Northern Region Field Hockey

Oakton's Grimm Is a Chip Off the Old Hog

Lake Braddock's Christine Tuebner, in front, battles for a loose ball with Pilar Lopez-Gomez of Oakton, which has won nine of 10.
Lake Braddock's Christine Tuebner, in front, battles for a loose ball with Pilar Lopez-Gomez of Oakton, which has won nine of 10. (By Mark Gail -- The Washington Post)
By Stephen A. Norris
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Growing up with three brothers and a father who played in the NFL, Oakton defender Devin Grimm is used to getting knocked around. So it seemed only natural Grimm would shrug off a gash on her chin and return to the Cougars' Northern Region quarterfinal game against sixth-ranked Lake Braddock in time to score Oakton's first goal in a 2-1 home victory.

"I was on my way out but decided to stick it out and be a leader for the team," said Grimm, a senior captain.

Grimm, the daughter of former Redskins all-pro offensive lineman Russ Grimm, was accidentally whacked in the chin by a Lake Braddock player 10 minutes into the game. After realizing she was bleeding, Grimm took herself out, was bandaged by the team trainer and told she should go to the hospital to get stitches.

Before Grimm walked out of the gate, she was persuaded by her twin brother, Dylan, to play the rest of the game. She returned just as Oakton (14-5) was awarded a penalty stroke with 8 minutes 1 second remaining in the half and was immediately put back in the game to take the shot. Grimm snuck the shot through the right side of the goal to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead.

"When she got injured, it was bad enough to not have her in the game, but we were hoping to God she would not have to go to the hospital," Oakton Coach Lizzie McManus said. "Injured or not, she is our toughest player. A stroke is a golden opportunity for her, and she had been putting those in every day during practice."

Danielle Filipponi gave Oakton a 2-0 lead with 8:10 remaining in the game and Lake Braddock scored its lone goal with 4:25 on a shot by Brittany Hopkins off a rebound.

The Cougars now have won nine of their last 10 games after beginning the year 2-2. Oakton's only loss during that stretch was in the Concorde District tournament to Chantilly (Oakton won the regular season district title), but even that has turned into a rallying point.

"We needed that loss," McManus said. "We were district champs the last two years. We just took it as, 'So what?' It's different, and we needed something different."

Lasta night it was Grimm's toughness that rallied the Cougars.

"I know my dad will be proud of me," said Grimm, whose father is an assistant coach for the Arizona Cardinals. "He'll probably tell me I don't need stitches."

Oakton 2 No. 6 Lake Braddock 1 Up Next: Oakton will face top-ranked Langley tomorrow night at 7 for a shot at its first state tournament berth. Family Connections: Oakton Coach Lizzie McManus's sister Molly is an assistant for Lake Braddock. Both played at Oakton in the 1990s. Oakton 2 No. 6 Lake Braddock 1 Up Next: Oakton will face top-ranked Langley tomorrow night at 7 for a shot at its first state tournament berth. Family Connections: Oakton Coach Lizzie McManus's sister Molly is an assistant for Lake Braddock. Both played at Oakton in the 1990s.


© 2007 The Washington Post Company