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Bright Lights, Bright Colors

After district title and state quarterfinal win, Westfield hockey celebrates with style.

Westfield field hockey coach Terri Towle has always had a rule. When T-shirts, warm-up pants or anything else was made, the team’s traditional color scheme was required.

Not anymore.

With a 2-0 victory over Thomas Dale last week in the Virginia AAA state quarterfinals, Towle’s philosophy has been changed some. The win avenged 2006, when Westfield won a Northern Region title but suffered a 6-1 loss to Mountain View in the state quarterfinal round.

“Two years ago it was kind of a letdown,” said goalkeeper Nicole Ficarra, who, along with her defense, recorded 14 shutouts this season.

“But this year, we belonged there. We were more confident. We weren’t as nervous, and we were excited to play the game.”

The win was the Bulldogs’ first-ever state tournament victory (they lost in the semifinals to Cox), and it allowed Towle to soften a bit when considering a T-shirt that commemorated Westfield’s first-ever Concorde District title, which was also won this year.

“I have to approve what’s on it,” Towle added, “but I will probably allow them to go with one of the brighter colors that they like so much.”

Thanks to Molly Gift’s blurt-it-out answer after Towle asked which exact color the players wanted, Westfield has settled on bright red.

“She’s all about following the rules, but if we do great she lets us get away with some stuff,” said forward Ameera Ahmadieh, who led the Bulldogs this season with seven goals.

Westfield finished at 20-5, reaching the Northern Region title game (a 2-0 loss to Lake Braddock) for the second time in the past three seasons.