The tears have long since dried from the last time the Thomas S. Wootton High School field hockey team took the field at Walter Johnson. The sting has subsided in the 333 days between the double-overtime loss the Wildcats dealt to the Patriots in the 4A West Region finals and Monday afternoon's matchup between the county's top-ranked field hockey teams. But nothing quite puts a devastating loss in the rear view like exacting revenge on that very team's home turf, which is what No. 1 Wootton promptly did at No. 2 Walter Johnson.
It took just 24 minutes, 32 seconds for the Patriots to score as many goals on Walter Johnson as the first five teams combined (2), and Wootton went on to win 3-0 in surprisingly dominant fashion.
“It feels really good,” Wootton coach Kearney Blandamer said. “That night we were kind of off and WJ played a great game and they got to win that night. But this season is a totally new season and as much as that loss hurt, we're just looking forward and we have big dreams and big hopes and we're going to do everything in our power to achieve them.”
Thus far, there has been nothing that has even served as a speed bump to those dreams, whatever it is they may be. Now six games into the season, not a single team has come closer than three goals on the Patriots, who have outscored their opponents 37-2. Even Winston Churchill and the second-ranked Wildcats were dropped by a combined 6-0, though Blandamer credited the Bulldogs as being a very tough test nonetheless.
As easy as Monday's win wound up being for the Patriots, however, the opening 14 minutes went how the game could have largely been expected to go throughout the contest: mostly a battle for possession with a few runs made here and there, but nothing all too dangerous. Then Wootton center midfielder Alex Yokley sent in a bounding cross for Allie Band at the left corner of the cage and the senior redirected it in for her sixth goal of the season. That was apparently the impetus Wootton needed for its juggernaut of an offense to get started.
Over the next 16 minutes, Wootton's relentless attack amounted to eight penalty corners to Walter Johnson's zero, nine shots on goal to Walter Johnson's zero, and another goal, this time from Yokley's own stick, to send the Patriots into the half up 2-0.
“I think now we're all sharing one brain. Everybody knows what the other is going to do so they just know where the ball is going to go,” said Yokley, who ran her season total to six goals and three assists. “We're all working really well together.”
The second half would follow the aggressively offensive script the Patriots have been following all year. Wootton took seven more penalty corners and battered WJ goalie Hannah Teicher with another 10 shots before Hannah King notched the third and final goal of the game. Meanwhile, the Wildcats managed zero shots on goal and zero penalty corners, leaving coach Erika Murray just about speechless afterwards.
“Where do I start?” Murray said. “We didn't even show up for the game. Period. We did nothing that we worked on at practice. I don't even know what to say. Bottom line is they didn't show up.”
Walter Johnson 0, Wootton 3
Walter Johnson (5-1) 0 0 — 0
Wootton (6-0) 2 1 — 3
Wootton — Allie Band, Alex Yokley, Hannah King.
Wootton — Alex Yokley, Julia Lee.