Track & Field
Loudoun Valley High School Track Team: Viking Athletes Mentor Young Future Stars
By: Laura Sullivan and Julie Myles
In preparation for the upcoming local Hershey Track meet at Tuscarora High School on Sunday, May 20th, both Hamilton and Banneker Elementary school athletes visited Loudoun Valley High School for a day of training and mentoring by the high school athletes. This collaborative practice gives the younger students a chance to work out on a 400 meter track and see the older students showcase and share their 4×100 team’s techniques and strategies for race day. This track practice has become a May tradition for both Loudoun Valley High School and the two elementary schools, which are feeder schools to Valley. There were several outstanding young athletes identified as Future Viking Stars!
Lacrosse – Men
Varsity Viking Men Finish Fourth in Dulles District, Advance to Regional Tournament
By: John Steen and Tim Moore
The regular season ends. The Vikings faced Dulles District Regular Season Champions, Briar Woods, on May 7 for their last scheduled regular season game. Crisp ball movement and precise shooting from the Falcons explained why Briar Woods has won the Dulles District title two years running. The falcons were up 3-0 before the Vikings got on the board in the second quarter. Valley narrowed the gap to 4-2 before halftime, but the relentless Falcon attack opened up a 6-point lead that the Vikings were unable to close. The final tally: Briar Woods – 17, Loudoun Valley – 12. Sophomore Chase Miller led the Vikings in scoring with a season high 6 goals. Senior Will Geise had 3 goals and 2 assists, senior Dylan Early came in with 1 goal and 1 assist, and freshmen Sully Warner and John Skinner each registered a goal. Freshman goalie Nick Steen had a busy night between the pipes, playing all four quarters, seeing a barrage of shots, and finishing with 12 saves.
The JV Vikes completed their season earlier that evening with a win over the visiting Briar Woods JV, 6-3. Points for the Vikes were recorded by Conner Stift (2 goals), whereas Austin Moore, Mikey Shouse, Evan Klipple, and Alex Klipple contributed one goal each. Assists were registered by Myles Sullivan and Darius Degree. Jake Fournier had 6 saves.
The Dulles District Tournament. The Loudoun County Raiders came to town May 10 for the first round of the Dulles District Tournament seeking to avenge their earlier defeat to the Vikings in the regular season. A talented Raider defense utilized an aggressive approach to stifle the usually productive Valley offense. If not for the Vikes’ own superb defensive work, County’s strategy would have worked. But D-poles Lucas Clark (senior), Donald Devine (senior), and Zach Allison (junior), with help from senior middies Greg Regan and Dylan Early, freshman middie John Skinner, and freshman LPM Jeremy Klipple, kept the Raider attack frustrated, creating several turnovers that resulted in at least one goal off a fast break. The Raiders struck first 3:30 into the game, but the Vikes answered 15 seconds later when freshman Sully Warner scored off of a feed by senior Will Geise to begin a 3-goal run. Warner returned the favor 3 minutes later with a feed to Geise for a score, followed by an unassisted goal from sophomore Chase Miller with 2:55 left in the first quarter. County closed the gap to 3-2 with 1:11 remaining in the opening period. The defenses controlled the second period with only Valley finding the back of the net once midway through the quarter to end the half up 4-2. That 2-point lead proved crucial for Valley as it was the biggest lead anyone would have on the night. County opened the third quarter with a goal less than two minutes in, but Valley countered with a strike three minutes after that. And so it went, with the teams trading goals the rest of the game. The contest was a nail-biting, crowd-pleaser but when the final buzzer sounded, the Vikings were ahead 7-6, advancing them in the Dulles tournament as well as securing a spot in Regional play. Senior Will Geise led the Valley scorers collecting 3 goals and 1 assist. Freshman Sully Warner pocketed 1 goal and 2 assists, sophomore Chase Miller had 2 goals, and freshman John Skinner had a goal. Freshman Nick Steen had another tremendous night in goal, starting and finishing the game with 16 saves.
