Field Hockey: Whitman 4, Paint Branch 0

Ellie Gill

Ellie Gill of the Whitman Vikings, who will face undefeated Sherwood in the regional semifinals.

BETHESDA, Md. — The Walt Whitman High School field hockey team dominated play throughout and got individual goals from four different players to claim a 4-0 victory over visiting Paint Branch in the MPSSAA 4A South regional quarterfinals on Thursday.

The Vikings’ crisp and efficient ball-handling stood in stark contrast to the mishits and turnovers that plagued the Panthers’ efforts to mount a coherent offensive attack. Only solid play by Paint Branch goalkeeper Erin King kept the final margin from being much larger than it was.

Despite controlling the ball in the offensive zone from the start, Whitman was kept off the scoreboard for the game’s first 13 minutes. They had their first legitimate scoring chance five minutes into the first half on a breakaway by senior midfielder Sydney Markus, but King kicked the ball away to keep the game scoreless.

Eight minutes later, Krishna Jaitly assisted on a goal by Lauren Rhea on one of the 11 penalty corner opportunities the Vikings had on the day to give Whitman a 1-0 lead.

Junior Allie Boyan sent a shot just wide of the net midway through the first half, then scored two minutes later when she deflected a blast from Markus past King to make the score 2-0.

The Vikings had three more penalty corner opportunities in the closing minutes of the first half but were unable to convert, with King’s aggressive and confident play keeping Paint Branch just two goals back at halftime.

Whitman had numerous scoring chances after the break as well, but had nothing to show for it until Hannah Niles scored off the rebound of a shot by Jaitly to make the score 3-0 with 17:15 left in the second half.

Jaitly scored the game’s last goal on a penalty stroke with 13:06 remaining.

The Vikings will face a tough task in the regional semifinals as they will travel to Sherwood to play the undefeated Warriors next week. The two teams met previously on September 14th, with Sherwood winning by the score of 3-1.

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