It’s already been a banner season for the Colgan High field hockey team, and the girls are looking for more.
The Sharks (16-3) made program history on Tuesday, Nov. 2, when they won the regional semifinal 1-0 over Battlefield, putting them in the Class 6 state tournament for the first time.
"We have worked so hard the last few years to build the program and get ourselves farther each year, but to finally get through is just so exciting," fifth-year head coach Kaitlyn Connolly said.
Tuesday’s win represented redemption for Colgan. On Aug. 26 the Sharks fell to the Bobcats 4-1. Colgan beat Unity Reed 1-0 in the region quarters, which also was meaningful.
“Unity Reed knocked us out of the tournament last year, so to beat them this year was exciting,” Connolly said.
Next up is the regional championship game against third-seeded Freedom-South Riding, which downed Patriot 3-2 on Tuesday. Both Colgan and Freedom-South Riding have qualified for the eight-team state tourney starting Nov. 9.
Just as she did in Colgan’s 1-0 win over Unity Reed in the regional quarterfinals, senior forward Alexis Andrews-Thompson tallied the Sharks’ lone goal to beat Battlefield.
Senior goalie Maddie Huber registered shutouts over Unity Reed and Battlefield. She stopped nine corner attempts by the Bobcats.
Connolly knows the need to deal with various opposing styles of play in the postseason.
“Some things that have stood out to me is my team's ability to adapt when things aren't going their way and to keep the intensity,” the coach said.
The Sharks are deep and talented, led by scoring whiz Andrews-Thompson and high-scoring senior forward Olivia Damato. Senior Becky Campos helps patrol the defense in front of Huber.
The squad of nine seniors and seven juniors won the program’s fourth consecutive Cardinal District tournament title with a 2-0 win over Woodbridge Oct. 21.