Herndon High School has advanced to the 16-team Northern Region Field Hockey Tournament with a school record 12 wins.
The Hornets will play an away game at 7 p.m. Tuesday against the loser of Monday’s Mount Vernon vs. Yorktown National District Final Game.
The Hornets have tallied regular season wins against both Mount Vernon (1-0, Sept. 22) and opened the season with a road win against Yorktown (3-0, Aug. 23).
The Hornets will likely have to play without the dynamic sophomore forward Sofia Palacios (14 Goals, 18 assists, All District Tournament) after Palacios suffered a head injury during the Concorde District Semifinal game against Oakton on Oct. 17.
The Hornets will rely on the senior leadership led by captains Sarah Betti and Gillian Lindenalong with the offense keyed by sophomore center midfielder Taylor Stone (All District Tournament) if they are to advance to Thursday’s Regional Quarterfinal game vs. the LakeBraddock/Fairfax High winner.
First-year coach Mary Miller believes her overall team balance has led to the landmark record. “This year’s team has been a great mix of all of the classes. It is made up of one third sophomores, one third juniors, and one third seniors. The Seniors provide leadership and guidance to the team. The Juniors are a core group that connect us to the youth of the team.”
Herndon’s best weapon could be its last line of defense. Junior goalie Sarah Suter has 27 saves despite only playing in six games after being cleared from an early season head injury. Goals are at a premium during tourney play and Suter will likely make them tough to get on Herndon.
The Hornets have overcome challenges throughout the three-month campaign and hope to make yet another mark on a historic season, the first season for coach Miller, as they open Tuesday’s Regional Tournament.
* Article submitted by Billy Stone.