Olivia Hall's journey from goalie to forward
Early one summer morning, Olivia Hall had just rolled out of bed, expecting nothing to change.
But her entire senior season was transformed in one quick phone call.
For three years, Hall had started every single Forbes Road field hockey game as a goalie. But this season, Cardinal coach Carol Cline needed Hall to switch gears.
"We played only one scrimmage when Coach called me the next morning," Hall said. "She asked me what I thought about playing in the field, and I said, 'Let's do it.' Anything to help the team."
Hall started the season as a defender, then moved to midfield and over the past few weeks, she has moved to a starting forward. Hall has literally done it all for Forbes Road this year, except play her natural position.
"I just kind of go wherever I'm needed," Hall said. "Coach says go, and I go."
Cline said, "I needed somebody that could read the field and has the experience. She's just one of those kids that will do whatever I need, and I like that response out of anybody. She is an awesome goalkeeper and always will be, but she sure is responding to what's asked of her and what she needs to do for her team."
Although Hall said being a goalie has actually given her an advantage now that she's in the field, that doesn't mean it's been an easy transition.
"Every game we play, she has grown," Cline said. "She doesn't have the skill finesse that the other seniors have, and rightly so, because her concentration was in goalkeeping. But she's learned. She's smart, and she's a good athlete. She has a gift of how to read the field and know what to do."
Fellow senior Tina Parsons said, "It's been an interesting experience. Liv has always been our goalie, ever since junior high. She's always been very vocal, and now she's just very vocal on the line, so it's actually really helped us out."
In three years the Cardinals' starting goalie, Hall posted a staggering 31 shutouts. She reeled off 10 straight games last season without giving up a goal.
But this season, she's proven she's just as effective in the field.
Despite playing only a handful of games at forward, Hall has 10 goals and six assists, and as of Thursday, she was third in the area in points with 24.
"Honestly, (my team) hits, and I run," Hall said with a laugh. "My teammates are really good at getting me the ball. It ends up that it's a lot of other people shooting, and I just kind of tip them in there on the post."
That probably has a lot to do with her positioning. As a former goalie, Hall said one of the biggest things helping her success as a forward is knowing where to be in certain situations.
"I can read balls pretty well from being a goalkeeper," she said, "and I can see the angles of sticks from taking so many shots."
And the good news is, Hall's cage is in good hands. Sophomore Zoe Cutchall has picked up right where her predecessor left off, and the Cardinals have earned six shutouts in 15 games this season.
"Zoe is doing awesome," Parsons said. "She's crazy flexible - she can just drop into a split out of nowhere; it's awesome. She's doing really good."
But that doesn't mean Hall doesn't miss it at least a little bit.
"I like playing the field," Hall said, "but I'm a goalkeeper at heart."