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Yorktown Wins Fifth Consecutive District Championship

Patriots hold off Hayfield despite penalty problems.

Hope Barrazotto, the two-time National District Player of the Year, stood near the field, eager to return to action. A few feet away sat Olivia Shipley, a first-team all-district attack, with her legs crossed and her stick by her side.

The two best players on the district’s best regular-season girls lacrosse team were confined to the penalty box while their Yorktown teammates battled Hayfield in the closing minutes of the district championship game. Barrazotto and Shipley each received a yellow card for slashing — a three-minute penalty — and both were forced to watch as Yorktown’s lead slipped away.

But after the Patriots’ advantage was trimmed to one with 2:17 remaining, Yorktown found a way to hold on, capturing its fifth consecutive district title with a 9-8 win at Greenbrier Stadium.

"It was nerve-wracking," said first-year Yorktown head coach Anne Bodnar, eight months pregnant. "It was really frustrating because I know [Barrazotto and Shipley] were tired and they definitely made stupid mistakes and they both deserved to be in there to help win the game."

How nerve-wracking was the situation?

"I thought my baby was going to be delivered on the sideline," Bodnar joked.

THE PATRIOTS led 9-5 when Barrazotto went to the box with less than five minutes remaining. Within 90 seconds, Hayfield’s Sarah Gunter scored twice with a one-player advantage, cutting the Hawks’ deficit to 9-7.

"They got two goals really quick," Barrazotto said. "I was really scared."

Moments later, Shipley was called for slashing, giving Hayfield a two-player advantage. Shipley went to the box with 2:31 on the clock, meaning she wouldn’t play for the remainder of regulation. Fourteen seconds later, Hayfield’s Maria Parenti scored to cut the Yorktown lead to 9-8.

Sitting in the penalty box was "terrible, awful. I was really frustrated," Shipley said. "It was sad because they started coming back and I was really afraid we were going to lose and I couldn’t do anything."

Barrazotto returned to the game with less than two minutes remaining and Yorktown was able to run out the clock. When the final horn sounded, the Patriots rushed the field with a joyous sense of achievement — and likely a sense of relief.

"We were watching the clock," said Bodnar, who took over the varsity after five years with the JV, "and I knew that the rest of the team could manage. … It’s a great accomplishment. Obviously, I wanted to maintain the district champion title after four years. With the experienced team that I have, I felt that we definitely deserved it."

SHIPLEY LED Yorktown with six goals. Barrazotto scored two goals and Colleen Cooper added one. The Patriots led 4-2 at halftime and led by as many as five in the second half, when a Shipley goal put Yorktown up 8-3 with 13:36 remaining.

Three-time first-team all-district goalkeeper Libby Kane, also a setter on the Yorktown volleyball team, said the win felt even better after Hayfield defeated the Patriots for the district volleyball title.

"I really wanted to come out and get this title," she said. "I think we definitely should have won by more, but I’ll take a win any day."

Yorktown junior defender Liz Verrechia and senior attack Molly Adair were also named to the all-district first team. Senior defender Ashley Casteel, senior midfielder Colleen Cooper and senior attack Ella Richardson received second-team honors and senior defender Shannon Smith, junior midfielder Michelle Casteel and junior attack Erinn Spack were honorable mention.