By Owen Gotimer
Ashburn (August 23, 2016) — For the first time in Loudoun County Public Schools’ history, two teams met to represent their high schools in varsity field hockey as rivals Stone Bridge and Broad Run duked it out in Ashburn on August 22. While the Briar Woods Falcons travelled to Rock Ridge High School to play the Phoenix in the other of two historic first games, the Bulldogs took care of business on their home turf, defeating the Spartans, 4-0, to win the first varsity field hockey game in LCPS history.
“It was extremely exciting, almost unbelievable,” Stone Bridge freshman Ashlyn Hughes said. “I’m really happy I got to be a part of that experience.”
“Some of the girls have played together since elementary school age, so it’s exciting that they got to actually represent their school for the very first time,” Stone Bridge head coach Richard Hayden said. “They’ve worked hard with the school board to get here so it’s very cool.”
After getting the first goal in the books, two Stone Bridge freshmen got in on the first-half scoring action as Immy Smith and Ashlyn Hughes both put balls in the back of the net.
“It’s gratifying. I’m a very process-oriented guy so we know we have a lot to do,” Hayden said. “It’s our first game, but we’re thinking Stone Bridge has a great reputation for sports, so even in our first year what can we do at the regional level and beyond? It’s all about getting better and having fun, and we’ll see where the road takes us.”
As coaches and players continue to feel out the new varsity sport and their opponents, regular personnel changes are being made to see what works best for each team.
Stone Bridge dominated ball control in the first half, but Broad Run took advantage of some different things in the second half while controlling the offensive possession for the first ten minutes after halftime.
“We were trying different things,” Hayden said. “It’s still experimental for us so we were moving some people around to different positions to see what works for us.”
Experimenting or not, Hughes did not think the Bulldogs’ three-goal lead was enough, so midway through the second half she decided to add to her goal count to, at the time, lead all scorers in Loudoun County with two goals.
“We work really well together as a team, and that’s a really important thing in order to win a game,” Hughes said. “It felt really awesome to drive the score up to get a win.”
— LoCoSports (@LoCoSports) August 22, 2016
Even though the Bulldogs came away victorious, and as cliché as this sounds, all of the hardworking field hockey players and supporters in Loudoun County truly came away with the win after this one.
“We have to show everyone that this is a great varsity sport,” Hayden said. “Hopefully, we’ll get support from the student body coming out and seeing what a great sport it is.”
1H 24:12 SB Emily Hinkle
1H 8:08 SB Immy Smith
1H 5:05 SB Ashlyn Hughes
2H 13:48 SB Ashlyn Hughes