The Viking’s first round win was rewarded by a second round rematch with Briars Woods on May 14. With freshman starting goalie, Nick Steen, out due to an injury, the Vikings were facing a big loss possibility against the Falcons’ high-powered offense. However, the game actually turned into an overtime thriller. Trailing by 2 in the second quarter, the Vikes fought back to tie the game 6-6 at halftime. Viking defensemen seniors Lucas Clark and Donald Devine, and junior Zach Allison, aided by freshman LPM Jeremy Klipple, senior middie Greg Regan, and freshman middie John Skinner, created a defensive wall that held the Briar Woods’ offense to just 4 second half goals, allowing Valley to actually open up a 2-goal lead in the 4th quarter. But the Falcons demonstrated why they were regular season champs when their offensive talent netted 2 late goals to send the game into overtime. In OT, the teams traded possessions for most of the 4 minutes. The Vikings stole the ball with about a minute to go and were transitioning to attack when an offside call gave the ball back to Briar Woods. The Falcons then scored with 45 seconds left in OT to win the game, 11-10, and advance to the Dulles District finals. Despite the loss, the Vikings performed brilliantly. Freshman John Skinner led the scoring with 4 goals and 1 assist. Sophomore Chase Miller and senior Greg Regan each added 2 goals, freshman Sully Warner had 1 goal and 1 assist, and senior Dylan Early had a goal. Taking over net duties for the night was Jim Shanks (junior), who provided a spectacular performance and recorded 11 saves.
The loss to Briar Woods in the second round left Loudoun Valley facing Woodgrove in the Dulles District consolation game. The outcome of the consolation game had regional tournament seeding implications. The Vikings immediately opened a 2 goal lead, scoring twice within the first minute and a half. Donald Devine fed Will Geise for the first strike at 10:51 and FOGO Robbie Nelson took the ensuing face-off for an unassisted score 16 seconds later. The Wolverines quickly adjusted however, and went on a 5 goal run which would eventually prove to be the difference in the game. Valley struck twice within 45 seconds in the 2nd quarter at 8:22 and 7:39 to cut the Wolverines’ lead to one, but Woodgrove answered with 2 goals of their own to take a 7-4 halftime lead. The third quarter was a defensive stalemate except for the lone goal scored by Woodgrove at the 7:33 mark. The teams traded single goals in the 4th period before the Vikings finished the game the same way they started it, with 2 quick goals coming in the final 30 seconds. Still, it was not enough for the Vikes and Woodgrove prevailed, 9-7. Senior Will Geise had 3 goals and 1 assist, and freshman Sully Warner had 3 goals and 2 assists. Robbie Nelson had the only other goal. Freshman goalie Nick Steen returned to starting duties and finished the game with 9 saves.
Upcoming: Vikings visit Dominion High School May 21 for the first round of Regionals
Lacrosse – Women
Lady Vikings Advance to Regionals: Wins OT Thriller Over Tuscarora
By: Mac Shuford
On May 16 and in dramatic fashion, the Loudoun Valley Ladies’ Lacrosse Team earned a bid to the Regional tournament with their overtime win vs. Tuscarora in Dulles District competition. The game was tense and exciting as both teams yearned to qualify for the next round of play. The Lady Vikings, who had handily defeated Tuscarora just weeks earlier, took an early lead but had their hands full as the Huskies refused to go quietly. Tuscarora executed a patient, ball-control offense designed to force mistakes and draw penalties from the young Viking team. The score was even at halftime, 6-6. In the second half, Tuscarora continued to control the ball and soon built a 3 goal lead. Valley struggled to regain possession and a sense of urgency was felt as they tried to claw their way back. Sophomore Corley Simons then controlled several key draws enabling the Vikes to unleash their offensive attack led by All-District sophomore standout, Ashlyn DiLoreto, who ultimately recorded an incredible 7 goals on the night. Valley still found themselves down, 11-12, with less than two minutes to play. DiLoreto then delivered the tying goal with 1:22 remaining, and the final minute of play proved highly exciting.
