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HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY: Fredericksburg Academy tops Virginia Episcopal

With an experienced and senior-laden team last year, Fredericksburg Academy set out for and achieved the goal of the VISAA Division II state championship.

But that was expected, with a talented roster that had come so close the previous seasons.

Now the Falcons are two wins away from repeating the feat, an accomplishment that’s maybe caught them by surprise.

“I think last year we expected to win; we had everyone back and we knew it was our year,” senior Allegra Massey–Elim said. “This year we had lost so many seniors, I think we came in thinking this might be a building year. We didn’t expect it.”

The Falcons (15–2) dominated Virginia Episcopal school in a

7–0 state quarterfinal win on Tuesday. FA will face North Cross on Friday at the National Training Center in Virginia Beach, where a win will clinch a return trip to Saturday’s state championship game.

“[A state title] is something I’ve wanted since I was watching varsity hockey when I was little,” senior Sara Eadie said. “Now as a senior, I want to win back-to-back. That’s the goal we’ve set as a team and as individuals, we’re doing those little things to help accomplish that goal.”

Eadie had FA’s first two goals Tuesday on tip-ins of shots from classmate Meghan Norair. Carolyn Topps had a first-half goal to make it 3–0 at the break. Eadie added a third goal in the second half. Norair also scored twice and sophomore Colleen Norair added a goal.

After an up-and-down first half, the Falcons dominated the game after the break. They didn’t allow a shot or corner, while piling up 15 corners of their own and 26 for the game.

“We weren’t very aggressive and we stood back and let them come at us,” FA coach Karen Moschetto said of the first half. “We were hiding behind them offensively, and then we got into the circle and we were doing bad things we never practice.

“I feel bad, because sometimes I focus on those [negatives]. But I don’t want them getting overconfident. We need to know even with a win, there are things we can improve on.”

The Falcons have done a lot of improving this year.

They’ve got five eighth-graders on the roster and three in the starting lineup. It’s a group that’s improved, and with that improvement has come increased expectations.

“When we started practice this year, [a second state title] was far from our minds,” Moschetto said. “But I think as we’ve gone along, there’s been a huge improvement. Then you start thinking, ‘You know, stranger things have happened.’”

Eadie said she knows the road will get tougher this weekend in the semifinals and final. But two more wins and the Falcons can share an accomplishment they’ll remember forever.

“Getting back to Saturday means a lot,” she said. “Going out with back-to-back championships would be wonderful.

“I want to be able to say I contributed to those. We know we have a huge target on our backs, but we’re ready. We’re a strong team, we don’t have big heads, and we’re focused and ready to play.”

Justin Rice: 540/368-5045