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Lake Braddock Field Hockey Thumped by Tabb

Lake Braddock junior Brittany Hopkins arched her back, took a deep breath and hoped. Lined up at midfield for the awards ceremony at the 14th Annual Herndon Field Hockey Tournament on Saturday afternoon, Hopkins’ team had just lost in the championship game to Tabb, 5-0, yet there was one trophy -- the one handed to the tournament’s Most Valuable Player -- that Hopkins had her eyes on.

But as members of the all-tournament team waited, it was clear that one performance throughout the three-day event stood out above the rest. Hopkins, a midfielder/forward, scored a total of six goals, including all four during a 4-0 win over Robinson on Friday.

“I’m a competitor,” said Hopkins, who was eventually named the tournament’s MVP. “I like to win. I’ll do anything and everything to score and help the team to victory.”

Along with Hopkins, Lake Braddock juniors Ali Froede and Maggie Metress were elected to the squad, while the Bruins cruised through three games to reach the final, outscoring their opponents 10-1.

In the title game, however, Lake Braddock ran into a dominant Tabb team that went 24-0 last fall and captured its second Virginia AA/A state championship. After the first 30 minutes, Lake Braddock was behind 3-0 thanks to goals from three different Tabb players. And when Erika Euker scored her second goal 13 minutes 15 seconds in the second half, the outcome was all but decided.

By facing tough teams like Tabb, Bruins Coach Diane Miller, who’s in the middle of her 30th season on the Lake Braddock sideline, is hoping her young team will mature quickly.

“I think it’s going to give them something to think about, the fact that we lost 5-0,” said Miller, who won her 400th game last season and led Lake Braddock to its seventh Northern Region title during her tenure. “I don’t think Lake Braddock has ever lost 5-0.

“I think some of them are going to have to step back and reevaluate what they could’ve done better to help this team because a lot of them didn’t do what they were supposed to do today.”

With nine starters gone from last year’s team, things have been quite different for Froede and Hopkins this fall. Both were integral parts in 2008, but neither was really counted upon for leadership. This year, however, both have been forced to speak up at practice.

“You always have to be on your game, and if you’re not on your game, everyone thinks, ‘Oh, she’s not doing that. I don’t have to do that,” said Froede, whose team is 4-4 this season. “There’s definitely a lot of pressure.”

Since its inception in 1996, the Herndon tournament has brought together talented field hockey teams from across Virginia, and participants this weekend included Marshall, Osbourn Park, Tabb, Yorktown, Herndon, Fauquier, Wakefield, Western Albemarle, Battlefield, Lake Braddock, Mount Vernon and Robinson.

Lake Braddock has been the tournament’s most successful entrant, winning the championship 10 times, including runs of five (1996-2000) and four (2005-2008) in a row.

One thing that the tournament’s director, Herndon Coach Phyllis Pearce, said is essential to making the event successful is the wealth of talent that the Hornets are able to attract from the rest of the state.

“The way I structure it is that every [four-team] pool ends up being competitive,” said Pearce. “Different parts of the state play a little differently, but good hockey is good hockey and that stays the same.”

Here’s a full listing of the all-tournament team:

Maria Bruno -- Battlefield
Star Cope -- Fauquier
Carly Mann -- Herndon
Katya Samodurov -- Herndon
Ali Froede -- Lake Braddock
*Brittany Hopkins -- Lake Braddock
Maggie Metress -- Lake Braddock
Melie Campos -- Marshall
Sara Duncan -- Mount Vernon
Kelly Crider -- Marshall
Marcy Hoath -- Mount Vernon
Tori Kelly -- Osbourn Park
Kelsey Glass -- Robinson
Carly O’Loughlin -- Robinson
Erika Euker -- Tabb
Kelsey O’Brien -- Tabb
Melanie Tenney -- Tabb
Sara Santos -- Wakefield
Olivia Hajek -- Western Albemarle
Olivia Shipley -- Yorktown

*Voted the tournament MVP

By Jason Mackey  |  September 12, 2009; 5:52 PM ET
Categories:  Field Hockey , Herndon , Lake Braddock , Northern Region , Northwest Region  | Tags: Field Hockey, Herndon, Lake Braddock, Northern Region, Northwest Region  
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