The ensuing draw was an intense battle for the ball in which Tuscarora gained control and settled into their offense. The Huskies drew a penalty from the Vikes resulting in an 8 meter penalty shot against freshman goalie, Haley Shuford. Shuford stopped the shot, but the Huskies regained control and set-up for a winning goal attempt. The Huskies then drew another 8 meter penalty shot which was again deflected by the Viking goalie, as were two point blank follow-on shots. Out of the ensuing melee, All-District senior defender Caitlin Gore came away with the ball giving the Vikings a last ditch chance to win it in regulation, but a fast break shot by freshman Maya Ebrahimnejad just missed as time expired.
In the overtime periods, Corley Simons controlled the draw giving Valley possession and the opportunity to hold the ball for a final shot. Ashlyn DiLoreto came through with a score to give the Vikings a 13-12 lead at the end of the first OT. Valley won the draw to start the second overtime period and looked to hold the ball and preserve the one-goal lead. However, the Huskies’ defense forced a turnover and capitalized with a fast break goal to tie the game at 13 apiece. Corley Simons then won the critical ensuing draw, took the ball straight to the cage, and scored the unassisted winning goal with 20 seconds left to lift Valley to victory, 14-13.
The Woodgrove Wolverines eventually took the Dulles District Tournament title, but the strong finish by the Lady Vikings secured an invitation to Regional competition in Fauquier County. Lady Vikings’ standouts from the Dulles tournament included: Ashlyn DiLoreto with 13 goals, Maya Ebrahimnejad with 7 goals, senior All-District (second team) Courtney Halterman with 4 goals, junior Courtney Inman and sophomore Corley Simons with 3 goals each, sophomores Sarah Ashworth, Brittany Raffa, and Courtney Schollian with 2 goals apiece, and freshman Lily Hamilton netted one. All-District seniors Payton Boyer and Caitlin Gore led the Lady Vikings’ defense along with second team All-District sophomore Anna Munford. In goal, freshman Haley Shuford recorded 14 saves, sophomore Kelsey Greene had 10, and senior Valley standout Maggie Beglau briefly came back off injury to record 5 saves.
Upcoming: Lady Vikings enter Regional Tournament versus Faquier on May 21
Lady Varsity Vikings Make Dulles Tournament but Fall Short in First Round
By: Tim Moore
Entering into the last two weeks of play, the Lady Vikings found themselves hoping to hold onto the final seed for the Dulles District Tournament. Playing on the road against Heritage High School, the Vikings came out strong and went up 1-0 at the 24:04 mark in the contest following a high, hard shot from the foot of junior Andrea Garcia. However, that would actually prove to be the last goal of the season for the Vikes, as the Pride would go on to score seven unanswered goals beginning with a PK shot coming at 4:56 in the first half. Freshman Ashley Moore recorded 12 saves in the loss (1-7).
With one match left on the road versus Tuscarora, the Lady Vikings got some assistance from Mother Nature as the Huskies were unable to find the back of the net in a lightning-shortened match played to a 0-0 draw. The Viking defense was on their heels early, but strong effort from the defenders and valiant play by the Viking keeper kept the Huskies from scoring in a match called at halftime. Freshman Ashley Moore recorded 18 saves. Coupled to a loss by Park View, Valley was able to advance to the Dulles District Tournament.
Valley drew the top-seeded Woodgrove Wolverines in the first round of the Dulles Districts and played well, but eventually lost 0-5. Woodgrove looked like the District Champs as they executed excellent ball-control offense to launch a barrage of 46 shots over the course of the game. The Vikings had one or two scoring opportunities, but the Woodgrove defense was stingy. In the end, the Vikings succumbed, concluding their Dulles District appearance and ending the season. On the night, freshman Ashley Moore recorded 16 saves.
Upcoming: The Vikings begin preparing for next year’s season.