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Grinding for Goals

Lee field hockey player K.P. Park’s sacrificial play stands out in loss to Woodson.

If anyone questions whether Lee High School field hockey player K.P. Park gave her best effort in the Lancers' 5-1 loss to W.T. Woodson on Sept. 25, the post-game ice bags wrapped around her legs should be proof enough.

"I got hit in two different places," said Park, pointing to the bags surrounding her shins. "The girl hit her stick [on my leg] and then I was hit by the ball [blocking a shot]. Then I pulled my hamstring chasing down the ball."

Park's grinding style of play has been one of the Lancers’ bright spots this season.

Walking gingerly on her legs, but wearing a smile after scoring the Lancers' lone goal in the loss to Woodson, the junior forward said that the cuts and bruises mean it was just another day on the field for her.

"Every game I'm getting banged up," Park said. "I go 100 percent. I just focus on the game and I don't care if I get hurt. I just sacrifice myself for the team."

Park's sacrificial play stood out against Woodson, where the Lancers faced a regional contender brimming with talent. Parents from Woodson clamored about Park's toughness and some even wondered how she's made it through the season without a serious injury.

Assistant Coach Brianna Hoffman said that the team never worries when Park grimaces in pain.

"She's one tough kid," Hoffman said. "When she gets hit in the face or just about anywhere, she always gets right back up."

Park's willingness to endure pain isn't the only skill she brings to the young Lancers' team.

"She's just amazing," Hoffman said. "She brings intensity and she's all over the field for us. She's one of our best defenders and one our best offensive players. She's only a junior so she'll just get even better."

The heart-and-soul Park wasn't the only Lancer to contribute against Woodson.

Sophomore goaltender Laura Geter performed admirably against the powerful Woodson offense. She frustrated co-Northern Region Player of the Year, Shelly Montgomery, by only allowing her to score one goal.

"I just go out and try to do my best in net," Geter said. "I work with my defense and clear the ball as much as I can. It's all just hard work."

Geter is expected to play a large role in the Lancers' future, Hoffman said.

"She's developed well in the last year," Hoffman said. "Last year was her first year in goal for our junior varsity team, and we brought her up for varsity this year. We were expecting her to have a building year, but she's having a great year so far."

Geter's poise in net against Woodson helped the team stump the offensive squad for much of the first half, although the Lancers were unable to hold back Woodson's charge.

Despite letting in a total of five goals, Hoffman said that Geter has shown promise all season.

"[Geter] has great saves, great stick saves and great reflexes," she said. "She's quick to the ball and we're working on her recovery after the first shot. In the next few years, she'll be a big-time player for us."

Like Geter, other teammates are young and still learning, Hoffman said.

"We've got a lot of young players, " she said. "We have a few senior studs we will miss, but we're building up and I hope we can contend in the district next year."