Vikings don’t score, but gain optimism

WOODBRIDGE — The Woodbridge field hockey is still looking for its first victory this season, but right now the Vikings would be thrilled with simply scoring a goal.

It’s been nearly three weeks since a Woodbridge player last struck the back of the cage and after a 3-0 loss to Chantilly on Thursday, there was a mixture of irritation and eternal optimism on the Vikings sideline.

“Personally, I just get frustrated, but this is only the second time that the whole team has been together,” center back Heather Grotheer said, following Woodbridge’s third consecutive shutout defeat and the team’s sixth in seven games overall.

“Right now we just need a ball in the goal,” she said. “That would get us moving. Then a win would really be nice.”

Steffany Ireland is responsible for the Vikings’ only goal of the season — a second-half shot that earned Woodbridge a 1-1 tie against Brooke Point. But that was on Sept. 4. The Vikings have played three matches since then.

“We have players on the team who are really good,” Grotheer said. “We have girls with good skills and good stick sense. We just have to put it all together.”

There have been wondrous occasions when the Vikings have offered a glimpse of their potential. They gave Colonial Forge fits in their season opener, held defending regional champion Stafford to a pair of goals and probably should have come away with a victory against Brooke Point.

Those flashes just haven’t occurred often enough to produce a win.

“We have to work on transition more,” sweeper Kelly Smith said. “We have players on this team who can score. We just have to get the ball to them. There’s talent on the front line, at midfield and on defense. We just have to work together.”

The Vikings generated more offense against Chantilly than they did in recent losses to Jamestown and Stafford. They combined for three shots and Ireland nearly scored her second goal of the season on a penalty corner in the second half, but the shot rolled out of bounds just a foot wide of the right post.

Chantilly made the most of its six chances — scoring on half of them. Heather Oberg, who played her second full game in place of injured goalie Heather Rose, came up with three saves, but the Chargers generated two first-half goals and another one with seven minutes remaining.

Rose, who tore some ankle tendons during warmups at Jamestown on Saturday, hopes to be back in the cage in time for next Friday’s game at North Stafford.

Ryan Younis put the Chargers in front 10 minutes into the first half and Lauren Rosenberg scored with 7:39 remaining. Amy Smerdzinski’s goal following a second-half penalty corner finished off the scoring.

“It’s been hard the first couple of games, but the second half will get better,” Smith said. “One of the things is we never let go. We’re a really close team and we help each other out.”

STAFFORD 4, BROOKE POINT 0: Anne Gehring scored a pair of goals and April Carper had two assists Thursday as Commonwealth District leader Stafford shut out the visiting Black-Hawks.

The Indians dominated play with 18 shots on goal and improved to 6-2 overall. Carper and Brittany Fowler assisted on Gehring’s goals, while Carper also set up freshman Rebecca Sullivan’s first varsity goal.

Kristin Beveridge scored unassisted to wrap up Stafford’s third consecutive district victory.

The Black-Hawks did not attempt a shot on goal.

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