Field hockey: Ashley Little sings, Westfield stings Herndon, 7-1

October 8, 2013

Westfield senior Ashley Little’s rendition of the national anthem took longer than it did for teammate Katie Winesett to send a glaring rocket of a shot past red-clad Herndon goalkeeper Sarah Suter.

“I think that’s the quickest we’ve ever scored,” said Winesett, who netted the first of her two goals just 30 seconds into the Bulldogs’ 7-1 victory. “It was just like three passes and in. That gave us confidence and put them on their heels.”

Little has been belting out melodies for considerably longer. She sang choir for the first time as a fifth-grader at Cub Run Elementary in Centreville, and cut her teeth on the Star Spangled Banner during the school’s talent show.

“I’ve been singing ever since I could talk,” Little said. “Now, it’s become second nature. I just do it.”

The same could be said of Westfield and scoring.

The Bulldogs (13-2) built a 5-0 lead by halftime without allowing a shot or corner to Herndon (11-3) during that span.

Junior forward Emily McNamara shot a laser past Suter with 5 minutes 24 seconds left in the first half and tallied again roughly 90 seconds later. The three-year starter said the Bulldogs emphasized crisp hits on long balls during practice on Monday.

“[Sending] long balls across gets us easier access to shots and tips near the goal,” McNamara said.

After routing a Hornets squad that entered the contest tied for the Concorde’s best record, McNamara wasn’t reticent to say how far she thinks this Westfield team can go.

“I see us going and playing in the state tournament for the title at this point,” she said.

Freshman Grace Caron — a recent call-up from the Hornets’ junior varsity squad — scored Herndon’s lone goal midway through the second half.

She left Tuesday’s game feeling richer for having been exposed to a different level of competition.

“I think they had great skills, but we learned how to play and hang around with them even with the score being as it is,” Caron said. “We kept our spirits up and kept going.”

For Winesett, it’s her teammate’s pregame performances that get her going in the first place.

“It pumps me up even more, because [Ashley’s] such a good singer,” Winesett said. “I swear she gets better every time.”

Little sees the moments leading up to the opening hit as a rare chance to strut two of her talents.

“It’s something to value, because I get to do sports and sing in the same five minutes,” Little said. “It’s the best thing ever.”

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