2021.10.25 Field Hockey: Potomac District Championship

Ashburn, VA (October 25, 2021) - When two teams meet in the district championship game--and there are only two losses between them--you expect a really close game. The fact that the Riverside Rams owned both of those defeats and that they came at the hands of the Independence Tigers, their opponents, could serve two purposes. It might make the Tigers more confident, and it might make the Rams more hungry.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

And as the game began, it looked like the latter was the case. The Rams were on the attack from the opening whistle and kept the Tigers in their own end for a significant majority of the first quarter. Riverside's Lydia Oldknow was relentless on the left wing, muscling the ball into the center for multiple opportunities for her team's offense. But the Independence defense held and the score remained tied, 0-0, at the end of the period. The Tigers had barely moved the ball beyond midfield, but it didn't matter on the scoreboard.

The first raindrops fell right after the National Anthem had played, and only increased in intensity as the second quarter began. The Rams maintained the momentum from the first period, but just two minutes later a bolt of lightning forced a thirty-minute weather delay. 

When play resumed, the field began to tilt toward the Riverside end. The break acted like a  timeout and reignited the Tigers. With a few minutes left in the quarter, Independence earned a series of penalty corners including one as time expired. That one resulted in a flurry of chances right in front of the Riverside goal and Grace Gorham tapped it in for a halftime lead, 1-0, Indy.

The third quarter brought torrential rain, but play continued unabated. With water streaming off their shoulders and puddles spraying with every strike of their sticks, the two teams continued to battle. Both teams had good chances, but with 8:24 left in the period Gorham scored again for a 2-0 Tiger lead.

There was still plenty of time for the Rams to get back in the game, but with 1:15 remaining in the quarter another weather delay. This time there was no returning to the field and the district championship was awarded to Independence. Yes, it was a well-earned title, but both teams would have preferred to finish the match. Perhaps they'll meet again in regionals. Stay tuned.

Final Score: Independence 2 - Riverside 0

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