 4-2.
“I came in thinking we needed some luck,” Karl said. “But our defense and Mary did great today.”
Westfield withstood 13 Cox shots on the goal frame, most of which came in a flurry of activity after the Bulldogs took a 3-0 lead in the first half. The flurry came after a Julie Swain talking-to during a timeout.
“We had to tell them that they were not executing the game plan,” Swain said. “They did better afterwards.”
It took just 24 seconds after the Cox timeout for the Falcons to score, as Alexis Gingerich touched in a pass from junior Leah Crouse, whose silky skills were a problem for the Bulldog defense.
After that, the Falcons turned up the wick, looking for a proximity goal. But because of Craig’s stops and a number of key tackles by Golian, Cox never got closer than two.
“We knew how good they were,” Golian said. “And we had to do everything we could to stop them.”
“Delaney had a really good game for us; she’s really had to step it up,” Karl said. “And I put Adison Moore, our freshman, in a tough situation out there and she did great.”
Olivia Markert, who had a tremendous match in the attack end, had three assists for Westfield, and teammate Kylie Weatherholtz had a brace.
“Because of our schedule,” Swain said, “we have not had a chance to play a lot of defense. But this will give us what we need to work on.”
FRANK W. COX (5-1) 1 – 1 — 2
WESTFIELD (8-1) 3 – 1 — 4
W: Abby Smith (Olivia Markert), fg, 6th minute
W: Kylie Weatherholtz (Abby Smith, Olivia Markert), pc, 22nd
W: Mackenzie Karl, fg, 23rd
C: Alexis Gingerich (Leah Crouse), fg, 24th
W: Weatherholtz (Markert), fg, 38th
C: Crouse (Cassidy Atchison), fg, 44th
Shots — C: 13; W: 6. Saves — C: Taylor Schoolar 2; W: Mary Craig 11
POSTGAME We will rejoin you at 5:30 for the enormous showdown between Oak Knoll and Eastern
POSTGAME It is also indicative of the change in competitiveness within the Commonwealth of Virginia. It used to be that teams from the Hampton Roads area — especially the Beach District — could simply walk onto the field and win against any opponent in the state. That is no longer the case
POSTGAME in the final analysis, Westfield took the midfield, took the initiative, and took their chances
FULL TIME The horn sounds with Westfield winning 4-2
59:00 CHS PC Mary Craig with a pair of saves!
57:45 CHS PC Atchison pings the ball off Golian and over the end line
56:00 CHS PC Crouse, on the option right, puts it past the post
54:05 WHS PC Option-left is cleared by Georgia Drescher
45:00 CHS PC Crouse shot defensed and cleared by Delaney Golian, who has had a strong game for the Bulldogs
43:51 WHS TIMEOUT
43:51 CHS GOAL Atchison puts a diagonal pass on a silver auger for Crouse to tip in; Cox is down 4-2
40:00 WHS PC Shot blocked high; Cox clears!
38:35 CHS PC Crouse tries to create but the ball hits her foot; free out for Westfield
38:10 CHS PC Pass hits a foot; will re-rack
37:23 WHS GOAL Markert draws two Falcons and flips a pass to an open Weatherholtz! Bulldogs in control 4-1
33:29 CHS PC Atchison’s backhand is a dangerous shot
32:00 Crouse gallops into the Westfield attack end; Craig makes two stops and the Westfield defense clears!
30:00 The second half is under way
HALFTIME Westfield has bossed the game and taken control of the midfield. Still, it could all change in the second half
HALFTIME The Falcons have been absorbing too much Westfield pressure, but whatever head coach Julie Swain said during the timeout must have worked; it took 24 seconds for Cox to score
HALFTIME The whistle goes with Westfield leading Cox 3-1
29:59 WHS PC Karl with a backhand that was called for a dangerous stick
29:45 WHS PC Karl’s blast is saved by the goalie
29:14 WHS PC Karl’s shot is topped, but the bouncy ball almost gets to the space
25:39 CHS PC Atchison’s backhand is a raised ball; she has some pop in that stick!
24:45 CHS PC Option left to Crouse is saved
24:00 CHS PC Atchison blasts it off Westfield over the end line
23:04 CHS GOAL Gingerich finishes a Crouse feed and the Falcons pull one back; Cox is still 3-1 down
22:40 CHS TIMEOUT
22:40 WHS GOAL Mackenzie Karl blasts it in off the backboard! It’s 3-0 Westfield!
21:00 WHS PC and GOAL Olivia Markert’s shot is tipped by Smith, and shepherded over the line by Kylie Weatherholtz! The hosts lead 2-0
19:00 Crouse with a deep diagonal that goes begging
17:30 CHS PC Crouse’s shot is defensed
17:00 CHS PC Leah Crouse creates space and shoots off a Westfield body; will re-rack
16:00 Westfield is winning the midfield thus far; can this last?
13:30 Westfield’s Olivia Markert thunders into the circle and has only the goalie to beat, but Taylor Schoolar makes the stop
10:15 CHS PC Cassidy Atchison’s 1-Up is called back for dangerous play
8:44 Alexis Gingerich with a speculative effort for Cox; Mary Craig with the save
5:14 WHS GOAL Abby Smith is left on the doorstep to tip in Olivia Markert’s through pass! A dream start for Westfield as they take a 1-0 lead
3:00 The teams are testing the wings because both defenses are very strong up the middle
0:00 The game is on
PREGAME Cox is in the forest green with white numbers and gold trim; Westfield is in the all-white with black numbers
PREGAME The teams are warming up under cloudy skies, temperature is about 72 degrees
PREGAME The only loss on Westfield’s schedule was against Stafford (Va.), which lost to Trinity Episcopal in the final of the Westfield Invitational three weeks ago. When it comes to field hockey in the Commonwealth of Virginia, go figure
PREGAME There are, of course, plenty of teams willing to upset the apple cart. Defending state champion First Colonial has had some splendid results this season, including defeating the defending VISAA Division I titlists Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.) on Monday
PREGAME This is a match up of once-and-future champions of Virginia High School League Class 6A. Westfield won the title in 2013, and Cox’s most recent of their 18 championships was in 2014
PREGAME Cox is led by 32-goal scorer Alexis Gingerich and U-17 national team member Leah Crouse, plus they are also motivated by having had to battle neighbor Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) for the last four years
PREGAME Westfield is led by junior Mackenzie Karl, who is a member of the U-17 national team. She has 36 career goals, 10 thus far in 2016
PREGAME Visiting Cox, the No. 9 team in the TopOfTheCircle.com preseason Top 10, is 5-0 on the season. Westfield, the No. 5 team in the TopOfTheCircle.com preseason Top 10, is 7-1
PREGAME Welcome to Chantilly, Va. for this interconference field hockey game between Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) and Chantilly Westfield (Va.)