After a record-setting undefeated season, the Gloucester High School field hockey team capped its achievements as the runners-up in Saturday’s VHSL Group 5A state championship game.
After claiming the inaugural Conference 10 and Region 5A South tournament crowns, the Dukes advanced to the first Group 5A state tournament in the new VHSL alignments. The Gloucester girls faced Orange County on Friday and left the National Training Center in Virginia Beach with a 7-0 victory and a shot at the state championship.
“It was one of those games where we pretty much controlled things,” said GHS coach Mike Miller. “We scored early and basically controlled the game. It was a good way to start. We just played the way we’re supposed to play, caused turnovers and capitalized on turnovers.”
Senior Courtnie Greene had a hat trick in the win, senior Katelyn Curtis had two goals and senior Kayla Sadler and sophomore Cassidy Goodwin had one goal apiece. Goodwin also contributed three assists while sophomore Maddie Hutson, junior Tori Harwood and Sadler also assisted goals.
The Dukes were up, 6-0, at the half and the game gave Miller the opportunity to give each of his players some time in a state tournament contest. “We had pretty much the whole team on the field in the first half. It was nice to see everyone step in and do a good job.”
Fan support for the GHS team has been outstanding all season, and reached new heights the closer the girls got to the championship. They continued to turn out in great numbers even when they had to travel to Virginia Beach for the regional and state tournaments.
“Friday alone, I don’t know if anyone was left at the high school,” Miller said, with students, teachers and administrators showing up to cheer the girls on. “And the signs showing support for us up and down Route 17 were absolutely fascinating. On the way to the game, I told the girls to just sit back and enjoy the ride. I also received so many messages, including from former players and past coaches, it just really helped a lot.”