Lakeland falls 1 goal shy of reaching state tournament

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 3, 2007

VIRGINIA BEACH—The more a team accomplishes and the deeper it goes in a season, the tougher and more emotional the end seems.

It might not be fair, but that’s almost always the way it is.

Lakeland’s field hockey season came to a close one step shy of a state tournament berth as 14-time and defending state champion Cox won 3-2 in the Eastern Region Tournament semifinals in front of a big crowd at the U.S. National Training Center.

Following the final whistle, Lakeland head coach Tara Worley took a few minutes apart from her players before addressing them.

Then, the post-game meeting was more about thanking her players and trading hugs, especially with her seniors, than it was about breaking down what had just happened on the field.

Five seniors, Ashby Stancill, Lynsey Daughtrey, Sarah Mazzone, Lindsay Cutchins and Courtney Parmeter, played what turned out to be their last Lakeland match.

All five made first or second team All-Southeastern District this season with Cutchins as the Player of the Year for the second straight season. Cutchins and C. Parmeter are already set to continue their field hockey careers at James Madison.

“I really thought this was our year,” said Worley.

“We didn’t play our best, but we didn’t play bad…Our kids fought to the end,” said Worley.

“We played a good game.

We were caught on our heels a few times and we put them on their heels a few times,” said Parmeter.

Cox took a 2-0 lead with two goals in the last eight minutes of the half.

tmtDown two goals with a minute left in the season, the play went to Smither, a freshman, and the call paid off.

On the restart though, Lakeland was unable to move the ball into the Cox end.

The Falcons earned a restart about 25 yards from Lakeland’s goal, then a long hit, and the clock ran out.

The Lady Cavaliers’ only other loss of the season, to go with 18 wins, was an overtime, penalty-stroke loss to Oakton in early September.

“It’s more than a year,” said C. Parmeter about how much time and effort the Lady Cavaliers put into reaching the state tournament.

“To get to this point and not have it happen, it gets worse every year.”