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Virginia Field Hockey Preview

Since only so much can fit in the paper, I figured I would make sure my unabridged Virginia field hockey preview found a home. Read below to find a few extra notes on the field hockey teams at several public schools throughout the state.

Around the Area
Good news for Langley and McLean: W.T. Woodson won't claim its fourth straight Liberty District field hockey title. Bad news for Lake Braddock and South County: The Patriot District just got a whole lot tougher.

“Bringing W.T. Woodson in -- who I thought was one of the top teams last year -- I think we're in a pretty strong district,” said South County Coach Leah Conte of the newly aligned districts.

Led by 2008 co-Northern Region Player of the Year and American University recruit Shelly Montgomery, W.T. Woodson appears to be the early favorite, with junior forward Eliana Brown -- the team's leading scorer last season -- returning as well.

Megan Wears, Erica Binzer and Patty Rafferty make South County a top threat to challenge the Cavaliers, while Lake Braddock graduated nine starters from last year's region championship team. West Springfield won the Bulldog Invitational at the end of August and appears equally as strong.

With Kelsey Grainer and Molly Gift back, Westfield could crash the Patriot party, while the Liberty District has depth with Langley, McLean, Marshall, Madison and Fairfax all sporting strong teams. Yorktown, Mount Vernon and Washington-Lee sit at the top in the National.

In the Northwest Region, Mountain View returns 2008 All-Met selection Heather Hartman from last year's squad, which went 20-3 and hoisted both district and region trophies.

Osbourn Park won the 2008 Cedar Run District title but switches to the Cardinal this season where it will try to pry the trophy away from Forest Park, which has won the past four. Battlefield returns three first team All-District selections -- Maria Bruno, Jenna Irvin and Carly Glenn -- from last year's 13-3 team.

Kelsea Hull and Amanda Scheel anchor a Chancellor team that went undefeated against Battlefield District opponents during the regular season last year. Chancellor will have to fend off Courtland, which features a pair of four-year starters in defender Olivia Mabry and midfielder Skyler Medley.

Last year's regular season Cedar Run champion, Fauquier hopes to follow center halfback Paige Douthett and center mid Star Cope to an Evergreen District title.

Storylines
1. Who will come out of the Northern Region? W.T. Woodson's shift to the Patriot District, along with talented teams at South County, Lake Braddock and West Springfield, gives the Northern Region a cluster of quality teams.

2. With three more wins, Chancellor Coach James Larkin will reach 200 for his varsity career.

3. Gar-Field has yet to win a game in school history. Will it happen this year under first-year Coach Melody Shotwell?

Key Dates
1. W.T. Woodson at St. Stephen's & St. Agnes, Oct. 8, 4:15
2. Northwest Region Final, Friday, Nov. 6, higher seed
3. Northern Region Final, Wednesday, Nov. 4, Oakton High School

Player to Watch
Shelly Montgomery, senior midfielder, W.T. Woodson

An American University recruit, Montgomery had six goals and six assists last year for W.T. Woodson, which went 16-3 and won its third straight district title. This year, though, the Cavaliers look to challenge for their first region trophy since 2007 and fifth overall.

By Jason Mackey  |  September 9, 2009; 4:09 PM ET
Categories:  Battlefield , Battlefield District , Bull Run District , Cardinal District , Cedar Run District , Chancellor , Commonwealth District , Courtland , Evergreen District , Fairfax , Fauquier , Field Hockey , Forest Park , Gar-Field , Lake Braddock , Langley , Madison , Marshall , McLean , Mount Vernon , Mountain View , Northern Region , Northwest Region , Osbourn Park , Patriot District , Region B , Region I , Region II , South County , W.T. Woodson , Washington-Lee , West Springfield , Westfield , Yorktown  | Tags: Battlefield, Battlefield District, Bull Run District, Cardinal District, Cedar Run District, Chancellor, Commonwealth District, Concorde District, Courtland, Evergreen District, Fairfax, Fauquier, Field Hockey, Forest Park, Gar-Field, Lake Braddock, Langley, Liberty District, Madison, Marshall, McLean, Mount Vernon, Mountain View, National District, Northern Region, Northwest Region, Osbourn Park, Patriot District, Region B, Region I, Region II, South County, W.T. Woodson, Washington-Lee, West Springfield, Westfield, Yorktown  
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Comments

How about taking a closer look at Madison this year ? They are building on strength from prior years and last year's regional success.

Posted by: MadisonFan | September 10, 2009 8:17 AM | Report abuse

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