Middleburg, VA — Foxcroft School won the Delaney Athletic Conference field hockey tournament for the third time in its history Thursday, but this victory was extra special because for the first time the team beat nemesis Fredericksburg Academy to do it.
Foxcroft’s previous two DAC titles, in 2008 and 2009, came without facing FA, which was the best team in the league at the time, but opted to play in another post-season tournament. Foxcroft beat Highland for those titles — and then lost to FA in the championship game six years in a row.
Fittingly, a senior, co-captain Allison Buffenbarger, scored the the one and only goal to lift Foxcroft to its 1-0 triumph over the team that had frustrated Foxcroft for so many years.
The victory, along with a dominating 8-0 rout of John Paul the Great last Monday, helped Foxcroft hang onto the eighth and final spot in the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division I tournament. The squad will play the No. 1 seed, Trinity Episcopal (14-3) on Tuesday, November 8 in Richmond.
Foxcroft, 12-2-2, as considered a longshot to make the DI tournament after beginning the season in Division II, where it reached the championship game three times in recent years.
Entering this season Foxcroft had posted a 1-17- 1 record against Fredericksburg Academy, a six-time VISAA Division II state champion and winner of the last four in a row. In addition to the DAC defeats, Foxcroft had lost to FA in the state tournament final three times in the past four years.
This year, though, the tide turned. Foxcroft defeated FA twice during the regular season — albeit by just one goal each time — for the first time ever.
Thursday’s game was expected to be another nail-biter and it was. Buffenbarger, second in scoring on the team behind her sister Haley, scored an unassisted goal for Foxcroft with three minutes left in the first half. Although many Foxcroft fans watching from the sidelines worried that a one-goal lead might not be enough, it stood up for the next 33 minutes of play.
“The girls were pretty nervous, knowing that there was only a one-goal differential for both of the previous two games against this team,” said Coach Michelle Woodruff, who earned Coach of the Year honors. “I thought we seemed a little nervous for the first few minutes, but we settled down and started to play our game. FA came out of the gate fighting hard and it showed in their intensity.”
Woodruff credited the defense with preserving the victory.
“Our defense, led by Millie (’17), did a great job and held FA to just a couple of corners,” said Woodruff , citing virtually every player for her role in getting and protecting the lead. ”It was a really good game.”
Led by a pair of sisters from Leesburg, Foxcroft has outscored its opponents, 67-14, this season. Sophomore Haley Buffenbarger. leads the team with 21 goals and 10 assists for 52 points, followed by Allison, with nine goals and five assists for 23 points. Sophomore Seabrook Brown has 18 points on eight goals and two assists.
Senior goaltender Elle Lassiter. has allowed only 1.1 goals per game and has 56 saves.
Founded in 1914, Foxcroft School is a college-preparatory boarding and day school for girls in grades 9-12 with a mission of helping every girl explore her unique voice and develop the skills, confidence, and courage to share it with the world. Unique learning experiences; an uncommonly beautiful setting in which to learn, grow and thrive; and a warm, residential community comprised of 151 girls from 13 countries, 17 states and the District of Columbia support this mission. The School offers 79 courses, including 15 Advanced Placement classes, and a STEM program that inspires girls to pursue disciplines traditionally underrepresented by women. Foxcroft fields athletic teams in nine sports, including a two-time state champion lacrosse team and has a nationally known riding program. About one-third of the students receive financial assistance; 25 percent are international students, and 16 percent are students of color.