Middleburg, VA (October 7, 2015) – Foxcroft School’s Field Hockey Team rallied with two goals and non-stop offensive pressure in the second half Wednesday in Middleburg to tie arch-nemesis Fredericksburg Academy, 2-2, giving the three-time state champions something of a wake-up call.
Fredericksburg Academy had won 16 of the 17 previous meetings between the two Delaney Athletic conference rivals, knocking Foxcroft out of the DAC and state tournaments several times. So far this season, the Falcons had outscored their opponents 32-3 en route to a 5-0 record. Foxcroft, also undefeated at 7-0, hadn’t beaten the Falcons since September 2013.
The Falcons jumped to an early lead Wednesday with two goals in the first 10 minutes. Both were scored on corners by FA scoring star Colleen Norair.
Less than a minute into the second half, though, Lucy Matz, a senior from Coatesville, PA, tipped in a pass from freshman Haley Buffenbarger (Leesburg) to get Foxcroft on the board and the momentum shifted. Foxcroft was on the attack and was around the Falcon’s goal pretty much the rest of the way.
“Mighty mite” Laney Malone, the team’ spark plug and a leading scorer, had several good chances and just missed scoring twice. Finally, with 8:16 remaining in the game, the 4’10” senior attack from Leesburg scored on a breakaway to tie the score.
Foxcroft continued to press the visitors and had the ball in the circle when time ran out. The DAC does not play overtime during the regular season — as Fredericksburg Academy’s coach was quick to point out — so the game ended in a deadlock.
“The intensity after halftime was palpable,” said Athletic Director and Coach Michelle Woodruff. “And Lucy’s goal changed the team dynamic. . . Our players finally believed that they could play with FA.
“In the first half, when I called a timeout after the second goal, our players were tired, they were down. It wasn’t good,” she added. “During halftime, I told them that it was up to them, that they could do it. I reminded them that the FA girls play the same game as we do.”
Or as senior goalie Jessie Herman (Waterford, PA) put it, “She told us to get our act together.”
They certainly did that. “We’ve been a second-half team all year,” added Lucy, who had only one previous goal on the season.
On Wednesday, that second half showed the enthusiastic crowd — and the players themselves — just how good that team can be.