Ashburn, VA (August 28, 2019) - One of the best things about field hockey in Loudoun County is that they play a lot of double-headers. This gives fans (and photographers) a good chance to see a full 25% of the LCPS high schools in a single evening. On this night, the Freedom Eagles would play the John Champe Knights in the second half of an early-season twin-bill.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
It quickly became apparent that Freedom was the stronger side. That may not last all season, as the Knights will surely and steadily improve, but the Eagles simply dominated the first thirty minutes of play. Almost the entire first half was played with Freedom on the attack and John Champe desperately trying to protect their goal.
With Sally Steppling's three goals leading the way, the Eagles were systematic in the first half. Showing remarkable early-season organization, their solid formation and structure belied the fact that this was just the second game of the season. It took only five minutes for the Eagles to get on the board, and there were only seconds left on the clock when they tallied their fifth goal.
Freedom head coach Michele Gibbons smartly removed a few key starters to begin the second half. This gave them a rest, but it also provided valuable experience to players they can bank on later in the season.
But that change doesn't fully define the second half. To their credit, John Champe made a game of it and controlled the flow the rest of the way. Keeping the ball in the Eagles' defensive end they scored twice--one each from Sayda Coleman and Kaylie Halsey--and made what looked like a runaway into more of a competitive match. As the final whistle blew, the Knights were still battling to score and created some momentum of their own for the next step in this young season.
Final Score: Freedom 5 - John Champe 2