Stallions can’t buck the Atoms

The Lady Atoms take down the Stallions in the district finals

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Our girls varsity lacrosse team competed in the Patriot Conference Championship game against the South County Stallions last Friday, May 13. The Atoms came out on top with a score of 13-7, earning the title of Patriot conference champions, despite losing to the Stallions 16-12, in the regular season.

The victory in the finals means that the AHS will be one of four teams, from the Patriot conference, that advances onto regional tournament and will have home field advantage against Oakton High School. The other schools progressing to regionals are Woodson, South County, and West Potomac.

“”I’ve dreamed of becoming a conference champ since freshman year and it feels so great to be the champions,”” senior Sarah Deible said.  “It’s such a relief to have all the hard work and time put into this lacrosse season pay off.””

The road to the finals wasn’t easy for the Atoms as they were seeded fourth of eight in the conference. In the first round the Atoms played the West Springfield Spartans, who were ranked fifth among the other schools. Annandale defeated West Springfield 13-11 on senior night during the regular season and were able to continue that momentum into the first playoff game with a final score of 13-9.

After defeating the Spartans, the Atoms faced rival school, W.T. Woodson, ranked first in the conference, in the semi finals. The Atoms faced a tough first half as they trailed the Cavaliers by 2 goals, but led by senior captain Ashley Britton, who scored 11 of the team’s 16 goals, they were able to overcome the deficit and win with a final score of 16-14.

“”We never gave up and everyone on our team had the mindset that if we work together we can win,”” sophomore Grace Hatch said.

The victory over the Cavaliers was a huge accomplishment for the Atoms, as Woodson’s team record was 8-1 and they were undefeated in the district. It was also the school’s first girls lacrosse victory over the Cavs since 2009.

“”It felt so amazing to be the team to finally beat them,”” Deible said. “”They’re our biggest rival in lacrosse.”

The spot in the championship game was well earned by the Atoms as their game against Woodson was a huge upset. The team had many strong points in the final game, which was one of the reasons that they were able to come out victorious.

“”We brought great energy and started the game off strong,”” girls head varsity coach, Cindy Hook said. “”Everyone really worked together from start to finish to breakdown SOCO’s defense with great passing, and force their attack to work really hard to get shots.  When they did shoot Jenni Kang made lots of great stops!””

Despite the location of the game on Friday, the stand were filled with parents, students and faculty waving the red and white to help encourage the girls on their uphill battle.

“”The atmosphere was amazing,”” Hatch said, “”it really helped to have all of our fans cheering us on throughout the game.””

The Atoms persistence and drive throughout the tournament was evident and many fans noticed it and were excited to see the final game because of it.

“”They had a positive attitude and they never gave up,”” junior Michael Nguyen said, one of many student fans at the game. “”I knew that they were going to win the Patriot Conference Championship, so I had to see that happen.””

The girls have some work that has to be done before they play the Oakton Cougars.

“”We’ll probably have a laid back practice on monday, and maybe go over, and practice some things that we weren’t very strong in the game on Friday,”” Deible said. “”But we will also start thinking about our mental game because it’s really important to have a positive and strong mentality going into a game.”

When asked about how the varsity squad will prepare for the cougars, coach Hook said “”like a hungry team who is determined to win.”glax

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