October 25th, 2018

SHA field hockey wins first state title since 2015

Dalton Pence 

Staff Writer 


SHA field hockey wins first state title since 2015
SHA poses with state title trophy / photo by Dalton Pence

Sacred Heart’s field hockey team is finally back on top after a three-year hiatus.

The Valkyries defeated Kentucky Country Day 1-0 in the state title game Wednesday night at Christian Academy.

It’s Sacred Heart’s second KHSAA sanctioned field hockey state title and 10th overall.

“Being an alumna and having coached the Valkyries for the past ten years,” Sacred Heart head coach Eleanor Mitchell said..

This was also the first time as a head coach that she was able to coach the seniors throughout their whole high school careers.

“I love this group”, Mitchell said. “These seniors have just worked hard to make it happen.”

Tonight, marked the third time the two teams have played this season; Sacred Heart won both in August by scores of 3-2 and 2-1.

“They’re a good team,” Mitchell said. “They have a great goalie.”

The lone goal came from senior captain Tori Hill’s close-lift that found its way into the cage during a scramble with 22:52 left in the first half.

“The ball went down to the baseline…any way you can put it in the backboard, you’ve got to get it done,” Hill said.

For Hill, a senior captain, this goal was special.

Hill missed almost all of her junior season after sustaining a broken middle finger on her right hand in the Apple tournament.

“We always play together, we always have the loudest sideline”, Mitchell said. “Everyone was a part of it whether they were on the sideline or in the game.”

The second half consisted mostly of Sacred Heart continuing the offensive effort. The 2nd region champions also played superb defense, allowing only two shots from KCD in the second half. A couple of big saves late in the game from Sacred Heart goalkeeper Taylor Whitlock prevented the comeback.

“We played good small ball play”, Mitchell said, “KCD had a great game.”

KCD (22-5-2) finished with 2 shots, both coming from Lucy Poindexter. They also had two corner kicks. Goalkeeper Megan Read recorded 8 saves.

Sacred Heart tallied ten shots (five each period); four came from Embry Jane Imorde, one from Tori Hill, four from Mattie Tabor, and one from Ashley Young. Goalkeeper Taylor Whitlock had two saves. The Valkyries earned seven corners during the match.

Senior midfielder Mattie Tabor was recognized as the most valuable player in the state tournament. For Mitchell, Tabor’s impact has been huge all season.

“She’s the rock of this team”, Mitchell said. “She had a great tournament”.

Like Hill, Tabor credits the team for her success.

“I definitely couldn’t have done it without my team”, Tabor said.

Losing in the two past two state semifinals to Assumption served as a large motivator for Sacred Heart. “Once we got past that semifinal game…we just had so much momentum from the past two years,” Tabor said.

Sacred Heart finishes the season with a record of 25-1.

“They’re just a special team…they come in every day and work hard”, Mitchell said. T

he one loss came at the hands of undefeated Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, New Jersey. The Valkyries dominated the state and boasted an undefeated campaign against Kentucky opponents.

 

 

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