Field hockey notebook

Marriotts Ridge continues to improve

One of the area's best field hockey players, Mountain View's Bailee Hubert describes how she takes a penalty stroke.
By Greg Schimmel and Jason Mackey
Tuesday, September 21, 2010; 5:01 PM

Marriotts Ridge had played nearly 70 minutes of scoreless field hockey against Centennial on Thursday before Molly Fleming decided enough was enough.

The junior forward took a free hit to the left side of the goal with about 15 seconds left in overtime, then cut to the right post as players scrambled in front of the cage and the ball suddenly rolled toward her.

"I literally saw the ball rolling over the end line," Fleming said. "I just thought, 'This game has to end.' "

Fleming dove to the grass and redirected the ball into the goal with two seconds left to give the Mustangs a dramatic 1-0 win.

Marriotts Ridge beat Mount Hebron, 4-3, in double overtime on Tuesday to raise its record to 4-0. Coach Stacie Gado aims to continue the improvement she has overseen since she coached a 1-13-1 squad in the team's first year in 2006.

"We've had many, many overtimes in recent years and have never been successful in them," Gado said. "For us to win an overtime game is a huge milestone."

Gado's teams finished around .500 in both 2007 and 2008 before taking another step forward with a 9-5 record last year.

Perennial power Glenelg still looms both in Howard and in Maryland 2A South, but Marriotts Ridge is out to make a name for itself too.

"For the rest of our season," Fleming said, "our goal is to win as much as we can."

Lake Braddock's back

No. 8 Lake Braddock (8-1) is poised to match its win total from 2009, when the Bruins finished below .500 and uncharacteristically missed the Virginia AAA Northern Region tournament.

This season, with every impact player back, Lake Braddock is looking more like a squad capable of capturing its eighth region title and 20th district championship.

Earlier this month, Lake Braddock won its 11th Herndon Invitational title when senior Brittany Hopkins scored 22 seconds into overtime on a pass from classmate Ali Froede, sealing a 2-1 win over Tabb and snapping the Tigers' 54-game winning streak.

"We're not really surprised, but we're impressed with how well it's been going," said Hopkins, a William & Mary recruit. "It makes the season a lot more fun when you're winning."

Osbourn looks for more

Osbourn Coach Donna Birmingham drove from Bealeton to Manassas Monday night, frustrated with her team's 2-1 overtime loss to Liberty. Two years ago, Birmingham might've been okay with a solid effort, but now, with Eagles' varsity program flourishing, such a letdown was unacceptable.

"I really wanted to win this one," said Birmingham, whose team had won its previous four games by a combined score of 16-2.

Still, the Eagles are 4-3, one win away from the program-best total of five set last season. And that came after the Osbourn's inaugural season when the Eagles won only one game in 2008.

"There's been a huge change in the team dynamic, knowledge of the game . . . everything," Birmingham said. "We've taken some big steps."

Episcopal makes history

Episcopal (2-0) began its season last week with a 3-0 win over Georgetown Visitation, the 2009 ISL runner-up. The win, which came on the strength of two goals from Lallie Lukens and one from Kelly Chandler, gave Episcopal its second defeat of the Cubs since 1993. . . . Most Montgomery teams play their first intradivision games this week, and only four of the county's 25 teams made it through their nonleague schedules undefeated. Poolesville and Walter Johnson are both 3-0, and Wootton (3-0) and Watkins Mill (2-0) play in a 4A/3A West tilt on Wednesday. ... Springbrook Coach Kearney Francis picked up her 100th career win with an 8-0 victory over Kennedy on Sept. 13.

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