The year 2013 provided several exciting moments in local sports. For South Lakes, the girls' basketball team reached the state tournament and the boys' soccer team won a district title. The Herndon field hockey team reached the region semifinals and the boys' basketball won a district championship.
Here is a look at the top moments in Reston/Herndon sports for 2013.
South Lakes Girls’ Basketball Reaches State Tournament
An ability to win tightly-contested elimination games helped the South Lakes girls’ basketball team advance to the state tournament in 2013.
After beating Chantilly 42-40 in the opening round of the Northern Region tournament, South Lakes knocked off a talented Mount Vernon team 46-45 in the quarterfinals when then-junior guard Caitlin Jensen knocked down a jumper at the buzzer. Two days later, the Seahawks beat Oakton 48-46 in the region semifinals to earn a trip to states.
Unfortunately for South Lakes, the Seahawks suffered some tightly-contested losses along the way, as well, which kept them from hanging any banners. South Lakes lost to Madison 55-52 in the district tournament semifinals, the Seahawks lost to Edison 60-52 after leading by 17 points in the region championship game, and South Lakes ended its season with a 55-53 loss to Stonewall Jackson in the state quarterfinals.
“Not everyone thought we'd go as far as we did,” South Lakes guard Sasha Sprei wrote in an email, “and even though we didn't win regions or states, this season showed us what we can accomplish.”
South Lakes Boys’ Soccer Wins District Title
The South Lakes boys’ soccer team started the 2013 season with a loss to T.C. Williams.
The Seahawks wouldn’t lose again for the next two months.
South Lakes won the Liberty District title along the way, beating Langley 3-1 in the tournament final on May 17. The Seahawks also won a regional tournament game and finished the season with a 16-2 record. South Lakes won 16 straight before losing to Woodson in the region quarterfinals.
"We kind of came on the scene last year (2012) in league play," South Lakes head coach Marty Pfister said during the Seahawks’ winning streak. "We look forward to it. We want to represent our district. … We had our best district record last year and we just want to capitalize on that."
Herndon Field Hockey Produces Program’s Best Record
The Herndon field hockey team compiled the best record in program history in 2013, finishing the season at 14-7. The Hornets advanced to the 6A North region semifinals, where they lost to Fairfax 2-1 on Nov. 5.
Herndon’s region tournament berth was its second in a row and second since 1996. The Hornets’ trip to the region semifinals was the program’s first since 1979.
“My fondest memory of [reaching the region semifinals] is walking onto the field after the semifinal game (a tough 2-1 loss to Fairfax) and seeing one of my players in tears,” Herndon head coach Mary Miller wrote in an email. “I thought she was injured and went up to her to see what was wrong. She said to me, ‘I just don't want it to end.’ I think that encapsulates the way our team felt at the end. The kids loved playing field hockey and being part of this team. I was so proud of our team and program getting to the regional final four and being just one game away from the state tournament.
“I think our team experienced such success because we have a group of talented athletes who played together and for each other. We have some very accomplished field hockey players (…Taylor Stone ... [and] Sofia Palacios) as well as some very accomplished multi-sport athletes (Sarah Suter, Katherine Wilson, Rachel Delmontagne, to name a few). All the kids came together to play tough, competitive field hockey, play with sportsmanship as well as have fun. Also, our success came from tremendous senior leadership which in my opinion is so important in any high school sport. Our senior captains Anne Kelley and Katherine Wilson led by example on and off the field and both were selected second-team all-conference.”
Herndon Boys’ Basketball Wins District Title
After a two-point loss to Robinson in the regular-season finale, the Herndon boys’ basketball team responded with two wins by a combined four points to win the Concorde District championship.
The Hornets beat Chantilly 53-52 in the tournament semifinalson Feb. 15 and three days later beat Robinson 51-48 in the championship game.
Herndon finished the season with an 18-7 record, including a loss to eventual region champion Woodson in the quarterfinals of the Northern Region tournament.