Having waited so long, the Langley Saxons are more than anxious to get started attempting to defend their triple crown of big championships earned during the 2019 season.
That fall Langley finished 20-1-1 in winning Liberty District, 6D North Region and Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament girls field hockey titles. The Saxons won their final 15 matches, with the state crown being the program’s first.
Langley had an 8-0 postseason mark in 2019.
The 2020 fall season was delayed because of the pandemic. The Saxons are now set to play a reduced 10-game regular-season schedule, with all matches against district opponents.
Langley was scheduled to open against neighborhood rival McLean on March 2, then play March 4 at Washington-Liberty. Its final regular-season game is April 1 at South Lakes, then there are expected to be playoffs.
“It has been wild times, but we are grateful that we are finally getting back out there. I think the girls are loving it,” Langley coach Katie Robinson said. “We have a really good balance of returners.”
The coach expects Emma Cole and Chloe Reed to be two of the leaders, alongside Kendal Wilson and Sophia Perkins. Hannah Abele is a senior forward that the Saxons hope to be strong with the use of her speed.
“Any game we get will be a bonus. We are trying to be as optimistic as possible,” Robinson said.
Abele, Perkins, Cole, Erin Sweat, Hailey Smith and Anna Carlucci are other returners from the fall 2019 season.
Other top Langley players are expected to be seniors Sophie Smith and Eshna Parth; juniors Lizzie Demoors and Sophia Bailey; and sophomores Abby Greenblatt, Chloe Smith, Sofia Garrison, McKenna McConnell and goalie Lexie Keating.
NOTE: Langley has played in the state tournament three times in the past four seasons, losing in the semifinals in 2018 and in the first round in 2016. Langley was 3-0 in the 2019 state tournament.
* The six-time defending National District Tournament champion Marshall Statesmen open their season March 1 with a 1-0 victory over South County.
Marshall had a 12-7 record in the fall of 2019, losing in the first-round of the 6D North Region Tournament to Yorktown, which went on to finish second.
The Statesmen are expected to be district tournament contenders again this season under veteran coach Christina Carroll.
PHOTO: Many players return from Langley’s championship team.