‘Routine’ victory for Wolverines
WOODGROVE 16, W. ALBEMARLE 8
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.”