After missing out on a trip to the state tournament last season, this year's Frederick field hockey team has started checking off its goals in convincing fashion.
The Cadets clinched the Monocacy Valley Athletic League's Chesapeake Conference title with Monday's 5-0 win over Liberty (Md.), the first outright title in school history.
"It's great to be undefeated," said Frederick Coach Kelly Kern, whose team went 6-0 in conference play. "We wanted to win it outright with no questions, no asterisks."
Frederick (8-2) reached the Maryland 4A semifinals in 2002, but a drop down to 3A put the Cadets in a region with perennial state power Bethesda-Chevy Chase. The Barons beat Frederick in overtime in last season's regional semifinals.
It's that loss that motivates Kern's team.
The players "were real disappointed losing to B-CC. They want to win," Kern said. "The two games we lost this season were both in overtime, and they still say we should have won both of those. They want to win them all."
New Heights for Fauquier
Under Coach Diana Story, Fauquier's volleyball team has won three Virginia AA Northwestern District championships in the past eight years. One of those titles, in 1999, capped an undefeated run though the league.
But the No. 9 Falcons (15-2, 11-0) have never enjoyed success quite like this. Fauquier is ranked by The Post for the first time, and through 11 district matches, the Falcons have dropped just a single game -- last night in a victory over second-place Sherando.
"I'm not even sure if the girls even know that because we never talk about it," said Story, whose team is led by senior outside hitter Kathleen Crosby and senior setter Christie Konoza. "But we're definitely on a roll and are playing extremely well."
Fauquier's only losses were early-season decisions to Heritage (10-4) on Sept. 4 and to No. 2 Loudoun Valley on Sept. 16.
Broadneck Is Peaking
While the Broadneck girls' soccer team enters tonight's regular season finale against Arundel as one of Anne Arundel County's most improved teams, the Bruins' recent play indicates they are on the verge of becoming one of the league's best.
The Bruins (7-3-1) have already won as many games as they did last fall, when they finished 7-7. But this year's squad is also one of the county's youngest, starting four seniors and carrying 16 players who are expected to return next year.
On defense, Broadneck has allowed two goals in its past six games; on offense, junior forward Ali Flury leads the way with a team-high 13 goals.
"When the [Maryland 4A East] region tournament starts next week, I know one thing: I wouldn't want to play us," Broadneck Coach John Camm said. "Right now, we're playing the best we have all season."
Broadneck will be looking to earn its first berth in the state tournament since 1998. It won't be easy -- in the regional tournament the Bruins will have to get past No. 2 and undefeated South River as well as Old Mill, which defeated Broadneck, 1-0, on Monday. . . .
The Interstate Athletic Conference boys' soccer race is reaching the stretch run, and plenty is yet to be decided. No. 6 Georgetown Prep (9-2-1, 5-1) leads the pack, but Bullis, Landon and Episcopal are right behind with two conference losses each.
And St. Albans, which defeated Prep and Bullis last week, is 3-3 in the IAC, 5-5-2 overall.
"The conference is wide open," said St. Albans Coach Hart Roper, whose team topped Prep, 1-0, on Oct. 13 on a first-half goal from senior striker Travis Akiwowo. "I think it's been proven that it's not as though there are any unwinnable games for anyone in our conference."
Staff writer Jon Gallo and special correspondent Will Toussaint contributed to this report.