2022.09.28 Field Hockey: Riverside @ Independence

Brambleton, VA (September 28, 2022) - In the latest renewal of one of the best sports rivalries in Loudoun County, the Riverside Rams made the trip to Independence to play the Tigers in field hockey. At the top of the Potomac District were the Tigers, sporting an unblemished 8-0 record overall and 5-0 in district play. Right behind them, with only one loss, were the Rams. That loss? To the Tigers, of course, a narrow 2-1 result at Riverside.

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

From the outset, it looked like the Rams' plan was to aggressively attack, get an early goal, and then depend on their defense to shut down the Tigers' vaunted attack. And the first part of the strategy appeared to work as Riverside's Ria Chhina drove through the Independence defense to give her team a 1-0 lead in the final minute of the first quarter.

While overall play was balanced initially, the Tigers' offense was not without opportunities. Led by Sammy Goin, Independence, in fact, had the advantage in shots on goal, but Rams goalie Ella Bowman brilliantly blocked or kicked away everything, and the quarter ended with Riverside maintaining a slim margin, 1-0.

In the second period, the field began to tilt in the Tigers' favor. Gradually, the balance of possession shifted toward Independence. Despite continued excellent defense, especially from Chhina and Ariana Paris, the Rams were unable to get much beyond midfield and the Tigers's shot count steadily rose. Six minutes into the period, Goin got Independence on the board and tied the score. At halftime, it was 1-1.

Independence continued to press after the break, and it seemed only a matter of time before the Riverside defense would crack. Diminutive Tiger attacker An Tran was especially effective on the right side, and her efforts led to a goal from Carly Van Benten.

With a 2-1 lead, the Tigers kept the pressure up. Since the end of the first quarter, the Independence half of the field was virtually impenetrable. Goalie Quincy Demcsak was protected by her defense and faced few Ram attempts, while the midfielders kept Riverside at bay. The Tigers attack would generate several more good chances, but neither team would score again.

Right behind Independence and Riverside in the standings is Briar Woods, and both teams have a return match with the Falcons to get through. The Tigers took both regular season meetings with the Rams, but you can expect to see at least one rematch of tonight's game in the postseason.        

Final Score: Independence 2 - Riverside 1

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