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Virginia Field Hockey Extras

In Thursday’s paper, you might’ve read a field hockey notebook that Jeff Nelson and I put together. But to add a bit more context on the Virginia side of things, I figured I would some toss out some additional notes that didn’t make the print edition.

Still at the Top of the Mountain

The loss of seven seniors from last year’s squad has done little to knock No. 8 Mountain View off of its perch atop the Northwest Region. Besides returning 2008 All-Met performer Heather Hartman, Mountain View has benefitted from sophomore Bailee Hubert, who had a hat trick during the team’s 3-2 win over Riverbend on Thursday afternoon.

“After losing those seniors from last year, we’ve been focusing hard on filling those slots,” said Coach Pattie Sullivan, who’s in her fifth year of work at the school.

Hartman, meanwhile, has scored five goals already in 2009 and three have come off penalty corners -- the result of specifically designed plays to get her the ball and an open look at the cage. As an example, she scored in overtime to secure a 1-0 win over Stafford on Sept. 10.

“You can tell when we play, they’re definitely the heart of our team,” Sullivan said of Hartman and Hubert. “They get the job done.”

Mountain View (5-2) went 20-3 last year, winning Commonwealth District and Northwest Region titles. Its only two losses this season have been to Maury and Frank W. Cox -- two perennial powers in the Virginia Beach area.

Chancellor Coach Wins 200th Game

Jim Larkin graduated from Slippery Rock University, which is located just outside of Pittsburgh, Pa., and started work at Chancellor High School in 1994. Though he played soccer and ice hockey for most of his life, the closest Larkin ever came to grabbing a field hockey stick was that a girl he dated in college played the sport.

Sixteen seasons later, Larkin has morphed into one of Virginia’s most successful coaches, garnering his 200th career win when the Chargers clobbered King George, 11-0, this past Wednesday night to improve to 5-0 this season.

“It was a little more challenging than I thought it would be,” said Larkin, whose career record is 200-54-3.

This season has been another successful one for Chancellor, which finished 13-4-1 overall, 12-0 against Battlefield District opponents and graduated Meg Neylon, who’s now playing at Virginia Commonwealth University.

With Neylon’s departure, the void has been filled by senior Amanda Scheel, senior Becca Williams and sophomore Erin Bartley. Scheel leads the team with six goals and five assists while Williams and Barley have each scored four times. Bartley and Williams both recorded hat tricks against King George.

“We’ve had some great athletes,” Larkin said of the program’s success. “But we’ve had even better people that have come out of the program.”

Bulldogs Near Perfect

One untimed play separates No. 10 Westfield a perfect season. During the semifinals of the team’s annual Bulldog Invitational on Aug. 29, Westfield was tied with South County entering the end of regulation play.

But as time expired, South County was granted a short corner attempt -- teams are allowed to complete a penalty corner even if time expires -- and the Stallions took advantage, scoring on the play to walk away with a 2-1 victory.

“It was a mental lapse on our part, but [South County] executed very well,” Westfield Coach Terri Towle said.

Other than that, things have been going pretty well thus far for Westfield, which improved to 8-1 this season with a 4-1 win over Robinson on Thursday night. In fact, the Bulldogs have outscored their opponents through nine games, 26-5, while goalkeeper Katie Fiely has five shutouts.

With the loss of eight seniors from last year’s team, which went 20-5 overall and captured the school first-ever district title, Westfield has turned to top returners such as Kelsey Grainer, Molly Gift and Annie Martello.

During the win over Robinson, Gift scored a pair of unassisted goals and Grained also added a pair. And for the season, Martello leads the squad with eight goals entering Monday's home game against Annandale, while Gift has six and Grainer has five. Martello and Gift are tied for the team assist lead with six apiece.

“I do have several scoring threats,” Towle said. “It’s not as if we have one person to do all of our goal scoring. We do have several scorers. I think we’re balanced like that.”

By Jason Mackey  |  September 18, 2009; 5:48 PM ET
Categories:  AAA Concorde District , Battlefield District , Chancellor , Commonwealth District , Field Hockey , Mountain View , Northern Region , Northwest Region , Riverbend , Westfield  
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