Superstition, belief, and history, Red Land field hockey’s Ashley Doyle on making it to the second round of the District 3 Class 2A postseason

It’s not uncommon for athletes to have superstitions.


They don’t cut their hair. They wear the same stinky socks until the end. Or, they rock a headband that helps them to stand out.


Red Land senior Ashley Doyle wore her lucky, favorite TreadBand Wednesday in the Patriots’ game against Susquehannock. Red Land is No. 15 and Susky was No. 2. It was the first round of District 3 high school field hockey playoffs in Pennsylvania.


And, Doyle’s lucky headband didn’t let her down.


“I’ve always loved TreadBands,” she told FAN. “Once I got my first one, I’ve just kept collecting them in all different patterns. Once I started the recruitment process, wearing a bright orange headband stood out in my skill and game videos. I would only wear my orange headband for games and clinics, and it just became a superstition for me.”


The orange headband was supposed to be “retired” after she committed to “the right college or university,” the Virginia Commonwealth pledge said.


“After I verbally committed to VCU in April, I was in Spring season for my club team, and we still had tournaments left in the season,” Doyle said. “The day of my first tournament after my commitment, I thought about changing my headband to something different, but I couldn’t. My orange headband just became a part of so many great field hockey memories and I couldn’t change that. I think I’ll keep wearing it until next Fall, when I attend Virginia Commonwealth University because I’ve worn it for so many years throughout Red Land Field Hockey and my club team seasons.”


Her mom Crystal told FAN that the color also helped her grandparents to find her on the field. And, that lucky headband will now go down in history as the headband that Doyle wore when she scored the winning goal in overtime sending the Patriots to their first-ever quarterfinals in the history of the field hockey program.


“During the last quarter of the game when Chelsea Carpenter scored a goal to tie up the game, we were all ecstatic,” Doyle said. “This meant that if we held Susquehannock til the end of the fourth quarter, we would be heading into overtime. Unfortunately, our team got a card against us in the last couple of minutes of the regular game. This card then carried over into overtime, which had us a player down to start. Our team played amazing defense and held off the Warriors from scoring.”


Susky was awarded a penalty stroke, but Patriot goalie Josie Ickes saved the shot.



“Shortly after, we were numbers even and Chelsea Carpenter and Emma Livingston had an amazing play that got us a penalty stroke,” Doyle said. “I realized at this time that I would be taking the penalty stroke since I’ve been taking them all season. I was really nervous because I didn’t want to let my team down and miss, but I kept calm and just did what I normally do. As soon as I saw the ball hit the back of the net, I was so happy that Red Land Field Hockey had won for the first time in District playoffs. And, we would be advancing to the second round. Our team has worked so hard and deserves this.”


Red Land defied the odds. The Patriots finished the regular season 8-10. But, they play in one of the toughest, if not toughest, conference divisions in the state – the Mid Penn Conference Keystone Division.


Susky’s roster is packed with talent. The Warriors finished 14-0-2. For whatever reason, the team has been unable to breakout from the first round for two years in a row. New Oxford knocked Susquehannock out of contention for the District 3 Class 2A title last season.


Red Land, now 9-10, knew its competitor was a tough squad. But, during districts, when a team walks onto a field and decides its game time, anything can happen. Superstitions can cause individuals to rise to the occasion.


“Before the playoff game on Wednesday, we wanted to win so bad to make history,” Doyle said. “We wanted to show off all the hard work that we’ve been putting into the season during these playoff games. Toward the end of the season, our team’s motto became ‘Believe.’ We started this the night that we played Palmyra for the second time. This game ended up going into overtime, which was completely different from the first time we played them, and all we had to do was believe in ourselves. We wanted to keep this motto going because believing in ourselves individually would make our team better as a whole. Our coaches have always told us to believe in ourselves because they believe in us. Now that we’ve made it past the first round of districts, we believe that we have more to prove going into the second round.”


No. 15 Red Land plays at No. 7 Ephrata (13-6) Saturday morning. The game starts at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased via this link.


Photo: Red Land at Suquehannock round one of District 3 playoffs, Bob Benscoter

Share the Post:

Related Posts