Covenant field hockey drops NSA in state quarters

Photo by Bart Isley

Covenant’s field hockey team has some unfinished business to take care of, and they took a big step in that direction Tuesday in the VISAA Division II state quarterfinals. A year after losing in the state semifinals, Covenant is back in the final four.


“Last year after the state semis when we lost it was really hard,” said Covenant junior Lizzy Shim. “We had a great season last year, but taking that feeling and putting it into play for these two upcoming games is really important. Remembering what that felt like so that we push ourselves farther to get the ultimate goal which we want is so important.”


The top-seeded Eagles rolled 8-0 over Nansemond Suffolk, advancing to the VISAA Division II state semifinals. Covenant will square off in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. against Carlisle at Longwood University. The Eagles fell to Fredericksburg Academy last year in the state semifinals.


“We’re really excited, we’ve worked really hard, starting at the two-seed to move up to the one-seed,” said Covenant’s Ivy Allen. “I think we’re all just really excited to see what this team has.”


The Eagles got on the board early against NSA with two goals from Bunny Gaffney, with the first coming in the first minute and a half of the game. The second came shortly thereafter off a blast by Shim that ricocheted off the NSA keeper’s pads. Gaffney collected the rebound and blasted it home for a 2-0 lead.


“It’s her senior year and I know she wants this — she wants it,” Shim said. “It’s exciting to see her pushing herself and playing hard and getting us those first two goals.”


After an Abby McCartney goal and then three straight goals by Shim, Covenant built a 6-0 lead. By halftime it was 8-0 Eagles and the game was well in hand.


“This whole season we’ve really been working on coming out really strong because we’ve kind of struggled with that a little bit,” Allen said. “We just wanted to take it to them in the first five minutes.”


Covenant will play Carlisle Friday after they practice this week on the UVa turf field in preparation for Longwood’s surface.