The Foxcroft field hockey team has experienced a strange year, set off when the team van was involved in a fender bender on Route 50 while traveling to a game Oct. 16.

Although no one was seriously hurt, Coach Cricket Winter said almost every player sustained some form of whiplash and had to be taken to the emergency room. Winter canceled that afternoon's game at St. Stephen's/St. Agnes.

"It was just a freak thing," Winter said this week. "Thank God everyone was okay. A lot of the kids were sitting sideways when it happened, so that made the whiplash worse."

Winless in three games before the accident, the team had only four starters available for its next game and had to call up most of the junior varsity. The Foxes lost and continued to struggle as the starters slowly trickled back as they got consent to play from their doctors.

But Winter said senior forward and captain Carolyn Laurenzano did a good job "keeping the team on an even keel," and the last of the seven missing starters returned Wednesday. The result: Foxcroft's first win of the season, 2-1, over Bullis.

Now, Winter said she is even optimistic that the team can make a run in the Independent School League tournament, which begins Thursday.

"We come in with a bad record, but I don't think it's reflective of how good we actually are," she said.

Fauquier Coach Proud

Fauquier's season ended Monday with a 1-0 overtime loss to Albemarle in the quarterfinals of the Virginia AAA Northwest Region tournament. The Falcons finish the year with a record of 8-10-1, but Coach Linda Lee said she was pleased with the season, which her team began with no starters returning.

Senior Landis Sargent led the team with 11 goals for the season, and senior Katherine Dart set a school record with 10 assists. Dart also added five goals, and senior Cathleen Sienkiwicz had seven goals. Lee also praised senior Tana Hernandez, who she said stabilized the team's midfield.

"I had great output from everyone that played," Lee said. "They just really pulled together as a team, and that's what they had to do."

Eagles' Season to Improve

Although Liberty finished 0-11, first-year coach Stacy Irvin still thought the team showed improvement during the season.

"We're definitely looking toward the future," Irvin said.

"The seniors we had this year showed some leadership. But the younger girls really stepped up, so we're really looking ahead to next year."

Irvin said the team would return seven starters, including junior goalie Rachel Willis, whose poise helped make defense the Eagles' strength this season.

CAPTION: Above, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes's Kathleen Miler, left, and Foxcroft's Katie Parsley duel over the ball in the Foxes' 1-0 victory Friday. Below, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes's Molly Jenkins pursues Foxcroft's Charlotte Baptiste. The win marked Foxcroft's second of the season, which was marred early on by team injuries resulting from an auto accident.