With a pair of wins yesterday at the USA Field Hockey National Training Center, the Westfield and Lake Braddock field hockey teams have advanced to Virginia AAA semifinal matchups this afternoon.
In the first game yesterday afternoon, Westfield scored a 2-0 win over Thomas Dale, handing the Knights their first loss of the season and winning a state tournament game for the first time in school history.
“That was one of our goals, and we certainly did something that our program has never done before,” said Westfield coach Terri Towle, whose team improved to 20-4 this season and won its first-ever region title with a 2-0 win over Chantilly on Oct. 23. “We were very excited about all of that.”
The Bulldogs enjoyed goals from junior Molly Gift and senior Ameera Ahmadieh, as senior goalkeeper Nicole Ficarra earned her 14th shutout of the season.
Westfield, which lost its last state tournament game, 6-1, to Mountain View in the 2006 quarterfinals, plays Frank W. Cox this afternoon.
Coach Diane Miller’s Lake Braddock Bruins -- despite a 30-minute rain delay -- scored a 3-2 win over Maggie Walker, advancing to today’s 3 p.m. matchup with Princess Anne. The winners of this afternoon’s games will meet for Saturday afternoon’s state championship at 1 p.m.
<b>ON THE VOLLEYBALL COURT</b> at Virginia Commonwealth’s Siegel Center, Westfield advanced to Saturday evening’s state final with a 3-1 win (23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 25-22) over Landstown, while Chantilly suffered a 3-2 setback (22-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-20, 13-15) to Northwest Region champion Albemarle.
“Different teams play at different paces and with different styles, but we hadn’t really seen that style pretty much all year,” said Chantilly coach Charles Ezigbo of Albemarle. “It caused our blocking to be deficient until we were able to figure it out, and then once we got it figured out, we were able to do a better job competing.”
Westfield (22-6) will face Albemarle for the Virginia AAA state title Saturday night at the Siegel Center. Start time is 7 p.m.
To top Landstown -- two days after scoring a quarterfinal win over Mills Godwin -- Westfield used a balanced offensive attack. In addition to senior Sammy Spees’ 17 kills, sophomore Emily Kohler and senior Kelly Murray recorded 14 kills apiece.
“Sammy is the Northern Region Player of the Year, and everybody always expects a lot out of her, and she did another phenomenal job. But it’s a team effort and the unsung things to talk about,” said Westfield coach Jim Bour. “It takes everybody else providing offense because they’re not able to key on one person.”