Charlottesville hockey earns state tournament berth

Charlottesville’s field hockey team is headed to Virginia Beach for the second time in three years.

The Black Knights edges Bruton 2-1 in overtime in the Region 4A North semifinals to snag a state tournament berth.

Charlottesville had to rally from a 1-0 deficit less than a minute into the second half when Bruton’s Kayla Copeman intercepted a pass and took it straight to goal.

“They didn’t get down and I feel the adversity we have faced all year helped us,” Charlottesville coach Lindsay Larson said. “We have had so many close games so it wasn’t new to us.”

The Black Knights forced the issue the rest of the way, forcing seven corners to Bruton’s three, and then with five minutes left in regulation, Kendall Ballard flicked in a goal on the second of two back-to-back corners. Charlottesville then got a huge chance on an untimed corner call at the end of regulation, but couldn’t put it away.

Charlottesville snagged possession in the early stages of overtime, and Ballard unleashed another shot. This time it bounced back out for a rebound that Lily Sosa finished off for the victory.

Charlottesville had to make some tactical adjustments because of Bruton’s speed, with Emily Blow playing back to contain the Cougars’ fast forwards, and Blow played solid defense.

“The girls are so pumped and excited to be going to states,” Larson said. “Our team has really come together with several players stepping up.”

The Black Knights will face Eastern View in the Region 4A North final after the Cyclones knocked off James Monroe Tuesday night.