Chip and Advance: Covenant field hockey beats STAB in LIS tournament

Photo by Jack Isley

Wynston Archer is tall, which makes her a dangerous player for Covenant’s field hockey team in part because of her reach. It doesn’t make her a great candidate to execute a reverse chip shot, a move that requires the shooter to change levels and get pretty low to the ground quickly while reversing their stick.


“I always joke about it in practice,” Archer said. “But today it was just right there in front of me, I pulled it and it worked.”


Archer’s reverse chip with 6:46 to play put the icing on Covenant’s 4-1 victory over St. Anne’s-Belfield in the League of Independent Schools tournament first round. With the win, Covenant advances to the LIS semifinals where they’ll square off with top-seeded Trinity Episcopal in Richmond Tuesday.


The Eagles had tied the Saints 1-1 just a couple of weeks ago in a hard-fought clash, but with Covenant trying to build momentum for the upcoming VISAA Division II state tournament, Covenant knew it had to lock in.


“This time we knew if we came out stronger, we knew we could do it and win,” Archer said. “That came right off the bat when we scored.”


That was another Archer goal where she pulled the ball and it bounced over STAB goalie Santia McLaughlin and trickled into the cage.


“It went over her and slowly fell into the goal, so it worked,” Archer said.


The Eagles tacked on another goal when Ashley Ballard extended the lead to 2-0 with 13:40 to play in the first half. STAB refused to go away, with Cat Paphites scoring with 7:30 to play in the half to slice into the Eagles’ lead.


“They fought hard, the seniors are really good, high character kids and I knew that wouldn’t be a problem,” said STAB coach Kim Katsuk. “Covenant played a great game. They’ve got some really skilled players and they’re really well coached, I’m really happy the girls fought to the end.”


The Saints absorbed a tough blow with five seconds to play in the half when Megan McGlothlin scored off a late short corner to push out Covenant’s advantage to 3-1.


Then after a back-and-forth second half with Lizzy Shim and the rest of the Covenant midfield playing solid defense to limit STAB to just a handful of chances, Archer closed the door with the late reverse chip.


Covenant will face Trinity Episcopal at 3:30 Tuesday in Richmond in the LIS semifinals. STAB’s season likely ends with the loss as they appear to be just outside the field for the VISAA Division I state tournament.