Wootton field hockey Coach Kearney Blandamer and her sister and top assistant Lesley Stroot have been busy the past couple of years.
The pair took over at the Rockville school before last season after 11 years at Springbrook, and Blandamer gave birth to her son that August.
“I only took two weeks off,” Blandamer said with a laugh.
This season, Stroot has a planned Caesarean section scheduled for Thursday, and Blandamer is due to have her second child in December.
Through all the transition, Blandamer and Stroot have the ninth-ranked Patriots believing they can make their first run to the Maryland state tournament since 2007, and just their second since 1994.
“Our coaches have drilled into our heads that we’re going to make it to states,” senior midfielder Kalli Mays said. “And we’re believing it.”
Mays leads a roster that is as deep as any in Montgomery County, filled with players who have committed to playing field hockey year-round at Blandamer’s urging.
Seniors Rowan Kubeluis (three goals and three assists through four games) and Carly Pascal (five goals and three assists) and junior Allie Band (six goals and four assists) lead the attack, while midfielders Mays and junior Alex Yokley and senior defender Chloe Morakis are also among the major contributors.
With an emphasis on playing a transition game, Wootton opened its season with a weather-shortened 2-2 tie against defending Maryland 4A South champion Springbrook, then beat its next three opponents by a combined score of 15-3 heading into Wednesday’s game against Northwest.
“If we put everything into this season we’ll get the results we want,” Mays said. “We’ve been working hard with every little thing we do so we can ultimately get to states.”
It’s understandable if West Springfield players daydream about competing anywhere but in the Virginia AAA Patriot District.
That backdrop is why West Springfield (8-1-1) got such a lift from beating Lake Braddock, 2-1, in overtime, last week, the Spartans’ first win in the series in at least nine years.
Junior Sydney Salter scored both goals against the team that had edged West Springfield, 1-0, in the district semifinals last year. Salter also scored two goals in an early-season overtime win over McLean.
“She’s always in the right place at the right time,” West Springfield Coach Rosie Donaldson said.
West Springfield will not meet defending region champion South County until Oct. 9. The Stallions have won the past seven games between the teams. A sweep of Lake Braddock and South County would be unprecedented.
“I think being in the Patriot District helps us so much more,” Donaldson said, “because we’re able to play the teams during the regular season that you would play once you get to the high-level games in regionals.”
Top-ranked South River and No. 3 Broadneck were scheduled to play Wednesday night at South River. The Seahawks beat the Bruins, 2-1, in the teams’ season opener Aug. 31...The top six teams are unchanged this week as none of them lost since the rankings were last published...Fairfax makes its debut in the Top 10 after beating its first 10 opponents by a combined score of 37-1.
(Records through Tuesday)
1. South River (3-1-1) LW: 1
2. Glenelg (3-1) LW: 2
3. Broadneck (5-1) LW: 3
4. Severna Park (4-1) LW: 4
5. Westfield (8-2) LW: 5
6. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (3-2) LW: 6
7. River Hill (5-0) LW: 8
8. South County (7-3) LW: 9
9. Wootton (3-0-1) LW: 10
10. Fairfax (10-0) LW: NR