Fairfax field hockey reaches first state title match; defending champ Yorktown awaits


FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — At halftime of the Class 6 state semifinal Saturday, Fairfax midfielder Halley Beaudoin took the clipboard from her mother, Coach Amber Beaudoin, and broke down the team’s pressing formation.

Halley Beaudoin, one of the team’s senior captains, provided strong play and guidance. Kaia Beaudoin, her younger sister, provided a key goal. Together, they helped lead Fairfax to its first state final appearance after it defeated Colonial Forge, 2-0, at Massaponax High.

The Lions (23-1-1) had previously lost seven times in the semifinals. They will play Yorktown at noon Sunday at Courtland High in Spotsylvania.

“They are like little coaches on the field, especially Halley,” Amber Beaudoin said of her daughters. “She’s not only our captain but our field general. She really sets the tone for our team.”

One of Fairfax’s objectives was to establish a quick tempo in the first five minutes, which the team executed early.

Less than a minute after the game started, senior forward Kennedy Bailey tore down the right wing and blew by two Colonial Forge defenders before delivering a ball into the circle. Junior midfielder Kelly Via tapped the ball onto the stick of unmarked senior midfielder Ripley Collins, who buried a shot past Eagles goalkeeper Kate Young.

“I like that we came out and scored early,” Amber Beaudoin said. “That was one of our goals for the game, really setting the tone and establishing the swing, and I thought we did that really well early.”

Despite conceding the early goal, Colonial Forge (14-8) held Fairfax to just three corners and six shots.

At the 9:45 mark of the third quarter, Halley Beaudoin received a penalty corner pass and played it out wide to Via. Via knocked the ball into the center of the circle, where Kaia Beaudoin struck a reverse chip that deflected over Young, doubling the Lions’ advantage.

“It was just the communication of my other teammates and the movement of my players cutting back posts, as well as the passing between Halley and [Via],” Kaia Beaudoin said of her goal.

Ahead of Sunday’s final, Amber Beaudoin had a simple message for her team: “One more.”

Stafford, Williams propel Yorktown

Even after Yorktown senior midfielder Emily Stafford graduates this spring, she won’t have to wait long before reuniting with junior forward Alexis Williams on the turf; both have committed to play field hockey at the University of Pennsylvania.

And in Saturday’s Class 6 semifinal against Western Branch at Massaponax High, the future Quakers propelled their team to a 2-0 victory.

Midway through the first quarter, Stafford picked up the ball and hit a hard shot that Williams tipped past Western Branch goalie Berkley Miller.

“[Stafford and Williams] scoring that first goal was pretty cool,” Yorktown Coach Olivia Shipley said of Stafford and Williams.

After years of playing together, Stafford and Williams have developed a telepathic-like bond on the field.

Emily Stafford learned to love field hockey in part because of the pandemic

“We work really well together,” Stafford said. “We just know how to play off each other.”

Saturday afternoon pitted the 2021 Class 6 finalists against each other once more; the Patriots beat the Bruins last year, 1-0, for their first state title. This time, however, Yorktown (17-3) controlled possession and dictated the match’s tempo to shut out Western Branch (13-6).

“Overall, we came out super calm, composed, controlled and were able to maintain possession and have a ton of offensive opportunities,” Shipley said.

The Patriots could have added to their offensive tally had it not been for Miller’s sublime play in net. The junior made myriad saves, denying a potent Yorktown attack and finishing with 11 stops, many of which kept her side within striking distance.

But with the Bruins’ offense stalling — Western Branch had just one penalty corner — Yorktown doubled its lead in the final frame. Stafford jogged to the left corner with two minutes to play and found sophomore midfielder Laney Reiser at the top of the circle. Reiser then took a step back and launched a shot that clattered off the back of the goal.

After heading for their annual team pasta dinner and fueling up at Chesapeake Bagel Bakery on Sunday morning, the Patriots will look to claim their second consecutive state title.

“We’re excited to play Fairfax,” Stafford said. “It’s always been a really great matchup against them, and they’re a very good and competitive team that pushes us.”

Independence loses in double OT

Scarlett Thompson and Maddie DiLuigi scored for Independence, but the Tigers came up just short in the Class 5 semifinals against 23-time state champion Cox.

The Ashburn school lost, 3-2, in double overtime to finish 21-2 this season.

“Amazing season for these players,” Independence Coach Jennifer Darrow said via email. “We set ourselves up to play harder teams this season. … We wanted to prepare ourselves for this game.”

Cox, out of Virginia Beach, has won the past three Class 5 titles as well as the Class 6 championship in 2018.

Loudoun Valley falls in shootout

Loudoun Valley scored a second-half equalizer to force overtime in its semifinal match but eventually fell to two-time defending Class 4 champion Great Bridge, 1-0 in a shootout, after the game ended 1-1.

The Vikings finished 20-3.

Source link