Winny Hall and her James Monroe field hockey teammates manage to find humor in the immediate aftermath of opponents’ goals, rare as such moments are.

“Teams probably think we’re psychopaths because we’re laughing right after they scored,” said Hall, a senior captain.

So, naturally, when Eastern View reeled off back-to-back tallies in a 90-second span to take a 2–1 lead late in the first half of Monday’s Battlefield District championship, the Yellow Jackets were yukking it up in the huddle to this one-liner from Ginny Beringer: “What kind of bagel flies?” (A plane bagel).

Levity kept the Yellow Jackets from languishing too long in their deficit, and Hall delivered the punchline in the form of a game-winner with 14:11 remaining in a 3–2 victory over a relentlessly scrappy Cyclones squad.

James Monroe’s Zoe Tierney opened the scoring 12 minutes in, lifting a no-doubt penalty stroke past Cyclones goalie Alanna Barrett. Tierney—a senior midfielder who was named the district’s co-player of the year in a postgame ceremony—also assisted on Hall’s winner.

Eastern View (13–5) got goals from Cassidy Morrison and Mia Hutchinson to seize both the lead and momentum heading into halftime. But the Cyclones couldn’t muster a shot on goal over the second 30 minutes.

“I think it’s always just hard to play a team like this,” said senior Sarah Hatfield, who recorded an assist. “It’s always good competition, and it’s always going back and forth.”

The next about-face came when JM freshman Kelsey Reviello netted a close-range equalizer off a feed from Claire Brady, knotting the game at 2–2 with 19:46 to play.

As Hall lurked in the circle prior to her winner, she thought she saw the ball contact a teammate’s foot.

“I didn’t know if it was going to count but I was like, ‘I’m going to take the shot anyway,’ ” she recalled.

It proved to be a wise decision. She was too close to wind up for a full drive, opting instead for a compact slap at the ball sent in by Tierney.

Both teams advance to regional play, with James Monroe (17–3) hosting a Region 3B quarterfinal on Thursday. Eastern View will also play at home in Region 4B, on Nov. 5, against either Courtland or Caroline.

The two-time defending state champion Yellow Jackets left Maury Stadium on Monday night with not only a trophy, but also a much-needed tune up heading into what they hope will be a successful state title defense.

“It definitely gives us confidence, but it kind of humbles us at the same time,” Hall said. “I know those are polar opposites but it shows that, from now on, teams are going to be that much more intense.”JV CHAMPIONSHIP

James MonroE 2. Eastern View 0

Emma Tobin scored both goals, and Cairan Cubbage and Sally Beringer supplied assists as the Yellow Jackets edged Eastern View to claim their second consecutive Battlefield District junior varsity tournament title. Allyssa Layton recorded five saves in goal for James Monroe.It definitely gives us confidence, but it kind of humbles us at the same time. —JM’s WINNY HALL

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