Editor's Note: Written by Mike Cosgrove. Send your sports news to email@example.com.
The Fairfax Field Hockey team entered the 2012 Liberty District Tournament looking to extend their streak as three-time defending champions. This year the Rebels charged through Madison and Marshall to secure their fourth consecutive Liberty District Championship.
They started as the tournament's top seed based on their 6-0 regular season Liberty District record.
After receiving a first round bye, the Rebels faced the fourth seed Madison Warhawks (8-8, 3-3), who advanced to the semifinals by beating the Langley Saxons in the tournament's opening round. Fairfax defeated Madison in the regular season in a very close game that went to overtime before the Rebels prevailed 1-0. The Rebels would get off to a much faster start in this game.
Early in the first half, sophomore forward Charlotte Duke broke behind the Warhawk defense and went one-on-one against the Madison goalkeeper. Madison goalkeeper Leah Cohen was called for obstructing Duke and the Rebels were awarded a penalty stroke. Cohen came up big, making a save to keep the game scoreless.
The Rebels broke through shortly after when junior midfielder Sara Allen found Duke again in the circle. This his time she was able to find the goal to give the Rebels a 1-0 lead. Junior forward Emily Freeman would extend the Rebel lead to 3-0 with two goals before the end of the first half, the first coming off a pass from senior midfielder Sam Zelenack and the second from senior forward Shannon Cosgrove.
Fairfax cruised to victory in the second half behind two more Allen goals to make the final score 5-0. The first goal was scored after a steal at the top of the circle, and the second on a nice pass from senior midfielder Nikki Strickland.
The win over Madison advanced the Rebels to the District finals, where they met the No. 2 seed Marshall Statesman (14-4, 4-3). The Rebels defeated Marshall 2-0 in the regular season finale to earn the No. 1 seed.
Fairfax again got off to a fast start as their two senior captains teamed up to score two first-half goals. Both goals were scored on penalty corners where forward Shannon Cosgrove inserted the ball to midfielder Sam Zelenack, who was able to find Cosgrove on the back post to score both goals.
The Rebels took a commanding 3-0 lead at halftime when senior midfielder Amanda Blackwell received a pass from Cosgrove and scored. Marshall would get back in the game right after halftime when senior forward Emily Fisher received a cross and scored. Fairfax would put the game away later in the second half when Allen scored the Rebels fourth goal off a pass from Cosgrove.
With the win the Rebels (17-1, 6-0) won their fourth consecutive Liberty District Championship and the right to host a first round Northern Region game against Lake Braddock on Tuesday night.