For the first time in school history, Clarksburg’s varsity field hockey team has won back-to-back regional championships after defeating Sherwood 1-0 in the 4A West Regional Final hosted at Walter Johnson High School Wednesday evening.
With the win over the Warriors (11-4), the Coyotes (15-0) are just one win away from advancing to the Maryland state final in the midst of their best season in program history.
“That was a great regional final game,” head coach Sissy Natoli said. “That’s the way the game’s supposed to be played, two teams battling.”
Despite only putting two shots on goal, Clarksburg had several offensive looks the entire game, partially due to Sherwood donating 15 penalty corners.
The Coyotes finally broke through early in the second half when sophomore forward/midfielder Kyra Bencal scored at the 6:04 mark, with assists by senior forward Charlotte Pond and senior midfielder Anna Bertrand.
“Sherwood played an awesome game,” Natoli said. “They defended every shot that we took. I felt like we were trying to bombard the goalie and she just kept coming up big.”
Both teams’ midfielders and defenders controlled much of the game, as the Coyotes and Warriors’ goalkeepers only needed to make one save apiece.
Clarksburg scored more goals in their previous playoff round — a 4-1 win over Quince Orchard — than total shots on goal against Sherwood Wednesday evening.
“I have three defenders that are right on point,” Natoli said. “All season long they’ve been money, and by feeding off of one another, they’re just waiting for that next one to make that next better play. I love the way our defense has stepped it up in the past month.”
The Coyotes look to advance to the state championship for the very first time next week as they face 4A East champion South River in the state semifinal round. Game time at Paint Branch High School is scheduled for 5:00 pm on Monday.
Top: The Clarksburg High School Field Hockey team celebrates their second-straight regional title after a 1-0 victory over Sherwood on Wednesday. They will face South River in the Maryland State Semi-Finals on Monday.
Next: Sophomore Kyra Bencal (14) was able to break the scoreless tie in the second half by scoring a goal with assists to seniors Anna Bertrand and Charlotte Pond.
Next: Senior forward and captain Charlotte Pond (9) is pursued by Sherwood’s Tess Farley (4) as she moves the ball into Warrior territory during Wednesday’s regional title game.
Photos by Billy Owens for Germantown Pulse.