CHARLOTTE – Myers Park senior attacker Megan Frost is used to being one of the best players nearly every time she steps onto the field hockey field.
Frost, a Stanford field hockey commit and all-region soccer star, is smooth with the ball on her stick, bullish enough to get through defenders and when she fires a shot on goal, it just sounds different as the ball whizzes through the air.
But on Aug. 24, Frost and her unbeaten and defending state private-school champion Mustangs met two-time defending private school champion Charlotte Latin, and the matchup most certainly lived up to the hype.
While Myers Park has Frost and a lot of depth with talented teammates Sarah Perkinson, Kate Hinshaw, Sarah Minges and Caroline Page, who is more of a defender, they are not alone.
The Hawks boast a pair of stars of their own right in midfielder and two-time all-state selection Myah Pease and returning all-state defender Sutton Orndorff who, along with keeper Grace Crutchfield and midfielder Cece Colombo, constantly denied shots from one of the state’s best players and from an offense capable of scoring in bunches.
“Their goalkeeper made a ton of great saves and their back field played really, really strong,” Myers Park coach Erica Adcock said. “It was definitely encouraging to control the play, but we couldn’t get past their defense and capitalize.”
But the Mustangs had their chances.
They were awarded a nearly 15-5 free hits advantage, with Frost often handling the ball on the set pieces by passing or snapping off fast-paced shots of her own.
The Mustangs were able to finally break through midway through the first period when Perkinson scored in a scrum in front of Crutchfield off a pass from Hinshaw.
It was the only score in a 1-0 Mustang win.
Myers Park ended up with 19 shots on goal compared to Latin’s one, so a low-scoring loss isn’t the end of the world for Latin, who went unbeaten the past two seasons but last year graduated seven seniors including all-state players Cecilia Monnin and Caroline Balogh.
“I was very happy with the way they carried out the game plan,” said long-time Charlotte Latin coach Deb Savino. “ That was a great thing. Our plan was to play Megan one-on-one with CeCe. Megan is so good, and we knew we had to do something. When you see her play against different teams, you wonder why they don’t play her differently because she takes over the game if you don’t.
“We held our own. I thought our goalie Grace played a fabulous game. Sutton has committed to Richmond, Myah has committed to Dartmouth and they are great to have back there. CeCe has only been playing field hockey for three years, and she didn’t get a lot of playing time last year, but she’s just so fast and so athletic and did do a great job.”
Savino said her team isn’t quite where it needs to be at 3-2 on the season, but she says it will get there with better finishing and teamwork.
The Mustangs aren’t there yet either. Last season, they went 15-3 and won their second straight title after going 17-2 the year before.
Adcock knows she has a star in Frost, who has stepped up her game and her guidance in her final season.
“Megan has a huge impact on the field every game she plays in,” Adcock said. “She’s always been a leader, but especially as a senior, I love the leadership she brings. She sets the tone of the team in a great way.”
But for Myers Park and Adcock, the win was a milestone as they beat the Hawks for the first time in school history after losing each of the past six meetings including last year’s 4-3, 2-1 and 5-0 defeats.
While it’s big, it’s also a reason to step up even more as the season wears on.
“I think our offense will really just come with time and getting connected to each other and working on timing,” Adcock said. “But this win is historic for our program and gives us a lot of confidence for the rest of our season. It also makes us realize how much work we need to put in every practice and every game, but this is a big confidence booster for sure.”