Grace Wusk scores twice to lead Tabb to Bay Rivers field hockey title

Field HockeyHayley Mills

Tabb High faced its toughest field hockey challenge of the season Thursday in the Bay Rivers District tournament championship game, and from its biggest rival.

The Tigers, who’ve blown out most of their opponents this season, showed they can win the close ones, too, in beating Grafton 2-0.

The game was scoreless at halftime, the first time all season the Tigers (19-0) had not led at the break. But Grace Wusk scored two goals in the final 21 minutes as Tabb avenged a defeat to Grafton in the 2010 district tournament final — the Tigers’ only loss to a Bay Rivers opponent the past four seasons.

The Tigers rallied from that defeat a year ago to beat Grafton in the Region I and AA/A state tournaments, en route to a state championship three-peat. Tabb coach Wendy Wilson thinks another tough game against Grafton in the postseason should help again.

“I think it’s good for us,” she said. “We needed to get our defense tested and get a little pressure back there.

"Both of us always step up our games for this rivalry. It helps our teams and the Bay Rivers be successful throughout the states and regionals.”

Tabb beat Grafton 5-0 during the regular season, but Tigers defenders Jamie Bourgeois, Marissa O’Brien and Betsy Wusk were tested early by Grafton (17-2) in the final. Grafton’s most dangerous chance came on a shot in front of the goal from Caroline Beaudoin early in the second half. O’Brien deflected that shot wide, and goalie Liz Warness was forced to make a couple of stops as well.

Grafton’s solid defense was led by sweeper Julia Young and goalie Andrea Rinehart, who made 14 saves, many of them very tough ones. But the Tigers increased the pressure midway through the second half and scored via two penalty corners.

Macy Peebles hit the first corner to Morgan Ames, whose shot on goal was directed in by Grace Wusk with 20:14 to play. Moments after a Tabb corner, Hayley Mills crossed near the top of the circle to Grace Wusk, whose goal with 14:53 left made it 2-0.

“The first goal boosted our morale and the second added to our confidence,” Wusk said.
“Nothing is easy from here out.”

Tabb and Grafton will be joined in the eight-team regional field by district rivals Bruton and Lafayette. Grafton enters with confidence after its strong showing.

“All 11 girls played phenomenally as a unit,” Grafton coach Brooke Feiner said. “We had nothing to lose, so I told them to have fun and leave it all on the field.”

TABB 2, GRAFTON 0
Halftime: 0-0. Goals: G. Wusk 2. Assists: Peebles, Ames, Mills. Shots – Tabb 21, Grafton 3. Penalty corners – Tabb 13, Grafton 4. Saves: Grafton, Rinehart 14; Tabb, Warness 2. Records: Grafton 17-2, Tabb 19-0.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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