The one hurdle the Yorktown Patriots weren’t able to clear, during their highly-accomplished two-season run that included winning a 2021 state field hockey championship, then finishing second in Virginia this fall, was defeating the Fairfax Lions.
The Patriots’ lone loss last season was to Fairfax, then the Lions defeated the girls high-school team twice this fall, including a 1-0 victory in the title match of the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state-tournament Nov. 13 at Courtland High School in Spotsylvania.
Fairfax finished the season 24-1-1, including an early regular-season 4-1 win over Yorktown (18-4) and with 14 straight victories. The Patriots finished 18-4, having their eight-match winning streak this fall snapped with the loss in the state final, which also broke a two-year playoff streak of 14 victories in a row. The shutout loss was Yorktown’s first since the 2020 season.
Yorktown’s two-season run included winning two Liberty District and 6D North Region tournaments each, a first and second in the state and an overall record of 39-5 for the two campaigns.
In this season’s state-final loss to Fairfax, Yorktown pressured the Lions’ goal for the first four minutes of the match. The Lions then scored on a long shot off a penalty quarter with 6:47 left in the first quarter.
The one goal held up despite Yorktown having multiple scoring opportunities, including a couple of flurries in front of the Lions’ goal.
“We were patient and had our opportunities,” Yorktown coach Olivia Shipley said. “I liked how we played and kept our composure and played our game. We played so much better against them than during the regular-season game. We moved players around in different positions so much since that game.”
Yorktown senior Emily Shipley agreed the Patriots played well in the state final.
“We just didn’t get a goal, but we played hard, we were confident and we played our game and played with a lot of heart. Second in the state is still pretty good,” Shipley said.
Yorktown goalie Morgan Stone made a diving stick save early in the fourth quarter to keep the Patriots close.
Stafford, Alexis Williams, Elena Reiser, Taylor Chase and Olivia Stafford were players who pressured the Fairfax goal.
Yorktown was 2-1 in the state tournament, blanking the Robinson Rams, 1-0, at Yorktown in a first-round match, then shutting out Western Branch, 2-0, in the Nov. 12 semifinals at Massaponax High School in Fredericksburg. The shutouts gave Yorktown 10 for the season.
Against Robinson, Chase scored the only goal off a crossing pass from Emily Stafford in the first half.
Also in the first half, Olivia Morgan made a big save when the ball rolled behind Stone.
In the win over Western Branch, Williams and Reiser scored the goals, one in each half, and Stone recorded the shutout to end the team’s five-match victory string.
The win over Western Branch (13-6) was a rematch of last season’s state final, that Yorktown won, 1-0, also at Courtland High School.
NOTE: Yorktown was playing in the state tournament for the third time in program history. The first was in 2019 when the Patriots finished 0-1 with a first-round loss to W.T. Woodson that season.