‘Rou­tine’ victory for Wolver­ines

WOOD­GROVE 16, W. ALBE­MARLE 8

The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY DIL­LON MUL­LAN dil­lon.mul­lan@wash­post.com

lynch­burg, va. — Just as the Wood­grove girls’ lacrosse team set out on a warmup lap ahead of Satur­day morn­ing’s Vir­ginia 4A cham­pi­onship game, Coach Bob Fuller no­ticed some­thing was off.

Typ­i­cally, be­fore tak­ing the field, the Wolver­ines cir­cle around their se­niors in the locker room for a well-re­hearsed dance rou­tine. But the un­fa­mil­iar­ity of Lib­erty Uni­ver­sity meant that tra­di­tion slipped their mind.

So Fuller stopped his team and re­minded them of the cus­toms that had got them there, and over the next 50 min­utes, Wood­grove dom­i­nated as it had all year, cap­tur­ing a sec­ond straight state cham­pi­onship with a 16-8 victory over West­ern Albe­marle.

“The com­pe­ti­tion in the state play­offs is so tough, so we knew this year that we had to stick to our com­plete pregame rou­tine,” se­nior de­fender and Christo­pher New­port com­mit Tay­lor Sav­ille said. “We al­most went straight into our warmup, but that’s when Coach re­minded us, ‘Your rou­tine is ev­ery­thing.’ ”

In keep­ing with the sea­son’s theme, mid­fielder Nora Bowen led the way on of­fense for Wood­grove (18-3) with six goals and two as­sists. The Vir­ginia com­mit fin­ished her ju­nior sea­son with 105 goals while also con­trol­ling play off draw con­trols. Bowen reached the 100goal mark in an 18-6 state semi­fi­nal win over Salem.

“I was able to drive to the goal pretty con­sis­tently to­day; that’s how I score most of my goals,” Bowen said. “Of course we look at our sea­son game by game, but this one has been in the back of our mind since day one.”

De­spite a proper pregame warmup, Wood­grove only led 8-6 at half­time, but a re­ju­ve­nated de­fen­sive ef­fort held the War­riors (13-6) at bay dur­ing the sec­ond half and al­lowed the Wolver­ines to ex­tend their lead.

In to­tal, an ag­gres­sive Wood­grove de­fense forced 16 turnovers while re­main­ing out of the penalty box for the en­tirety of the game.

“We’re a sec­ond-half team,” said Sav­ille, who fin­ished with three caused turnovers and one goal. “At half­time we knew we had to come out stronger than be­fore, and we stepped up and showed that we wanted it more. Wood­grove is known for their de­fense.”

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