MIDDLEBURG— One of the most nerve-wracking moments in field hockey is the penalty stroke. Both the shooter and the goaltender are under intense pressure to succeed.
Foxcroft School’s Pipsy Steyn was under the microscope last Tuesday (Nov. 4) when she was the final shooter in a penalty-stroke shootout with Walsingham Academy in the first round of the VISAA Group II state championship. The score tied at 2-2 five — as it had been at the end of regulation and through a 10-minute overtime. Five Walsingham players and four Foxcroft players had taken penalty strokes from point blank range in front of the goal, and not one had scores. If Steyn missed her shot the game would be decided by sudden-death penalty strokes.
She did not miss. The talented junior from Leesburg, VA , flicked the ball into lower left corner of the net, without so much as a thought by the Walsingham goaltender. The goal, Pipsy’s first of the season! — lifted Foxcroft to victory and a trip to the “Final Four” in Virginia Beach.
The goal also opened the gates for Steyn, who had been named to the All-Delaney Athletic Conference First Team earlier in the week. Against top-seeded North Cross in the Division II semifinal, she came through again — scoring two goals, both on corners, in a 4-2 loss. With her performance, Steyne claimed Athlete of the Week honors for the period ending Nov. 8.
“Pipsy had an outstanding post-season,” said Foxcroft Coach Michelle Woodruff, who doubles as the School’s Athletic Director. “She has a great shot but always hesitated until now. . . She really pushed it in the last two games, and what I mean is that she was extremely intense, more so than during the regular season. Pipsy is a very good, aggressive player and I will be looking for big things from her next year.