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Prep Field Hockey: Chargers score, wait out a win
BY JUSTIN RICE
Mother Nature made the final save for Chancellor’s field hockey team, and the Chargers are the Battlefield District’s regular-season champions.
Chancellor freshman Jordon Rasure converted on a penalty stroke with 7:39 to play in the first half Monday against James Monroe, and the game was called because of a heavy thunderstorm that blew through with 18 minutes remaining.
Although they have one game to play, the Chargers (13–2, 13–0) will be the Battlefield’s top-seeded team in the district playoffs the Region I tournament. James Monroe (12–2 in district) will finish second.
And though Chancellor probably had the better of play in the first half Monday—the Chargers had a 9–2 edge in shots and a 5–1 advantage on corners—James Monroe coach Jamie Tierney wishes the rain had held off.
When the officials spotted lightning and halted the game, the Jackets were lining up to take a penalty corner.
“It would have been nice,” Tierney said, “if we could have at least played out that corner.”
When the Jackets and Chargers met earlier this season, Chancellor won, 3–2, but JM scored both its goals off corners.
Still, Tierney and Chancellor coach Jim Larkin seemed to agree: The Chargers were the better team in the first half of the rematch.
“I thought we were outstanding tonight,” Larkin said. “I wish we could score, but I thought we were very good tonight.”
The deciding goal came off Rasure’s stick on the penalty stroke, but it was set up by a great pass from junior Chloe Fernandez.
She came up with the ball off a James Monroe turnover near midfield and immediately drove a long pass up toward the JM cage.
Chelsea Galera was on the receiving end of Fernandez’s blast, and Galera’s attempt one-on-one against the JM goalie led to a foul and the awarding of the penalty stroke.
Rasure, the only freshman on a Chancellor team filled with juniors and seniors, hit the penalty stroke hard to the left and into the cage for a 1–0 lead.
Opportunities in the second half were more balanced, including a run of four straight James Monroe penalty corners, the last coming just as lightning streaked across the sky.
“I don’t think we were quite playing as well as we could have,” Tierney said. “We had moments, but not what I’d like to see.”
The rain had started late in the first half and grew into a steady downpour after an abbreviated two-minute halftime.
The lightning kept coming, necessitating additional 30-minute delays, and by the time the rain abated, the field was deemed unplayable.
Both coaches said they hadn’t thought that far ahead, but the biggest benefit from the Battlefield’s top seed is clear: avoiding Tabb.
The four-time defending state champions lead the Bay Rivers District and—barring a major upset—will be seeded opposite Chancellor in the Region I tournament.
That means the Chargers—who close the regular season Wednesday at home against Spotsylvania—will have secured a state tournament berth if they face Tabb in the regionals.
“Honestly I haven’t gotten that far ahead,” Larkin said, We’ve just been kind of focusing on one game at a time, trying to get better, trying to clean things up.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045