Lackey shuts out Westlake, advances to 1A South section final
Tanner’s lone goal lifts Chargers to playoff win
When junior midfielder Hayley Tanner scored to give the Lackey field hockey team a 1-0 lead over Westlake in Wednesday evening’s Class 1A South Region Section II semifinals, the game was far from over.
Twenty-three minutes of play remained and offered Westlake
more than enough time to press the Chargers defense and threaten to equalize.
But after Tanner’s goal, it was second-seeded Lackey which did more of the threatening. It proved that the best defense is a solid offense and held on for the one-goal victory over the third-seeded Wolverines in Indian Head.
“I think we have a lot of potential to score. We just have to finish our shots and get the ball in there,” said Tanner, who scored her second goal of the season. “Westlake’s defense was strong, but we came back stronger and
when I shot the ball was slow roller at the back of the cage. With all the practices that we’ve had this season now it is time to show it as a team.”
With the win, Lackey (6-6-1 overall), which had two starters out for the game, advances to the section final to face SMAC champion and top-seed Patux- ent (13-0) on Monday in Lusby. Patuxent shut out fourth-seed McDonough 15-0 in Wednes- day’s other section semifinal matchup.
“Tanner is so versatile,” Lack- ey head coach Samantha DeNardo said. “Being aggressive is what got her that goal. She goes for that ball and never stops, she is persistent and that is what led to the goal.”
The Chargers defeated West- lake 4-0 in a regular season meeting on Oct. 4, but it was a much closer outcome this time in the playoff matchup.
“I feel that we bounce back in certain situations. It’s just about learning a new position quickly, being able to react and perform on the field,”DeNardo said. “With that being said, we are there we just have to play as a team. We have to learn our posi- tions so that we can be success- ful, that’s the key for us right now. We have been doing really well and I’m proud of them for stepping up we have about six of these girls that haven’t played field hockey before.”
Lackey dominated possession as the ball, but both defens-
es played strong throughout and the game was a defensive stalemate with Tanner’s tally breaking the stalemate and later standing as the game’s lone goal.
While Lackey wasn’t able to execute on the offensive end, it held Westlake to just one shot on goal for the entire game.
“It was a hard game. We had some injuries and were playing down,” Lackey junior forward J’lah Watson said. “We pulled through today, but we have to step it 10 times more versus Patuxent because they are real- ly good. We have to bring it all to the field and show what we can do.”
Westlake (2-11) was limited in its offensive opportunities but
it had a strong defensive showing led by senior goalie Alitzah Parker with nine saves.
“Well it was a little discouraging because we lost to them twice this season and the girls really wanted to come out and get revenge on them,” said Westlake head coach Taylor Fleegle, a 2009 Patuxent graduate. “We were able to hold them to 0-0 at halftime. They scored about eight minutes into the second half and we just couldn’t tie it up. Lackey kept possession more than did. But overall it was a good season and the girls are going miss playing.”
Lackey junior goalkeeper Katie Willett saved one shot in the shutout.
PHOTO BY JERRY BALLENGEE Lackey junior midfielder Hayley Tanner, right, battles for possession versus Westlake, alongside Lackey’s J’lah Watson, left, as Lackey’s Kira Thompson looks on in Wednesday’s Class 1A South Section II semifinal field hockey contest. Tanner scored the lone goal of the game in the second half as Lackey won 1-0