Field hockey

Langley upsets Lake Braddock on penalty corner

By Jason Mackey
Wednesday, September 22, 2010; 11:41 AM

To explain her field hockey team's recent success, Coach Jennifer Robb cited Langley's conversion rate on penalty corners, an important stat that was on display Tuesday night as the Saxons converted on a penalty corner in overtime - their only one of the game - to upset No. 8 Lake Braddock, 1-0.

Senior forward Celeste Gerard scored the game-winning goal off of an assist from senior midfielder Kayleigh Ross, extending Langley's winning streak to five games.

"We've been very successful on corners recently," said Robb, whose team improved to 6-4. "The shot wasn't very strong, and we actually mishandled it. But because of that, it ended up falling to [Gerard], who was at the stroke mark. The right position at right the time."

Lake Braddock dictated play throughout, finishing with a 16-1 advantage in penalty corners, but the Saxons' back line of senior Kirsten Anderson, Catherine Macklin and Terra Holderman kept the ball out of the Langley cage. Junior goalkeeper Tuscany Justice was equally as impressive and made eight saves.

The upset - the biggest thus far in the Virginia AAA Northern Region - gives Langley the signature win it had been hoping for. Langley opened with a 2-1 loss to No. 6 Westfield at the Bulldog Invitational before dropping two decisions to defending region champion South County by a total of three goals.

According to Robb, the Saxons' most important victory prior to Tuesday afternoon was a 2-1 overtime win at Oakton on Sept. 7, which gave Langley's players a sense of confidence they called on to pull the upset over Lake Braddock (8-1).

"The Oakton win was a big part," Robb said. "I know several players felt that once we got to overtime, that they had worked so hard and didn't want to see that go to waste," Robb said. "Plus every minute we kept Lake Braddock from scoring, we kept gaining more confidence."

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