Fairfax field hockey starts hot; Wootton volleyball galvanized by pipe cleaners

Halley Beaudoin recollects being an eighth-grader and staring at the Fairfax field hockey group fall to W.T. Woodson in extra time of the 2018 district ultimate. Tears dropped down everybody’s faces as she hugged her soon-to-be teammates and coaches.

“I’ve always felt like I was a part of it,” Beaudoin mentioned. “It feels like I’ve been here through thick and thin.”

That’s partly as a result of her mom, Amber, has been the trainer of this program for the previous 22 years. For Beaudoin, who has been taking part in the game since kindergarten, senior 12 months seems like full-circle closure to a lifelong presence across the Lions.

Beaudoin started her tenure at Fairfax a little bit nervous: “You’re the coach’s kid — everyone has these preconceptions of you,” she mentioned. “I really tried hard to establish myself my freshman year.”

She did simply that, scoring 4 targets in her first 12 months, and has since turn out to be a celebrity. In Fairfax’s 24-1 season final fall, Beaudoin led the best way with 21 targets and 27 assists.

The Lions have begun this season 5-0 and feature a recent motto this autumn: “Start together, finish united.”

“They really are unselfish,” Amber Beaudoin mentioned, “and as long as I’ve been coaching, that’s a really good formula for success.”

Going into the 5th and ultimate set of Friday night time’s matchup in opposition to Damascus, Wootton had one thing its opponent didn’t — and it’ll have helped the Patriots pull via, 15-9.

A ball — composed of 15 purple pipe cleaners, one for every woman at the group — affectionately named Reggie was once their secret weapon.

Reggie hangs off the entrance of Coach Mary Malinauskas’s clipboard as a illustration of the way the group’s interconnectedness will assist the Patriots succeed in their objective of attaining the playoffs.

“I showed them that if you have a goal and you encircle that goal with a pipe cleaner, and then you start adding more pipe cleaners that have the same goal, it becomes sturdy,” Malinauskas mentioned.

Malinauskas got here up with the theory right through the preseason, when she learned her group wasn’t jelling. The Patriots misplaced 5 senior starters, together with Montgomery County participant of the 12 months Samantha Bolze, and had been suffering to seek out their approach.

Against Damascus, the Patriots began out robust, dominating the primary and moment units, however had been a little bit disjointed whilst dropping the following two units.

Going into the general huddle, Reggie reminded the Patriots that they must paintings in combination. “That’s our goal — and to be together and around that goal the whole year,” Malinauskas mentioned.

While the remainder of the Potomac School cross-country program was once in Hagerstown for a team-wide meet, Charlie Ortmans discovered himself in solitude on the Monroe Parker Invitational in Virginia.

“When you’re there as an individual, it’s a little easier to get in and focus on the race,” Ortmans mentioned. “But there is a disadvantage. You can feel a little lonely on the starting line.”

Ortmans believed the trade-off could be profitable. The Burke Lake route introduced a possibility for the senior to submit a standout time that might provoke faculty coaches, who continuously pay shut consideration to the development’s effects. The plan labored: His 14:53 mark in Saturday’s race was once 45 seconds quicker than the second-place finisher and the route’s quickest time since 2014.

“Anyone who has become anyone out of Northern Virginia has run this course,” Ortmans mentioned. “I’m looking to have a really meaningful fall. … I probably had a little too much left in the tank at the finish.”

W.T. Woodson (31 issues) emerged victorious at the boys’ facet after its 5 quickest runners earned top-12 occasions. The West Springfield ladies (51) positioned first, successful convincingly over Langley (110) and W.T. Woodson (116).

This previous weekend marked the beginning of a brand new technology at Walter Johnson. The four-time state champion Wildcats, lengthy considered as one of the crucial most powerful contenders in talent-packed Montgomery County, input this season with a brand new trainer.

Last fall, days after his 2 hundredth occupation victory, Hector Morales introduced his retirement. He can be changed by junior varsity trainer and previous varsity assistant Guido Zucconi.

“Huge shoes to fill,” Zucconi mentioned. “An amazing coach and an amazing teacher. He was so good at getting his point across and letting the players learn. I was incredibly lucky to have observed him. I don’t think I would be able to do this if I hadn’t.”

Zucconi inherits a roster that returns only a handful of starters from a robust 14-2-0 marketing campaign. In addition to the yearly lack of gamers to commencement, the Wildcats can be with out senior ahead Bardia Hormozi, who earned first-team All-Met honors final season, after the Princeton devote opted to not play this autumn.

Without Hormozi, and after some harm problems up entrance, Zucconi is keen to look which gamers step up on offense.

“First and foremost, I’m looking to see who has the guts to take a shot,” Zucconi mentioned. “You’re not going to score every time, but I want to see who has the guts to miss or have their shot saved. … I want to see who emerges as the people that are willing to take that risk.”

Entering their season opener in opposition to Good Counsel on Sept. 2, Calvert’s gamers had been apprehensive. The opposing Falcons have a number of Division I-bound gamers and gave the impression in nationwide ratings.

But seven mins in, Calvert goalkeeper Hannah Wilt punted the ball previous midfield to ahead Abigail May, who beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to attain.

“When we went into the half, and we were still up 1-0,” Calvert Coach John Baker mentioned, “they realized: ‘Wait — we just won a half against them. We can do this.’ ”

The Cavaliers maintained that result in surprise Good Counsel. Their momentum carried into final Wednesday, after they beat every other nationally ranked group, McDonogh, in extra time. Entering Southern Maryland Athletic Conference play this week, Calvert (4-0) has compiled arguably the D.C. space’s maximum spectacular get started.

After his complete beginning lineup returned from final season’s 9-6-1 marketing campaign that ended within the Maryland 2A semifinals, Baker knew his squad might be particular. Still, Calvert had by no means crowned Good Counsel or McDonogh, perennially amongst Maryland’s highest groups.

“You always think about, ‘What’s your biggest win?’ ” mentioned Baker, who led the Cavaliers to the 2A championship in 2019. “It’s easy to say state championships because that’s at the end of the season and you finish with a win. But at the same time, beating programs like this are right on par with that in my mind.”

The Potomac School is off to an excellent get started, notching wins in opposition to St. John’s and Flint Hill final week. But the emphasis thus far, and within the close to long term, remains to be construction camaraderie, captains Maia Phillips and Lauren Foster mentioned.

“We play challenge matches with each other, but honestly, it’s not like a dominating part of our team just because we have to focus on our team activities and getting to know each other as a team,” Phillips mentioned. “So it’s making sure that on bus rides, we’re sitting with people we haven’t really talked to so that everyone gets to know each other, and we have team dinners.”

It could be a problem for any squad to get new gamers aware of the group construction of highschool tennis, particularly for gamers used to competing in particular person tournaments. Team actions assist alongside that procedure.

“We have a tradition to go get Japanese hibachi,” Foster mentioned. “The seniors always take the freshmen in their cars and sort of talk along the way about classes, academics and stuff outside [the team].”

With targets of competing for Independent School League and Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association titles, the Panthers know moving into sync temporarily is a need.

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