By Brandt Berry / Scrimmageplaycva.com contributor
There’s a lot of pressure that comes with senior night for the athletes playing their final regular season game at home, but it didn’t faze Western Albemarle trio of Moira Wright, Abbie Starns, and Morgan Clark Thursday. Those three and the rest of the Western Albemarle field hockey team easily dispatched Powhatan 6-0 to give Wright, Starns and Clark a proper finish to their home career.
The two squads battled back and forth for the first 10 minutes with the Powhatan defense holding the potent Warrior attack at bay. But Western broke through in the 20th minute after junior Olivia Hajek took a quick restart and knocked home a shot from just inside the striking circle. WAHS continued its push for a second goal as Hajek and fellow junior Tess Lohr made several deep runs. Powhatan finally found an offensive spark when Maddie Zatkalak juked everyone on the Western team except goalie Maya Langman, who forced her shot just wide.
Western came out hard in the second half as Sierra Brown and Hajek both added goals within the first 3 minutes. Then junior Becca Moriconi registered another goal in the 19th minute to make it 4-0 Warriors. Hajek then completed her hat trick, capitalizing on a scrum in front of the Powhatan goal two minutes later.
“We passed better tonight,” Hajek said, “…overall we have gotten a lot better over the season.”
Up 5-0, Coach Fields opted to pull the starters and let the fans catch a glimpse of the future as sophomore Reilly Funk threaded a nice pass to freshman Chance Masloff, who calmly knocked it in for the sixth goal of the evening. With six minutes left, the seniors all reentered the game as forwards and exited four minutes later to cheers and chants from the crowd.
Even though the result was lopsided, Powhatan coach Claire Livesay saw some improvement among her squad.
“We started off well, but as we got into the game, our intensity dropped a bit.” Livesay said.
Western Coach Mia Fields was especially pleased with her team’s effort after the first clash with Powhatan yielded only a one goal win.
“Well, we were a bit healthier this time and everyone wanted this one more,” Fields said. “(The seniors) have all given so much to the program and it’s nice to see the team give back.”
Western and Powhatan will both be in action next week as they begin postseason play with the Jefferson District Tournament. Western has a bye and will face the winner of the Powhatan-Louisa match.