If you’re a high school field hockey fan in the Fredericksburg area who’s been hoping for another showdown between Eastern View and Chancellor, you’re in luck.
The Battlefield District rivals will meet for a fourth time this season after Eastern View blanked visiting Courtland 4–0 in a Region 4C semifinal matchup on Tuesday.
The Cyclones (14–5) will travel to play the Chargers (14–4) for the regional title at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday. Chancellor punched its ticket to the contest with a 4–0 win over visiting Orange Tuesday afternoon.
“We’re anticipating a good game,” Eastern View head coach Peggy Allen said of the impending showdown with Chancellor. It’s two good teams who are a lot alike and know each other very well, and there’s a lot at stake.”
There was also plenty at stake for Eastern View and Courtland (9–10) when they took the field on Tuesday, as a Class 4 state tournament berth hung in the balance.
The Cougars hung tough early, keeping the Cyclones out of the cage despite five penalty corner opportunities in the first eight minutes of play. Goalie Carter Sprinkle tallied four saves for Courtland during that time.
However, Eastern View eventually broke through thanks to the play of standout forward Sarah Hatfield.
Hatfield opened the scoring by pushing a penalty stroke past Sprinkle at the 17:58 mark of the first half for a 1–0 Cyclones lead. It was the first of three goals on the night by the senior, who also scored twice in the second half to help blow the game open.
Junior forward Lizzie Street scored off an assist from senior midfielder Augusta Bailey with 14:03 remaining before halftime to buoy Eastern View to a 2–0 halftime advantage. Sophomore midfielder Mia Hutchinson added a goal of her own with 16:11 left in the game that gave the Cyclones a 4–0 edge at the time.
Hatfield said the play of underclassmen like Street and Hutchinson has been key to Eastern View’s run to a third consecutive state tournament appearance.
“Going to states again is an incredible feeling,” she said. “At the beginning of the season, all the upperclassmen told the underclassmen that [going to states] is the best feeling in the world and something they’ll never forget. That was a major part of our goals, and they’ve stepped up to help us accomplish it.”
The Cyclones outshot the Cougars 28–2.
Eastern View, which lost both regular-season matchups against Chancellor, turned the tables on the Chargers with a 2–0 victory in the district semifinals on Oct. 26 at Maury Stadium. Now, the Cyclones will look to even the season series with their rivals and claim a region crown in the process.
“It won’t be easy—it never is against them,” said Allen, whose team lost to Chancellor in both the region and state finals last year. “But this time of year, you just go out there and play. That’s all you can do.”