Ashburn, VA (August 28, 2019) - The season is not yet old enough to tell where any teams will end up two months from now. Every program is trying to find their way, apply their strengths, and develop their weaknesses. When the Loudoun Valley Vikings travelled to Stone Bridge, each team had only played one regular season game, but this would be a good early test.
Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.
It pays to remember that this is only the fourth full season of field hockey in Loudoun County public schools. In the early days, the games were choppy with wildly varying levels of skill and lopsided scores. Games lasted longer, too, because referees often had to stop games to explain the rules and position players for restarts.
This game looked and felt like a more mature sport with well-conditioned and seasoned players all over the field. Most notably, the goalies for both teams were outstanding. The Vikings' tender, Genna Marsh, was acrobatic--to say the least--diving full out across the face of her goal and parrying high shots over the top. The Bulldogs would only score once, but that was not for lack of trying.
And Stone Bridge's Charly Burns was equal to the task as well. The Bulldogs' netminder was not challenged as often, but she, too, could be seen sprawling across her goal and thumping shots away from danger.
Following a balanced and scoreless first fifteen minutes, Loudoun Valley opened the scoring with a goal by Sarah Thompson. But that lead was erased quickly as Ashlyn Hughes put one in for Stone Bridge. The first half ended with a 1-1 deadlock that perfectly represented the run of play.
But the Vikings figured something out at halftime and finished two opportunistic second half shots in quick succession to put the match away. Sophie Hall would score in the 18th minute to give Loudoun Valley the lead, and Thompson would score again to create the winning margin.
Final Score: Loudoun Valley 3 - Stone Bridge 1