“We didn’t complain, because we knew sometimes you have to do something you’ve never done before to get something you’ve never had,” Wessels said.
Osbourn Park (14-2) accomplished the former on Oct. 4 with its 2-1 overtime victory over North Stafford. To the best knowledge of everyone associated with the program, the win marks the first time the Yellow Jackets have ever overtaken a Stafford-area squad in field hockey.
“We went in knowing that there was a very low chance that we’d win that game,” said Wessels, a 2013 second team All-Met pick in lacrosse.
The latter – something they’ve never had – is a fighter’s chance to make some noise outside the confines of the re-jiggered Cardinal and now-defunct Cedar Run Districts. In 2012, Osbourn Park’s season ended with an 8-0 loss to Mountain View in the Northwest Region tournament first round.
But with their undefeated regular season run through Conference 8, the Yellow Jackets have secured a top seed and will host a first-round matchup in next week’s 6A North Region tournament.
Inevitably, the Yellow Jackets will match up with more established teams in the postseason, and Thomas hopes her collection of other-sport studs can continue to win with God-given talent.
“This team is reliant on lacrosse players and soccer players bringing their athleticism to the game of hockey,” Thomas said. “But the skills are coming.”
Wessels is example number one. She didn’t join the field hockey squad until her sophomore season (choosing volleyball for her fall sport freshman year), and originally saw her calling between the posts as a goalie.
It didn’t take long for Thomas and the Yellow Jackets coaches to realize Wessels had the type of speed that’s indispensable on the offense end.
“At first, I wanted to play goalie because I’d never done it before in lacrosse,” said Wessels, a Northwestern lacrosse recruit. “I just wanted to try something new.”
“But I got in the goal, and sure enough, all I wanted to do was score. I kept trying to run the ball up the field. Coach [Thomas] said, ‘Okay, goalie is not going to work for you.’”
The team that lives together, plays together at Foxcroft
Tucked away on a hilly piece of Piedmont midway between Leesburg and Gainesville, Foxcroft School and its athletic programs might not get their due exposure.
But the on-field exploits of its field hockey team – which sports a 9-1-2 record — are becoming difficult to ignore.
In the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s most recent poll, Foxcroft sits atop Division II.
“We’ve had some success over the past couple years, and now we’re starting to get the phone calls, so that’s nice,” said Coach Michelle Woodruff, who’s also the athletic director of the all-girls boarding school.