Covenant Cruise: Eagles beat Nansemond Suffolk to advance to state final

A year ago, Covenant’s girls lacrosse team had to fight tooth and nail to beat Nansemond Suffolk in the state title game. 


This year in the state semifinal rematch? The top-seeded Eagles didn’t let much drama at all unfold.


Covenant continued its march to the VISAA Division II state championship game with a second-straight blowout win Thursday afternoon, dropping the Saints 17-5 in the state semifinals. 


“It was a really full circle moment because it was so close last year and this year we were able to come together as a team and pull it off,” said Covenant’s Anna Kate Simpson. 


Simpson led the Eagles’ offensive assault with four goals and two assists, but it was a balanced offensive effort that made life tough on NSA’s defense. Kerrigan and Delaney Poindexter each notched hat tricks and Peyton Garber, Carrington Kincel and Maragaret Ann Graves scored two goals each. Delaney Poindexter also had three assists and Sophie Morris, Kincel and Cara Hamil had one assist each. 


The Eagles may have had a little nervous energy going due to the game’s stakes, but it barely showed in the early going as they jumped out to a 10-1 lead.


“When we started playing, started scoring, you could tell the team came together and we started having a lot of fun,” said Covenant keeper Katy Varaksa. 


Graves’ team-high six draw controls and Delaney Poindexter’s five draws helped power that performance, but the way Covenant frantically jumps into redefend mode on the ride immediately after a turnover is what really makes things tough on opponents. Covenant simply refused Thursday to concede any loose ball and created a number of offensive chances by immediately forcing turnovers shortly after NSA had gained possession. 


Even when NSA did manage to get the ball on the offensive end, Varaksa was there waiting as she rang up 12 saves to ensure the Eagles didn’t end up in a shootout. 


Covenant will now face Virginia Episcopal in the state final Saturday at noon just 12 days after the Eagles edged the Bishops 13-12 in the Blue Ridge Conference championship.