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Mountain View wins Northwest field hockey title

Sabrina Hill extended her left palm, which was covered by a blocking pad at the time, early in the second half of the Mountain View field hockey team’s Northwest Region championship game Saturday afternoon against North Stafford.

As the Wildcats’ goalkeeper, Hill’s gesture was one done out of gratitude, basically thanking junior Kelsey Farris for making a spectacular play and preserving what would become Hill’s ninth shutout of the season.

While Hill was on the ground after stopping the initial North Stafford shot, Farris swooped in from behind and made a stick save of her own, keeping a 2-0 victory for the tenth-ranked Wildcats intact.

Because of the defensive abilities of Hill (5 saves), Farris and senior Shelby Milligan, who has five stick saves this season, Mountain View was able to hoist its region trophy for the second consecutive season.

“We just stayed focused the whole time, and we never really let down,” said Hill, who has now made 94 saves this season for Mountain View (17-4). “It makes me feel confident that, if I do go down, they’ll be there for the second shot and I can have time to recover.”

This season has been a learning experience for Hill, whom Wildcats Coach Pattie Sullivan called a “quiet goalie.” That’s not a knock against Hill, by any means. It’s just that oftentimes this season she hasn’t been as assertive as Sullivan may have liked.

But starting with a string of five straight shutouts in the middle of the season, Hill has become more assertive and confident in her own abilities, more demonstrative toward those defenders positioned in front of her cage. And, as current evidence, Hill didn’t allow a goal in the region tournament during wins over Osbourn Park, Battlefield and North Stafford.

“She’s a quiet goalie but not a quiet personality, so that was definitely a switch,” Sullivan said of Hill. “Getting her to communicate and stepping up has been a big difference.”

The win for North Stafford avenged a Commonwealth District semifinal loss to the Wolverines, which snapped the Wildcats’ string of three consecutive district titles. Earlier this season, Mountain View had its 45-game regular season district winning streak broken by Stafford.

But with another crack at North Stafford, Mountain View made amends, getting goals from sophomore Lexi Plutt and senior Melissa Gray along the way.

Plutt scored on a deflection in the first half, while Gray converted on the fourth of six penalty corners for Mountain View.

“It meant a lot more because it was North Stafford and because of the district game,” said senior Heather Hartman, who assisted on Plutt’s goal and will play for Delaware next fall. “We were ready. It’s a rivalry between us, so it was nice to get that back.”

By Jason Mackey  |  November 7, 2009; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Field Hockey , Mountain View , North Stafford , Northwest Region  
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