Wolverines follow their destiny

WOODBRIDGE — When the North Stafford field hockey team gathered together for the first time back in August, the Wolverines sat down and planned out the season.

They established goals. They determined leaders and they came up with a motto suitable for a team with championship ambitions.

The Wolverine chose “It#&039;s our destiny.”

More than two months later, that motto seems appropriate. After opening the season with a 1-1 double overtime tie at Woodbridge, the Wolverines returned Tuesday night and clinched a berth in the Group AAA state tournament.

“We wanted to keep our tradition of going to states,” center forward Julie Price explained.

With a 2-0 victory over Woodbridge in the Northwest Region Tournament semifinals, North Stafford continued that tradition. The Wolverines scored the only goal they#&039;d need in just 41 seconds and assured themselves of a state quarterfinal appearance at James River High School next week.

Just as importantly, North Stafford earned the right to defend its regional title the one it captured with an overtime win at Stafford last fall. The Wolverines will meet their arch rivals once again Thursday afternoon in the title match.

“It#&039;s always a battle with Stafford,” Price said. “But there#&039;s no doubt in my mind we can beat them.”

North Stafford is 11-3-2 this season with all three losses coming against Stafford.

“We#&039;re looking forward to playing Stafford again,” left wing Erica Doolittle said.

The Wolverines made sure they would get another opportunity to face the Indians. Doolittle scored in the opening minute and Price scored on an assist from Erin Cwick in the second half.

That was enough to extend the Wolverines season and end Woodbridge#&039;s.

The Vikings, who won the Cardinal District championship and finished 5-7-2 overall, managed only three shots on goal.

“It#&039;s the same demons which have haunted us all year,” Vikings coach Kelly Sanders said. “We get started too late and make the same basic mistakes.”

On a night when they needed near perfection, the Vikings couldn#&039;t produce enough offense to rally.

North Stafford held a 14-3 edge in penalty corners and finished the night with 11 shots. The Vikings defense led by Colleen Dunn, Sherry Kirk, Kelly Smith, Dominique Peterson and Heather Grotheer kept it competitive, but the Wolverines were relentless on offense and resilient on defense.

“We really pulled together as a team,” Doolittle said. “We knew we could do it.”

After Doolittle and Price provided the Wolverines with a lead, the defense made sure it held up. Behind the outstanding play of Tracey Oakes, Lesley Street, Jenn Ashinhurst and Kristen Sondermann, North Stafford earned its eighth shutout in 10 games.

“We wanted it bad,” Price said. “We wanted it to be our game.”

Similar Posts