Beating a team three times isn’t easy. Especially when it’s an Orange County squad that has improved drastically this season.
“They’re a very aggressive team and yes they push in ways that are different from other teams,” said Albemarle field hockey’s Anna Murray. “But I think it’s more of a mental thing- ‘like we know we can beat them and this time isn’t going to be any different’.”
The Patriots managed to put away the Hornets for the third time this year, winning 3-0 Tuesday night in the Region 5D quarterfinals, with No. 2-seeded Albemarle advancing to the semifinals.
Facing a challenging region that includes some of the state’s top notch field hockey programs, Albemarle is dead set on trying to impose its will and style in the playoffs. That won’t be an easy task, but Tuesday was a solid start.
“When we have possession we control what happens in the game and we’ve talked a lot in the past week about how we control ourselves,” Murray said. “We need to control the other team instead of letting them control us.”
Morgan Rose got the scoring started with a goal right out of the gate and Murray tacked on two more, one in the first half and another in the second half.
The Patriots’ goalies had just a single save as Orange struggled to create chances. The Hornets’ keeper Riley Clatterbuck made 17 stops on the night to keep Orange in range of the Patriots.
“I wish they would’ve had this playing potential at the beginning of the season but I’m very proud of us, we seemed to get it together halfway through the season and they’ve pushed it,” said Orange coach Lauren Seal. “The second half of this season has definitely been an entirely different team.”
Albemarle advances to the semifinals where they’ll host the winner of Potomac and Brooke Point’s quarterfinal match at 5 p.m. Tuesday.