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Thursday, December 1, 2022
FairfaxMadison wins state field hockey crown

Madison wins state field hockey crown

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Winning their first state field hockey championship obviously is the most significant accomplishment and biggest memory of the Madison Warhawks 2020-21 girls campaign.

The experienced, speedy, athletic and versatile Warhawks, including 11 seniors, capped their undefeated 15-0 season by nipping the host Kellam Knights (11-2) of Virginia Beach, 1-0, in the April 24 title match of the Virginia High School League’s four-team Class 6 state tournament. 

Tess Satterfield netted the game-winner on a backhanded chip shot late in the third quarter. The shot went past Kellam goalie Julia Gadsby, who was unable to make a kick save.

“Kellam was tough and our players really fought hard and never gave up. That’s what they did the whole season,” Madison coach Carrie Holman said.

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In addition to winning the state, there were other notable facts and side stories to go with Madison’s historic season, like the Warhawks also winning Liberty District and 6D North Region championships this season.

Maybe harder than winning a state crown, Madison pitched a season-long shutout by not allowing a single goal, yielding only some 20 shots and outscoring opponents, 45-0, in recording 15 shutouts.

One of Madison’s many bold goals set during the preseason was not to allow a goal, in addition to going undefeated.

Two of those 15 shutouts, recorded by goalie Gabby Bollini, were 1-0 bookend victories to begin and end the season. Madison topped Westfield, 1-0, in its first game March 2.

The start of the 2020-21 season was delayed, then the number of games reduced, because of the pandemic. The Warhawks had to deal with many COVID protocols, like all high-school teams.

So Holman was late in her pregnancy during the season. So much so, she was not permitted, by her doctors, to travel to the state final. Her due date was April 26, two days after the state final.

So Holman watched a streamed broadcast of the match at her Northern Virginia home while communicating via FaceTime, text and cell phone with managers and assistant coaches.

“It wasn’t ideal to watch and be in touch that way, but it worked out,” Holman said.

Earlier in the day, at 7 a.m., Holman had words of encouragement for her squad in the Madison parking lot before the team began its long April 24 charter- bus ride to Virginia Beach.

“I was kind of too emotional to give them much advice,” Holman said.

After the match, Holman joined the team huddles virtually, then rejoined the team in person upon its return to the school.

“It was crazy,” Madison Delaney Mitchell said. “When our coach would show up at practice, we wondered if she would go into labor. We really missed her at the state final.”

Madison’s state title marks the first time that teams from the Northern Region won back-to-back state championships in the VHSL’s highest enrollment classification. The local Langley Saxons won the 2019 state crown, also defeating Kellam in the state final.

Madison was 5-0 in the postseason, outscoring those opponents 10-0.

The senior players for Madison were Mitchell, Izzy Nardotti, Elizabeth McNiff, Megan Wilkinson, Jordan Ramsey, Reagan Casey, Virginia Miller, Lacey Roousseau, Sydney Olechna, Lauren Kish and Sarah Motiff.

Of the seniors, only Mitchell has committed to play field hockey in college at this point. She will play at Division II Coker University in Hartsville, S.C.

“We were super-consistent throughout the season, and we did not go into games overconfident. We would still be nervous,” Mitchell said. “It was our team chemistry that got us there. We knew how to play together. It was really just a great, crazy season. We set all of those goals, and honestly, at the time, I thought there was no way. It would be insane to do all of that. Then we got every single one.”

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