Great Bridge wins first state field hockey championship since 2017

Sian Wilkerson, The Virginian-Pilot
·2 min read

After two straight seasons of tough postseason losses, Great Bridge is finally back on top.

Julia Foren scored a pair of second-half goals as the Wildcats topped Chancellor 2-0 in the Class 4 state field hockey championship Saturday at Kellam High School.

The Wildcats, playing in their second straight state championship game and fourth in five seasons, won their first title since 2017, when they went back-to-back. This is the third state championship victory for Great Bridge (10-1).

“It feels so good,” Foren said. “We were ready to win this time. We won the state semifinals (in 2019) against Chancellor and we were ready to face them again and put it down on them.”

Throughout the game, the Wildcats had come at goaltender Regan Bestick from every direction, to little avail. Bestick produced several huge stops to keep the Chargers (8-4) afloat through plenty of pressure from the Great Bridge offense. Despite four first-half corner opportunities for Great Bridge, the game was still scoreless at halftime.

Coach Katie Duke’s message to the Wildcats? Keep fighting.

“I thought they looked really good in the first two quarters, so we just talked about keeping it up,” Duke said. “Don’t let the clock get into their heads, keep it level-headed, and just keep working it and it will come.”

Foren’s first goal, a tip on a pass from Riley Buschert, came midway through the third quarter on a corner.

“When Riley was getting sent the ball on the corner, I knew it was coming to me because we had been practicing that, and she sent me a perfect ball for a perfect tip,” Foren said.

The Wildcats were unrelenting in the second half, out-earning the Chargers on corners 8-1. Foren added another goal in the fourth quarter, this time on a pass from Payton Wilson, and Great Bridge cruised to the win.

“These seniors deserve it, they’ve worked really hard,” Duke said. “All the girls have worked really hard. I’ve seen amazing growth from every single player from our goalie all the way forward, and every single girl on the bench, they’ve all just been through so much and worked really hard for it.”