Middleburg, Va. (November 25, 2014) — Six Foxcroft School fall athletes – four from field hockey and two from tennis – have been selected to the VISAA Division II All-State teams, Athletic Director Michelle Woodruff announced this week. They join Foxcroft junior Alex Grace, who earned All-State honors by finishing in the top 20 at the VISAA Cross Country Championship Nov. 7.
In field hockey, junior Pipsy Steyn of Leesburg, Va., and sophomores Allison Buffenbarger (Leesburg) and Lindsay Woods (Philomont, Va.) were named to the First Team and junior Laney Malone (Leesburg) was a second-team choice. Although Foxcroft did not reach the title game, it placed more players on the All-State teams than any other school in Virginia. Four of the 19 selections attend the School.
Junior co-captains Annie Mickum of The Plains, VA, and Marina Shallcross (Upperville, Va.) were named First Team All-State in tennis. Mickum received the honor for the third year in a row while Shallcross was named for a second straight year.
Steyn, a stalwart on defense all season, demonstrated her offensive side by scoring three times in the state tournament. Her first goal – and her first of the season – came in a shootout that lifted Foxcroft to a 3-2 victory over Walsingham Academy in a quarterfinal match. In the semifinal, she added two more goals in a 4-2 loss to North Cross.
The play of Buffenbarger and Woods is more subtle but clear to field hockey aficionados. They are both key to Foxcroft’s offence, but neither is a big scorer, although Buffenbarger did collect five goals during the regular season. Both are excellent defenders and, along with Steyn, kept opponents in check for much of the season.
“Their level of play definitely makes them All-State worthy,” said Woodruff, who is the head field hockey coach as well as AD. “Field hockey is not a high-scoring game, so looking at only goal scorers would really limit voting. Allison and Lindsay are both top-notch offensive threats in terms of getting the ball up through the midfield and into the circle. They are both also outstanding defensively. They play on offensive as well as defensive corners, and are impactful players.”
Malone, a transfer from Bishop O’Connell High School, was Foxcroft’s leading scorer during the regular season with 11 goals. She added one in the semifinal victory over Walsingham Academy.
On the tennis front, Mickum and Shallcross were easily the two best players on the Foxcroft team. Neither of the, however, won a match in their VISAA Division II quarterfinal loss at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, so their selection might have been a bit unexpected. Also, Shallcross missed much of the regular season due for personal reasons.
“I was not surprised by Annie’s placement on the team, but I was a bit surprised by Marina’s, only because she did not play much this season.” said tennis coach Susan Erba. “I made an argument for her talent and why she deserved to be on the team, and I guess the voting coaches agreed.”
“In the quarterfinal, Marina was tied 4-4 in her singles match and probably would have won, but the match was called. The girl that she played was also on the First Team All-State. In addition, Marina had to play number one against Seton in the DAC Finals because Annie was sick. She lost to Seton’s number one player, 8-6. That girl was the DAC Player of the Year and also First Team All-State.”
“I’m glad that the coaches saw that her lack of record was due to a tragedy beyond her control and that it did not affect their ability to recognize her talent,” Erba said.
Shallcross finished 4-1 in singles competition this year and teamed with Mickum to go 3-0 in doubles. Mickum was 9-2 as Foxcroft’s No. 1 singles player and was 7-1 in doubles.
“Annie lost easily to the number one at Nansemond-Suffolk, but that girl is a very strong USTA player. She was amazing!” Erba said. “Annie really won all of her matches in the DAC . She had to default against Seton [during a regular-season match] due to illness, but she had beaten her before. That counts as a loss, which is why the Seton girl ended up the DAC Player of the Year and not Annie.” Mickum was DAC Player of the Year in 2013.
Voting for the all-state teams is conducted by a special committee of coaches for each sport. They vote on players nominated by other coaches. “All teams in the state in the Division are eligible to nominate a player,” Woodruff said. “ It is more difficult to have a player make a first or second team if they are not playing for the top eight or 10 teams in the state as they are not seen (by the committee).”