Va. AAA Field Hockey

Mountain View's run screeches to a halt

Mountain View's Samantha Milligan looks on as the Wildcats are shut out by perennial power Cox.
Mountain View's Samantha Milligan looks on as the Wildcats are shut out by perennial power Cox. (Jason Hirschfeld For The Washington Post)
By Jason Mackey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 18, 2009

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Mountain View's Heather Hartman had just about lost the ability to talk. What was left of her voice was helped when she was handed a package of throat lozenges. Her voice barely above a whisper, the Delaware-bound midfielder put the Wildcats' 5-0 loss to Frank W. Cox in the AAA state field hockey final in perspective.

"Everyone played their hearts out," whispered Hartman, who scored 13 goals and added seven assists during her senior season. "Everyone left everything out on the field, and that's all you can ask for. We did everything we could have done."

The loss to Cox at the National Training Center ended a postseason run for No. 10 Mountain View that began, oddly enough, with an upset loss to North Stafford in the Commonwealth District semifinals. From there, Mountain View tore through the Northwest Region tournament, outscoring opponents 13-0 to claim a second straight region crown.

In the state tournament, Mountain View scored a pair of second-half goals to knock off No. 9 W.T. Woodson in the quarterfinal round before claiming a victory in the semifinals against Lakeland here on Monday because of Shelby Milligan's last-minute goal off a penalty corner.

But with Cox, a team that has now won the past four state championships and 17 overall, the Wildcats were overmatched. Cox features a lineup with 11 seniors, six of whom are already signed to play top-level college field hockey next fall.

"When you have 11 seniors all of that caliber, they're tough to control," said Wildcats Coach Pattie Sullivan, whose team finished 19-5. "There's nothing else to say. They're darn good."

Cox led 2-0 at halftime, thanks to goals from two seniors: Stephanie DeMasi and Taylor Rhea, who combined for 49 goals this fall. Mountain View did force two penalty corners in the opening 30 minutes and had a clear look at the cage on its first one, but Milligan's shot was deflected up in the air and away from Cox goalkeeper Liz Beckner -- also a senior.

In the second half, Cox senior Cara Witte beat Mountain View goalkeeper Sabrina Hill (13 saves) with 20:41 to play before sophomore Casey DiNardo scored an unassisted goal and senior Kelsey Rosenmeier beat Hill by taking a beautiful feed from Rhea.

Though the Falcons continued their dominance -- they outscored their opponents this season, 162-8 -- Mountain View did leave a lasting impression on Cox Coach Julie Swain.

"They have been on the cusp for the last few years, and I feel like they're getting ready to break through," said Swain, whose team finished the year at 25-0. "I felt like today our advantage was just our seniors and experience."

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