LORTON—When her team fell behind Great Bridge 2-0 barely 10 minutes into Saturday’s Class 4 state championship game, Eastern View head field hockey coach Peggy Allen couldn’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.
Allen’s thoughts drifted to last season’s title game, when her Cyclones spotted Chancellor a pair of goals in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss on the exact same field at Lorton’s South County High School.
“Honestly, I was afraid that the girls were going to get down on themselves and not be able to recover against a very good Great Bridge team,” Allen said. “That’s what happened last year [against Chancellor].”
However, this Eastern View squad had a much different outcome in mind.
Sarah Hatfield scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime, to lift the Cyclones to a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over the Wildcats for their first state championship in program history.
“It’s hard to put this into words,” said Allen, the only head coach the program has had since the school opened in 2008. “This is what the girls have fought so hard for, and here it is.”
Hatfield’s climactic tally came 3:07 into the extra period, and it set off a wild, emotional celebration in front of the cage.
“Cassidy [Morrison] hit it, and I thought it was going in,” Hatfield said of her face-first diving redirect that tucked just inside the bottom-right corner of the cage. “I was just able to get my stick on it, but that’s a team goal if there ever was one.”
“Everything we’ve worked so hard for paid off in an instant,” said a teary-eyed Morrison. “Seeing that ball go in made it all worth it.”
Eastern View’s satisfying payoff came to fruition thanks, in large part, to a rally late in the first half that was eerily similar to one it staged in Friday’s 7-1 semifinal win over Lee-Davis.
In that situation, the Cyclones scored three goals in the final 2:02 of the stanza to turn a 1-0 deficit into a commanding 3-1 lead, never looking back after that.
This time, Hatfield’s slapshot with 1:16 to go before intermission broke the ice for Eastern View (17-6).
Hatfield followed that up by assisting on Lizzie Street’s game-tying salvo at the 28:43 mark of the second half.
In both games, Hatfield made an impassioned speech to her teammates during a timeout just before the rally began.
“Sarah took over in the huddle, just like she did in the Lee-Davis game,” Allen said. “She was very instrumental in getting the girls pumped back up and making them believe that they could do this.”
Great Bridge (18-4) was pumped up early, breaking on top 1-0 at the 24:01 mark of the first half thanks to Chloe Underwood’s goal. Teammate Ashley Dowdy tacked on another score for the Region 4A champions from Chesapeake with 19:35 remaining in the frame.
“I think the girls knew how to respond to being behind because they’ve been in that situation before,” Cyclones assistant coach Marianne Bretschneider said. “They adjusted from being behind and coming up short against teams like James Monroe and Chancellor, and they hung in there and just kept plugging along against another great team today until this happened.”
Smiling from ear to ear while clutching the championship trophy, Hatfield summed up Eastern View’s magical run with two simple words.
“It’s amazing,” she said.