A 40-minute delay in the start of the Cardinal/Cedar Run field hockey championship Thursday -- one official had yet to show up -- gave Osbourn Park senior goalkeeper Anne Compton an opportunity to "de-stress" before the start of the most important match of her career.
The way it turned out, Compton probably could have used another 20 minutes or so of down time, because she certainly had no time to relax in the second half of her team's 1-0 win at Forest Park that gave Osbourn Park its first district title.
Compton racked up 10 saves, seven of them in the second half, when the Bruins, coming off a 4-0 semifinal win over four-time defending tournament champion Woodbridge, continually threatened to score.
"They were angry," Compton said with a laugh afterward. "They were trying to push it down our throats, but we kept it up. I was asking . . . 'How long? How long can this last? How much time?' It's nerve-wracking, but it's an awesome adrenaline rush. It's just amazing."
It is the first time in the five-year history of the tournament that a team other than Woodbridge has won the title; five schools in the county play the sport. Osbourn Park will host North Stafford in a Virginia AAA Northwestern Region semifinal at 6 p.m. tomorrow.
Compton, who had plenty of help from seniors Lindsay Simon and Carolyn Edson and junior Brenna Hatter, among others, is the last line of defense for the Yellow Jackets. But she is front and center when it comes to setting the tone on her end of the field.
"Anne is a goalie," second-year coach Kate Thomas said. "She definitely is cocky and will tell anybody back there what she thinks. From the get-go, she's just been a goalie. She started in goal as a sophomore and took right to it."
In some ways, this is a mix-and-match team. Senior forward Kelly McConnell, who played lacrosse for Thomas, and Simon are first-year field hockey players. Sophomore midfielders Lauren Roper and Katie Brennan have transferred their ice hockey skills into field hockey. The player who punched in the game's lone goal, sophomore Anna Foster, is a reserve who had not scored all season. Brennan, the player who scored in the 1-0 semifinal win over Woodbridge, also is a backup.
Foster scored off a penalty corner, when senior Jen Whitten knocked the ball into the pads of Forest Park senior goalkeeper Rachel Belter, and Foster pushed it into the cage with 10 minutes and 23 seconds left in the first half.
"It's pretty good timing," Foster said of waiting until the district championship to score. "I surprised myself a little because I haven't gotten a goal and it was a really tough game and I'm just a sophomore. I wasn't expecting the goal to come from me."
"She was in the right place at the right time, and that's what we're coaching," Thomas said.
There have been times, however, when the Yellow Jackets' heads have not been in the right place at the right time. Thomas has had to tame the team's "giddy" and "silly" tendencies. That has resulted in a more focused group that reserves the giddiness and silliness for appropriate times, like Thursday night, when the players ran through a tunnel of parents after accepting the championship trophy. The Yellow Jackets were runners-up last year.
"I don't think we ever thought that we would get this far," Compton said. "But midway through the season, we got more faith, and I think this is what put us there."