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HIGH SCHOOL FIELD HOCKEY: Chargers make each shot count

VIRGINIA BEACH—Finishing was the difference for Chancellor’s field hockey team on Friday. And because they were so good at it, the Chargers will have a chance to finish today, too.

Chancellor and Tabb shared possession time evenly in the 4A state semifinals. They probably had equal number of trips into each other’s circle.

But the Chargers turned four of those trips into scores, swarmed the Tigers every time Tabb carried close to the cage, and Chancellor’s 4–1 win was more than enough.

The Chargers (21–1) face Lakeland at 10 a.m. today in the state championship game. The Cavaliers beat James Monroe 2–1 in Friday’s other semifinal.

“Finishing is key to every team,” Chancellor senior Katherine Hull said. “But we had really strong defense today, too. Everyone back there was working hard.”

The Chargers outshot Tabb, 12–3. The possessions were more even, but Tabb didn’t find much room to work inside the Chargers’ circle.

“We did a good job not allowing them to get a lot of looks,” Chancellor coach Jim Larkin said. “I know they have some kids that are pretty deadly inside. Not allowing them to get that penetration really helped.”

On the other end, senior forwards Chloe Fernandez and Chelsea Galera had the finishing touch for Chancellor.

The pair scored all of Chancellor’s goals—one each in both halves. The Chargers built a 3–0 lead by the time Tabb finally scored with just 7:30 to play.

But Galera answered, carrying down on a breakaway and scoring on a nice lift over the Tabb goalie who had come out sliding to make the save.

Chancellor will need more of that finishing energy today.

“They’re both really tenacious,” Chargers forward Kate Colley said. “They go to the ball. They’re the first ones to pressure it, and they don’t let it through.”

Last year Chancellor ended Tabb’s run of four straight state crowns. This season, the Chargers halted the Tigers’ bid for a sixth straight title-game appearance.

Now Chancellor will play for a chance at a streak of their own: back-to-back state titles.

“We know it’s going to be a whale of a game,” Larkin said. “Lakeland wants it just as bad as we do.”

LAKELAND 2, JAMES MONROE 1

A moral victory was all James Monroe had to settle for after its semifinal loss.

The Cavaliers (22–0) arrived at the state tournament as the favorite, the team most observers thought destined for a championship.

But the Jackets (19–4) held their own.

“I don’t think they expected it,” JM coach Jamie Tierney said. “But we had moments and tried to keep our game going and tried to do it with speed. We fought to the end, but I think we started getting tired.”

Lakeland jumped to a 1–0 lead 90 seconds into the game on Kiersten King’s goal and Summer Parker scored midway through the period to make it 2–0.

But James Monroe had an answer.

On the Jackets’ third corner of the half, Hannah Fisher slammed home a drive that stunned Lakeland’s team and boisterous cheering section.

That was all JM managed, though.

Lakeland didn’t allow a second-half corner. While it didn’t find the goal again, the Cavaliers had a flood of opportunities and really limited JM’s chances.

“I was proud of the way we fought, all the way to the end,” Fisher said.

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