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Edison Emerges Victor in 'Battle of the Birds'

Mother-daughter coaching rivalry takes main stage in 'battle.'

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The Edison High School varsity field hockey team poses for a photo with the 'Battle of the Birds' trophy. Edison defeated Hayfield Secondary School 1-0.

In some parents' lives, a moment occurs when they realize they can no longer defeat their children in the games they used to win for much of their children’s lives.

For Ginger White, 45, head coach of the Edison High School field hockey team, that moment was pushed back at least one more year as her team defeated Hayfield Secondary School's field hockey team, coached by her 25-year-old daughter Lauren White, 1-0.

The Oct. 2 match was dubbed the "Battle of the Birds," because of the schools’ mascots the Edison Eagles (4-8) and the Hayfield Hawks (4-8).

The game was a meeting of, former but now reunited, National District rivals.

But the marquee matchup was the friendly mother-and-daughter rivalry.

Before the game, Lauren White led her mother 2-1 in previous meetings, but this was the first time that the two teams had played each other as district rivals.

"It's a friendly rivalry because it's my mom," Lauren White said. "But I wanted to win."

Lauren White said that neither side resorted to gamesmanship, but her mother did play a small joke when she asked the announcer to remind her daughter of her alma mater.

"I told the announcer to say that she was a 2005 Edison graduate," Ginger White said. "It was my way of saying, 'You're still ours.'"

Lauren White said that she was unaware of her mother's pre-game tactic, but said that her mother was on the wrong team as well.

"She graduated from Hayfield in 1982 and played on the field hockey team," Lauren White said.

With the joking between the Whites over, the players took the field in front of a crowd that Lauren White said her players described as "what you would normally see for football games."

Although both teams are currently in rebuilding years, the match was not a one-sided affair.

"'Battle of the Birds' is definitely what it was," Ginger White said. "It was a great game between two evenly matched teams. It's also a big rivalry because Hayfield is [back in the National District] and it's only going to get bigger."

For the first half, the game was a defensive stalemate with both teams failing to solve their opponents’ goalie.

But what's a good rivalry without a dramatic finish to motivate next year's team?

The Eagles provided that when senior Britney Weber scored the game-winning goal with two minutes left in the game.

"It was a great play," Ginger White said. "[Weber] scored after a breakaway and it put us up 1-0."

The drama didn't end with Weber's goal.

With time expired, the Eagles committed a penalty in the shooting circle, giving the Hawks a chance to tie the game.

"We had a penalty corner when time expired so we had a chance," Lauren White said. "It was a real nail biter for the fans."

The Hawks' first penalty corner chance failed to score, but the Eagles committed another penalty in the shooting circle, giving Hayfield another chance.

"I thought we would go to overtime [when they got the second corner]," Ginger White said. "The game really turned out to be a battle."

Unfortunately for Hayfield, its second chance was cleared out of the shooting circle, ending the game.

"Our biggest problem has been scoring," Lauren White said. "It's something we've been working on all season long."

Despite the series between the Whites now tied at 2-2, Lauren White said she is anxious to experience the "Battle of the Birds" atmosphere again.

"I've never seen that many people at a field hockey game," White said. "It was a great experience."