Cavs Corner: Spotlight on Varsity Field Hockey

By Andy Pogach and Bria Irizarry
Twitter: @daathletics
Instagram: @dacavsathletics

This week’s Performance of the Week is awarded to the DA varsity field hockey team and long-serving head coach Judy Chandler. On Friday night, the DA Athletics department recognized Coach Chandler for the 30 years she has spent at the helm of the program with an on-field ceremony before the Cavs’ contest vs. Saint Mary’s School on Alumni Field. Coach Chandler was joined on the field by former players and coaches as our community honored her 382 victories, 10 state championships and 16 state finals appearances. 

Former Director of Athletics Steve Engebretsen and current Director of Athletics Andy Pogach presented Coach Chandler with a framed DA field hockey jersey.

“I am so thankful to have had Judy at the helm of our program for three decades,” Pogach said. “She leaves a lasting legacy that will be hard to top: 10 state championships, close to 400 wins, but more importantly countless lives impacted in a positive way.”

After the whistle blew to start the game, the Cavs’ defense was in the spotlight, stunting a few good Saints opportunities off the corner. Early into the second quarter, the Saints snuck one past senior goalkeeper Mirella Kades to solidify a 1–0 game at the half. Late in the third quarter, as DA attempted to gain some momentum in the offensive end, Saint Mary’s scored again. The ball remained in the Cavs’ defensive end, and after two more scrambles inside the box, the Saints extended their lead to 4–0. Despite the outcome of the game, there was a lot to celebrate.

“It was an electric environment under the lights, [with] so many program alumni and an entire student section there to cheer on our team and take part in the celebration,” Pogach said.

A special thanks goes out to Chad MacKenzie and John Richards from the DA Athletics groundskeeping staff for turning Alumni Field into a field hockey stadium and giving our team a chance to compete under the lights in front of numerous program alums and a full student section. Chandler’s incredible 30-year run as our head coach will come to an end in a few weeks, and it was great to give her the send-off she deserves

After a banner week in DA Athletics, we are excited to provide a detailed update on our fall teams’ success. The boys soccer, girls tennis and volleyball teams all had season-defining weeks that finished with all three teams putting themselves in position for high seeds in the upcoming N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 4A state tournaments. Soccer is No. 9, tennis is No. 14 and volleyball is No. 22 in the latest High School OT eastern NC rankings. Durham Academy is the only independent school in the state to have all three of these teams currently ranked.

Boys Soccer

In a 72-hour span, the boys soccer team picked up three Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference wins, all in exciting fashion. On. Sept. 28, Julian Cochran’s team gave up the first goal but rallied for a 4–2 win at North Raleigh Christian Academy. Ninth-grader Will Hunter scored twice, including the game-winner just 30 seconds following a Knights equalizer in the second half. Last Thursday, in front of a large student contingent on Alumni Field, the boys once again rallied from down a goal for a 2–1 win over Wake Christian Academy. Senior Diego Pastor-Valverde scored both goals, and senior Lars Oehler provided the energy as the Cavs exacted revenge on the only team that has defeated them in league play this year.

On Friday, it was Oehler who had the overtime game-winner as the Cavs completed a 1–0 win at Cary Academy. The contest started in overtime after last week’s scoreless game could not be completed due to darkness. On Tuesday, the soccer team rallied twice to defeat Ravenscroft and clinch at least a share of the conference championship. Junior Robert Hillhouse tied the game with just 14 seconds left and after two scoreless overtimes, the Cavs prevailed 11–10 in penalty kicks. Here is the final save of the PK shootout from junior Collin Thornburg (please note the sportsmanship from senior Charles McCain, who went up to the last Ravenscroft kicker to console him after the battle.) After this week’s gauntlet, boys soccer is 11–2 and 6–1 in conference play.

Girls Tennis

The girls tennis team took two 5–4 road conference wins last week at North Raleigh Christian and Cary Academy, putting the girls in first place in the conference. Both matches had similar storybook endings with a different Cavalier winning a decisive third-set tiebreaker. On Sept. 28, it was junior Aerin Borden who won her fifth singles match at NRCA, and on Sept. 29, junior Allison Preble clinched the match with her win at sixth singles. On Tuesday, a doubles sweep keyed an 8–1 win over Ravenscroft. The girls are 8–7 and in first place with a 5–0 conference record.   


