It would be tough to find a person more excited to miss her daughter's state playoff game.
But Stafford Coach Robin Woodie had a good excuse. Woodie couldn't make her daughter Missy's Virginia AA/A field hockey semifinal Friday night in Charlottesville because she was guiding the Indians to a 4-0 win over W.T. Woodson in the AAA semifinals at Virginia Commonwealth University. Missy's Chancellor team defeated James Monroe, 4-1.
"I spoke to her afterward and told her I loved her, and told her to go get it tomorrow," Robin Woodie said. "And I told my girls the same thing."
Behind four second-half goals, including two from junior Kimmy Sullivan, the Indians (23-0) continued their march toward an undefeated season, outlasting a Cavaliers team with near-constant pressure. Left in Stafford's way is defending state champion Princess Anne, which beat Marshall, 2-0, in the other semifinal. The final will take place Saturday at 3 p.m. at VCU.
After a first half in which W.T. Woodson (20-3-1) weathered Stafford's pressure, it became too much at the start of the second. Sullivan scored on a rebound less than four minutes in, and senior Lauren Elstein converted a shot attempt from a penalty corner three minutes later. Sullivan's second goal put the game away, as she flicked the ball past the charging Cavaliers goalie with just under 14 minutes left.
"I was excited, but I knew right after I scored that I had to act like I didn't," Sullivan said. "We had to keep playing hard and we kept it up."
Marshall lost to Princess Anne despite the sensational play of freshman goalie Amanda Crider, who made 15 saves, including four in a 30-second span midway through the second half. Despite notching 18 penalty corners and taking 26 shots, Princess Anne was unable to solve Crider until nine minutes left in the game on a rebound goal by freshman Chelsea Hill. Junior Rebecca Wagner tacked on an insurance goal, also off a rebound, four minutes later.
"It's just reactive," Crider said of her performance, while fighting back tears. "It's fine. I have my defense back there and they're behind me, too. It's just impulse, I guess."
The Statesmen (19-6), who were making their first appearance in the state tournament, managed only two shots.
Stafford's chance at its first state title could not come against a more appropriate opponent. Princess Anne (19-3-1) defeated the Indians in last year's semifinals, and won, 3-2, in 2000, Stafford's only other championship appearance. Stafford defeated Princess Anne earlier this season.