Herndon High School advanced past Yorktown 1-0 Tuesday night in Arlington, VA.
The Hornets survived a defensive battle to prevail and advance to the Regional Quarterfinals for the first time in school history. The 13 wins are a program best.
“It’s a great win for us, It is nice to be in the regional tournament and to win a game. The team continues to exceed my expectations”, said first-year coach Mary Miller moments after the game.
She also discussed the team’s accomplishment of making the Regional Round of 8. “It feels great. They’ve played such good, solid field hockey all year. They played with passion and believed in each other but they also played with composure as well. Nothing gets to them. I always knew they could do this and I’m just really proud of them.”
The Hornets now face Liberty District Champion, Fairfax High who defeated Lake Braddock 1-0 in a tight match on the Rebels home turf. Fairfax enters Thursday’s matchup with an area best 18-1 mark and an early season victory over Herndon 4-0 in the finals of the Herndon Invitational Tournament.
The Hornets, as expected, were without sophomore Sofia Palacios (14 goals, 18 assists, All District) who is sidelined with a head injury. Sophomores Jamie Wright, Alexis Duke, and Abby Frazier all spent time in their classmates' regular spot during the game.
Seniors Brittany Smith and Sarah Betti (All District) pushed the action forward all evening with juniors’ Annie Kelley, Rachel Delmontagne, and Katherine Wilson controlling the ball during the final 15 minutes.
Herndon almost broke the scoreless tie with 7 minutes remaining on a rocket shot from senior Gillian Linden but broke through with 5 minutes left on senior Megan Janowski’s goal on an assist from sophomore Taylor Stone (All District).
Yorktown mounted a furious attack in the closing minute but one last save from junior Sarah Suter ended the contest.
Game time is 7 p.m. on Thursday at Fairfax High School. The winner advances to the Regional Semifinal on Tuesday, Oct. 30 at Washington and Lee High School.
* Article submitted by Billy Stone.