School & sports news for April 11

Lady Panthers pounce to 4-2 record

Lady Panthers varsity soccer players have been on a victory prowl. With recent back-to-back wins, they’ve increased their overall record to 4-2.

Rappahannock County High School roundly defeated the Skyline Hawks (3-0) at home on April 2 and, on April 5, overcame Strasburg 2-1 in Rams’ territory.

At Skyline, senior soccer rookie Jennifer Buono proved herself worthy of field time. “I got seven minutes of playing time, when I usually get three. I got the ball like four times . . . I played well this time, and I’m really proud of myself. I’m working on my fierceness.”

Apparently, Buono’s teammates were focusing on fierceness as well. “We were pumped up and rowdy,” she said. “We were so ecstatic. We were heading the ball a lot more. Lauren [Light] almost made an extra goal by heading the ball. It almost went in! And Emily Massie wasn’t letting the other girls push her around. She was aggressive. Mimi White, Lily Endre, and Lauren Light scored our points. Overall, it was an amazing game.”

Coach Rich Hogan echoed the game’s tense excitement. “The score at intermission was only 1-0 , so I was very excited that the girls put the dagger in during the second half with their balanced scoring.”

The local fan support – the stands were nearly full – also helped, Buono said: “That makes a huge difference for us. It helped put in our minds that we had to win this game.”

Two days later, when Panthers traveled to Strasburg, the ladies quickly found themselves in a comeback scenario. “We came back after being down 1-0 at the half,” said junior Mimi White. “I got to score two goals in free kicks at half time. They were just bombs right over the goalie’s head. Gotta love those!”

Hogan admitted he was nervous when Strasburg went ahead in the first half. But “the heroic second half gave us White’s free kicks,” he said, “and our stingy defense contributed for the 2-1 win.”

“I feel really great,” White said. “We are working really hard. I’m proud of us for coming out and winning games. We already have a better record than we did this time last season.”

The next chance to see the Lady Panthers pounce is tomorrow (Friday, April 12) at home against George Mason. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

– Melissa Delcour

Dale named all-state in basketball

Wakefield Country Day School sophomore Maeve Dale has been named second team all-state in girls’ basketball in division III by the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. She is the first female athlete at WCDS to receive this level of recognition.

Dale, who lives in Luray, averaged 17.7 points per game, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.5 blocks and 4 steals during the season’s 21 games. She is a two-time Player of the Year in the Delaney Athletic Conference Division II. Dale is also a three-time selection to the all-conference first team. This year, she scored a season-high 30 points in a victory over Randolph-Macon Academy, had 14 double-doubles on the season and one triple-double.

“Maeve is an exceptional basketball player and a wonderful young lady,” said coach Ann Pankow. “She is a hard-working and dedicated athlete who can play any position her coaches ask of her. She is a true team player and a leader both on and off the court. The honor of being selected to the all-state team is well-deserved.”

Dale scored in double-figures 17 times this season and had nine games of more than 20 points. She made 28 three-pointers on the season and shot 61 percent (78 for 128) at the foul line. Dale was the driving force on Wakefield’s state-ranked team, recording a double-double in the school’s state tournament game at Middleburg Academy (12 points, 11 rebounds).

“Maeve had a fine season and led our team to a state tournament bid,” said athletic director Mike Costello. “I know that she would be the first to credit her teammates, coaches and supporters for assisting her body of work that led to this honor. Maeve has worked hard to separate herself from other players on the floor and to develop her game . . . I join many people here at WCDS who have great pride in seeing her recognized by the VISAA girls’ basketball committee.”

Wakefield sports update

Varsity girls’ soccer: The Wakefield Country Day School Lady Owls hosted the Front Royal Flames in a non-conference game on April 4. The girls dominated the game and were on the attack most of the match. Keeper Kim Pankow only had to make a couple of saves as the girls’ defense kept the Flames away from the goal most of the game. Julia Weir struck the net first, seven minutes into the game, off a pass from Alyssa Soldo. Two minutes later, Alex Cancio-Bello scored an unassisted goal and, five minutes later, scored her second, assisted by Julia Weir. Soldo scored an unassisted goal with 6:55 remaining in the half to put the girls up comfortably 4-0 at halftime.

Weir netted her second goal three and a half minutes into the second half, completing her hat trick with five minutes left in the game Soldo scored on a shot that rebounded off a Flames’ defender; two minutes later, Megan Kelley scored off another rebound. Cancio-Bello completed her hat trick off an assist by Soldo. The Owls won handily, 9-0. Their record is 0-1 in the Delaney Athletic Conference and 1-1 overall.

Varsity tennis: The Owls traveled to Massanutten Military Academy for a match on April 4. Alex Foster earned the first win at number one singles, 8-4, while Brianna Rodriguez won 8-1 in her number two singles match. Aaron Corbett lost a close number three singles match, 8-7. Maeve Dale easily defeated her opponent at number four singles 8-0. Emily Hennessey and Madison Romine won at number one doubles 8-3, and Dale and Ashlyn Ramey won the number two doubles easily (8-0) for a team win 5-2. Rodriguez and Brendan Martyn won an exhibition doubles match 6-1. Our record is 1-1 on the season.

Varsity boys’ lacrosse: The Owls hosted Shenandoah County LAX in a non-conference game on April 3. Shenandoah scored the first goal with 10:33 remaining in the second quarter and scored four more in n the next seven minutes to take a 5-0 lead at halftime. Shenandoah stayed on the offensive most of the middle two quarters, challenging goalie Chris Payne and the Owls’ defense. Shenandoah scored four goals in the third quarter, giving them a commanding 9-0 lead. Wakefield’s Conor O’Heir scored an unassisted goal with 5:07 left in the game, then scored a second time less than a minute later. Shenandoah scored their final goal with 13 second left in the game to take an 11-2 victory. The Owls’ record is 1-0 in the DAC and 1-1 overall.