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Prep Field Hockey: Wildcats, Indians get set for postseason
BY JUSTIN RICE
The intensity of the Stafford–Mountain View field hockey matchup seemed a little subdued Thursday, but that was likely the result of the circumstances.
Mountain View (16–0) concluded its perfect regular season with a 2–0 win against the Indians. Stafford (12–4) is just trying to get in good position for the postseason, having already come so far with a roster that started the season so young.
“Today was really all about preparing for the postseason,” Stafford coach Dani Woodie said. “We want to make sure we have everything set for the playoffs.”
The Wildcats—already assured of the district’s regular-season title and the top seed in the district tournament—got first-half goals from Caity Maffia and Gretchen Geisler and held on in the second half against Stafford’s 6–3 advantage in penalty corners.
Mountain View was playing without two starters, one because of injury and the other for illness. But like Stafford, the Wildcats were just trying to make sure things are set for the start of the playoffs.
“We’re at that point; we have to push through,” Mountain View coach Pattie Sullivan said. “We’ve choked in big games and that’s hurt us in the long run.
“We’re going to just keep working hard. It was good for us to regroup [from the missing starters] and play as well as we did.”
It’s been a long road for Stafford, which finished the regular season tied with Colonial Forge but will be the district’s No. 3 seed in the district quarterfinals on Tuesday. The Indians regrouped after a bumpy first half of the schedule, and Woodie thinks they’re in good shape for the playoffs.
“It definitely got our butt in gear,” she said. “I don’t think we’d have worked so hard. I think that’s going to help us later in the season.
“It was good to be off our game early in the season and improve and be peaking at the playoffs, instead of doing really well early and slumping off later.”
Along with senior standout Lindsey Lysher, the anchors for Stafford have been senior McKenzie Bowler and junior Natalie Bohmke.
Bowler and Bohmke were very solid defenders for the Indians last year, and this season both have taken on more versatile roles to help the team generate more offense.
“They are true utility players,” Woodie said. “We can put them anywhere in the field and they can do it all.”
Bowler still mostly plays in the defensive end, but will push forward when the opportunity is there. Bohmke has played just about every position on the field this year, from defense to the midfield and even some forward.
“In a way it’s been an adjustment,” said Bohmke, who was accustomed to playing in the midfield and at forward with her travel team. “It’s something where even when things don’t make sense, you have to do it for the team, and it works out in the end.”
Both Bowler and Bohmke agreed: this Stafford team is light years better than the team that took the field when the season started.
“Every day at practice we work on the little things and the basics,” Bowler said. “That’s really improved our play game by game.
“From the beginning of the season, you’d have never thought that the team that stepped on the field today was who we were. We’ve improved so much.”
Justin Rice: 540/368-5045