With the Virginia AAA Field Hockey Quarterfinals beginning today, here is a look at the two area teams vying for titles. All quarterfinal games will be played at the U.S. Field Hockey Training Center in Virginia Beach.
* Team: Jefferson.
* Record: 18-3.
* How it Qualified: Northern Region finalist.
* Last state tournament appearance: 1996.
* Who's Next: Princess Anne (Eastern Region champion), today at 1.
* Why Jefferson Can Win: Offensive-minded hockey. The Colonials have one of the best offenses in the Northern Region with five players having scored 10 or more goals. Junior Ruth Isenstadt (10 goals) and senior Kendall Stone (11 goals) create match-up problems for any defense because of their skill and speed. Sophomore defender Allie Heon can change field position in a hurry.
"What's gotten us here is our style of hockey, playing hard and playing together," Jefferson Coach Teri Davis said. "I still have a lot of confidence in this team. We're very skilled and I think we have a good shot." . . . The Colonials have scored two or more goals in a game 14 times this season and four or more five times.
* Biggest Concern: Turf. W.T. Woodson got experience playing on turf by reaching the state tournament last year, but the Colonials don't have any experience on the surface. Jefferson is a powerful team and will have to adjust its big-hitting style if it is to advance against last year's state runner-up, Princess Anne.
The ball "moves a whole lot quicker, the hits are a lot harder, but it's easier to stop," Stone said. ". . . I think it'll be easier for the forward line because we use our speed more than anything else."
* Wild Card: Juliana Litts (10 goals) had a fantastic regional tournament, scoring the game-winner against Madison in the regional quarterfinals and finding the cage twice more against Chantilly to clinch the state tournament spot.
* Team: W.T. Woodson.
* Record: 19-3-1.
* How it Qualified: Northern Region champion.
* Last State Tournament Appearance: 2003 (defending state champion).
* Who's Next: Frank W. Cox (Eastern Region finalist), today at 3 p.m.
* Why Woodson Can Win: The Cavaliers did it last year, becoming the first Northern Region team to win a state field hockey title since 1986. Woodson also showed last year that it knows how to play on turf. But as defending champions, the Cavaliers expect other teams will be keeping a close eye on them.
"I think that last year, a Northern Region team hadn't won in a while and we went down there and showed them that we can play," AAA Northern Region player of the year Ashley McCulloch said. . . . Senior forward Ashley Peck has scored 21 goals this season, and junior goalie Janelle Barth has yielded just 10 goals.
* Biggest Concern: The draw. Last year, the Cavaliers dominated Central region runner-up Maggie Walker on the opening day of the tournament before having to beat two Virginia Beach teams to win the title. This year W.T. Woodson draws 13-time state champion Frank W. Cox in the quarterfinals.
* Wild Card: Balanced scoring. W.T. Woodson did an excellent job in the regional tournament getting offense from a variety of places. Junior Lizl Gericke has scored three goals over the last three games.