South Riding, Va. (May 7, 2015) — If you like keeping score, Freedom High School was the place for you on Thursday night.
A handful – five, that is – of sporting contests were held simultaneously on the sprawling campus off Riding Center Drive. The homestanding Eagles captured the two tilts of boys lacrosse, while nearby rival John Champe claimed the diamond games and Stone Bridge took the girls varsity tennis match.
Boys lacrosse: Freedom 14, Tuscarora 6
On Senior Night at Eric J. Olsen Memorial Stadium, the Eagles (10-3) came out firing at the Huskies (6-6) with runs of four goals and five goals before the first half was done.
Senior Tanner Hudson scored a hat trick, adding a pair of assists and three ground balls. Freshman Andrew Pirko and sophomore Hunter Capestany threw in two goals each, while six other Eagles notched a tally.
Senior Ben Davis put the finishing touch on the effort with a top-shelf score in the final minute, assisted by Tristan Loayza.
Warren Danzenbaker is in his second season piloting the Eagles after a 16-year tenure on Annandale’s staff. He is seeing marked improvement in the Eagles’ lacrosse culture, instituted by the outgoing senior class.
“They’ve worked hard to turn this program around,” said Danzenbaker, praising his players’ off-season work. “The younger kids on the team and the kids around South Riding look up to them.”
Freshman goalie Alex Oates made 10 saves in the win. Senior goalies Billy Meck and David Farrell both saw action on Senior Night as well.
Freedom dominated the faceoff category, winning 14 of 21.
To demonstrate the competitiveness of Conference 14, Danzenberger pointed out that Freedom beat Briar Woods, Briar Woods beat Broad Run and Broad Run beat Freedom – all decided by one goal.
“On any given night, those are going to be hard-fought games.”
He’d like the Eagles’ boys lacrosse team to make their way to their first-ever conference title game in the upcoming postseason.
Baseball: John Champe 3, Freedom 2
Zach Burdick is well-known to followers of Champe sports as the Knights’ starting quarterback and all-conference point guard.
Turns out he’s a pretty decent pitcher too.
“There’s a lot of tough at-bats in their lineup,” Champe coach Joe McDonald said. “Zach worked ahead in the count and was able to grind out his pitches.”
Burdick, a left-handed junior, began playing high school baseball this spring. Relied upon a spotted fastball and an effective curve in allowing no earned runs over seven complete.
“We weren’t sure what we were going to get,” McDonald said. “But once he got his arm conditioned, he’s really become the guy we like to go to in these types of games.
The Knights (12-4) scored the first three runs, then held on as Freedom got two unearned tallies to edge closer.
It’s been a tough stretch lately for the Eagles (7-8), now looking to snap a three-game losing streak.
Softball: John Champe 16, Freedom 4 (6 innings)
Kaitlin Murray has guided the Knights softball program since it was born with the school three years ago.
The blowout win for Champe (8-6) versus the Eagles (7-9) is another sign to Murray that her program’s ascent is on track.
“We started with a no-win season, and now this is our eighth win,” Murray said. “We have a young class and they’ve really stepped up.”
Murray praised freshman catcher Rachel Stec, who laced a pair of three-run doubles from the lineup’s 3-hole in support of freshman pitcher Hannah Lee.
The Knights’ big frame was the third, when they sent 11 batters to plate in six-run outburst.
Leadoff batter Kayla Farabaugh scored three times on three base hits, while sophomore Miranda Marck had a triple among three hits, adding four runs.
Freshman Mimi Lawson singled twice and doubled. Three other Knights contributed a pair of hits apiece.
It was Champe’s second consecutive victory by run-rule, after defeating Handley 17-1 on May 5.
Girls tennis: Stone Bridge 7, Freedom 2
The Bulldogs (8-8) picked up an important team victory over the Eagles (6-6) for positioning in the tight Conference 14 standings.
“I feel now after this win that we’ll get in to conference [tournament] play,” said Stone Bridge coach Sue Leo, half of whose roster are freshmen.
Leo praised her players for making key mid-match adjustments to get more aggressive at the net.
Stone Bridge’s top two of junior Sahithi Kalvakota and freshman Emily Rounsley earned singles wins, as did the Bulldogs’ No. 5 and No. 6 entrants, sophomore Maghana Malapaka and freshman Courtney Johnson. Malapaka earned the match’s sole shutout.
For Freedom, junior Joan Lee and freshman Isha Bhatia won their respective singles meetings by 8-6 scores.
As dusk fell across the unlit courts, Stone Bridge swept through the three doubles sets by a combined 24-6 score.
JV boys lacrosse: Freedom 12, Tuscarora 0
Zach Estrada led with three goals and an assist, while Zach Shellnutt put in two while picking up six ground balls and winning a pair of faceoffs for the Eagles (10-2).
The backstopping duo of Kieran O’Brien and Trevor LeMaster equally divided time in net, making three saves apiece to preserve the shutout.
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Written by Jason S Rufner
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