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Prep VISAA Field Hockey Final: Falcons send seniors off with overdue state title
FULFILLS LONG-TIME QUEST
FULFILLS LONG-TIME QUEST
BY JUSTIN RICE
VIRGINIA BEACH—For Fredericksburg Academy’s field hockey seniors, this was a win they’ve felt they had coming.
Some of those seniors played a small part as eighth-graders in the Falcons’ 2008 state title, but in the three successive seasons, it was a string of unhappy endings—state semifinal losses in 2009 and 2010, and last year’s 2–1 defeat in the Division 2 championship game.
Now the Falcons have the finish they’ve dreamed of.
“I’ve been here all four years on varsity, and all of those years we lost,” FA’s Allegra Massey Elim said through tears on Saturday. “This time we finally put it in and we finally won. I’m so happy.”
Fredericksburg Academy scored an early goal to take the lead and punched in two more after halftime, pulling away from Foxcroft for a 3–0 win Saturday in the VISAA Division 2 championship game. It’s the Falcons’ third state championship, this one coming around the 10th anniversary of their first, back in 2002.
Senior Catherine Estes—an eighth-grader on that 2008 title team—scored the first goal, and the Falcons controlled play against a team they’d beaten three other times this season.
“I didn’t feel like I earned that one,” Estes said about the 2008 title, when she was a late-season call-up to the varsity roster and didn’t see a lot of action. “I’ve been trying to lead this team to something I feel like I’ve earned and something I was really a part of. And we finally did it.”
The Falcons used the same formula they’ve used all season: score early and tenaciously defend their circle.
The defending part came easily: The only goals FA has allowed this season were in its lone loss to Division 1 state runner-up St. Catherine, and in Friday’s state semifinals against Covenant. On Saturday, Foxcroft managed just four on-target shots and two second-half corners.
Falcons coach Karen Moschetto called Estes’ early goal a hallmark of this year’s team, estimating that her team has scored in the first five minutes of 85 percent of its games.
“It serves to motivate us and put us at ease,” she said, “and you put the other team on its heels right away.”
FA repeated the feat in the second half, getting a goal from Kirstie Harry less than three minutes out of the break. The lead grew to 3–0 on Sara Eadie’s score with 8:19 to play.
“We knew what Foxcroft was going to bring to the table,” FA’s Meghan Norair said. “We just had to surpass their intensity and we came out with fire.”
It almost seemed an easy task to clear the final hurdle, except when one considers where FA was at the start of August. The Falcons graduated five starters from last year’s state runner-up team, and barely had enough players to practice when workouts began.
“I thought we had our work cut out for us,” Moschetto said. “We had to go out and recruit kids to come out and play. I just thought we had too many holes to fill.
“This team just hung together all year, and with every game they got more comfortable with themselves.”
And as the team celebrated, many of the seniors did so with tears in their eyes, remembering all the other seasons when it didn’t end the way FA had hoped. But that’s not the case this fall.
“It’s every thing I thought it could be,” Massey Elim said with an ear-to-ear smile.
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045