Lake Braddock 1, Oakton 0
In the rare moments when Lake Braddock's players weren't defending in last night's field hockey game against visiting Oakton, the Bruins were preparing to sprint toward their own goal and start defending again. That's what happens when one team faces 14 penalty corners in a 30-minute half.
But thanks to an aggressive defense led by Shahna Chitsaz and some clutch goalkeeping by junior Mary Ann Chipkevich, sixth-ranked Lake Braddock held on to win 1-0 against No. 3 Oakton in a nondistrict game between two of the Virginia AAA Northern Region's top teams.
In penalty corner situations, most of the players on the defending team have to stand at midfield as the opponent is allowed to initiate its offense from the goal line.
"I could tell [Oakton's players] were getting a little frustrated," Chitsaz said, "but Chipper [a first-year goalie who made five saves] was amazing last night."
Chitsaz also praised the defensive efforts of teammate Tierney Foster Wittig, a senior. "She trailed me on everything, and that made a difference," Chitsaz said.
Sophomore Mikala Savaides scored in the 23rd minute for Lake Braddock (7-1). The play started when Lotti Friar sent a long cross from the left side to Jenny Eakin, who shot on goal. Savaides was in perfect position to tap home the ball on a deflection off the Cougars' goalie.
"I was just at the right spot at the right time," Savaides said.
Oakton Coach Marsha Ehrsam said the Cougars (4-1) were flat in the first half before becoming re-energized for the second half.
"We played well in the second half but did not execute when we had to," said Ehrsam, whose team entered the game averaging more than three goals a game. "In tightly defended games like this one, you need multiple shots, and you need to be there for rebounds."
Bruins Coach Diane Miller said her team passed well on offense when it had the opportunity but had trouble with the skill of Oakton's players.
"They have such quick sticks, and they are so sure on the ball," said Miller, whose team lost 3-1 to Oakton in the regular season last year. "But I have to praise our defense, they kept us in it. And the hustling play of [Chitsaz] really flustered them."