The volleyball team is 11–3, 5–3 in the TISAC after Tuesday’s  3–0 sweep at Ravenscroft. Senior Gabby Marchese had a team-high 15 kills in the win. Last Thursday, the Cavs were 3–0 winners over Wake Christian Academy in Kirby Gym. Playing their third match in three days, the Cavs took down the Bulldogs 27–25, 25–17, 25–20 to jump into second place in the conference and repay the Bulldogs for a loss earlier in the season. Sophomore Kate Norry had a team-high nine kills, while junior Olivia Kohn had 33 assists. Just 24 hours prior, the Cavs had a three-set win over Saint Mary’s (25–14, 25–21, 25–21). Junior Allison Farnworth had six kills, while Marchese led the team with 18 digs and four aces. While the Cavs may not catch state leader NRCA at the top of the league standings, they are fighting for a top-four seed in the state tournament.   

Girls Golf

After rain cancelled two 18-hole rounds two weeks ago, the girls golf team was back in action last week hosting Saint Mary’s on Thursday at Hope Valley Country Club. Greg Murray’s squad is young, impressive and sitting in second position in the state rankings. Ninth-grader Saia Rampersaud (36), seventh-grader Jenna Kim (39) and junior Kayley Kim (42) were the three scorers in the three-stroke win over the third-ranked Saints. On Tuesday, the Cavs toppled Ravenscroft 115–137 as Jenna Kim (37), junior Ona Lukes (38) and Rampersaud (40) led the way. Jenna Kim (second), Rampersaud (fourth) and Lukes (12th) are all ranked in the top 12 in the state individual rankings. The girls host Cary Academy this afternoon at Hope Valley.


The boys and girls cross-country teams continue to improve each day as they lead up to the upcoming TISAC (Oct. 21 in Cary) and state (Oct. 29 in Wilmington) meets. In last week’s home meet, both boys and girls teams took victories. Ninth-grader Ben Hornstein won the race, and seven Cavalier boys ran sub-20 minutes. On the girls side, eighth-grader Audrey Crowder took first place, while ninth-grader Anna Tricomi and sophomore Allison Hall were third and fourth. 

In Saturday’s Great American Cross-Country Festival at WakeMed Park in Cary, the boys team finished second out of 29 teams in the “Red Invitational.” Hornstein’s 16:30 placed eighth out of 215 runners, while the trio of senior George Linney (16:54), junior Aaron Caveney (16:55) and junior Sanju Patel (16:56) were 24th, 25th and 26th. Crowder’s fifth-place time of 19:19 led the girls team to 15th place (out of 31 teams) in the “Red Invitational.” Hall placed 81st at 22:11, while Tricomi’s 22:15 was good for 86th out of 202.  

Both teams dodged raindrops in Tuesday’s Durham City/County Meet held on our campus. The boys finished second behind Riverside, as Hornstein’s 17:35 placed him sixth overall. The girls placed fifth Tuesday. Hall’s 23:41 was good for 19th place in the individual competition. 

We are excited to cheer on all seven of our varsity teams as they head to the postseason. Here are some important upcoming dates:

Senior Nights

  • Tuesday, Oct. 12 - Field Hockey (4 p.m. vs. Cary Academy on Moylan Field)
  • Thursday, Oct. 14 - Girls Tennis (4:15 p.m. vs. Cary Academy) and Cross-Country (4 p.m. vs. Burlington School)
  • Friday, Oct. 15 - Volleyball (5:30 p.m. vs. Cary Academy in Kirby Gym) and Boys Soccer (7 p.m. vs. Cary Academy on Alumni Field)


  • Sunday, Oct. 17 - Seeding and brackets released for NCISAA state tournaments
  • Tuesday, Oct. 19 - Girls Golf in the TISAC Championship (RGA Course in Raleigh)
  • Thursday, Oct. 21 - Boys/Girls Cross-Country in the TISAC Championship (WakeMed Park in Cary)
  • Monday, Oct. 25 - Girls Golf in the NCISAA Championship (Bryan Park in Greensboro)
  • Friday, Oct. 29 - Boys/Girls Cross-Country in the NCISAA Championship (Olsen Park in Wilmington)
  • Saturday, Oct. 30 - NCISAA State Championships for Field Hockey, Girls Tennis, Volleyball and Boys Soccer



Keeping Up with the Cavs

As always, you can keep up with the Cavs on Durham Academy’s website and the Durham Academy App (available on the Apple App Store).

  • For a list of all teams, their schedules and directions to games, visit
  • Click on an individual team to subscribe to automatic alerts about athletics results, postponements and cancellations, calendar and athletic event reminders. You can also import team schedules into your electronic calendars.
  • All information about the daily athletics schedule is also available on DA’s Athletics Hotline: 919-489-2534 (ext. 5).

The DA App: Schedules and Results

  • The DA App allows you to keep up with athletics wherever you are. You can download the app from iTunes at The DA App pulls athletics content directly from the DA website and delivers it to iOS-based devices including iPhone and iPad.
  • The Athletics portion of the DA App (after launching, click Menu, then click Athletics to open) features results of recent games, a list of upcoming contests and team records.