Hostetler stands tall in Sea Kings' big win

Presidential campaigns can be draining. The day of the big girls' lacrosse game was here, and Sarah Hostetler was not in the right state of mind.

It was almost a year ago now, but the Corona del Mar High senior goalie still remembers April 27, 2011 pretty well. Earlier in the day, she had to give a speech in her quest to become the school's ASB president.

Hostetler said she didn't feel like she would win the position after the candidates gave their speeches. She felt like it affected her play later in the day. The Sea Kings didn't win their Pacific Coast League showdown at Beckman, as the Patriots took a 20-9 decision that day on their way to yet another Pacific Coast League title.

"I was just such a nervous wreck that day," Hostetler said. "I came out of [my ASB speech] not feeling hot or primed for a game at all. We didn't have a backup goalie at the time, so [Coach Aly Vislocky] couldn't put anyone else in. Yeah, it was really tough. That's a huge regret from my lacrosse season last year."

So motivation definitely wasn't a problem when CdM played Beckman for the first time in league this year. At the end of the warmups, Hostetler told CdM goalie Coach Kara Podesta that she was ready to redeem herself.

"I've been waiting a year to play this game again, and to show them that's not how the CdM goalie plays," Hostetler said.

As it turns out, Hostetler became ASB president after all. At CdM on March 13, she showed Beckman who was boss.

Hostetler shined in goal, making 17 saves. The Sea Kings earned a huge 14-10 victory, beating the juggernaut Patriots for the first time in nearly five years and snapping a nine-match league losing streak to Beckman.

Vislocky said Hostetler played the best game of her varsity career. Now it's CdM (3-0 in league) in the driver's seat in league for the first time in Vislocky's four-year tenure.

Hostetler, the Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week, does not take too much credit. She sees herself as part of a defensive unit — featuring players like Kylie Mulvaney, Ashley Keligian, Meredith Davin and Audrey Doud — that stepped up its collective game as well. Molly Rovzar, who usually plays in the midfield, was a huge help defensively in the Beckman game as well.

It's hard for Hostetler to describe what it was like to beat Beckman. She said it was particularly rewarding because the Sea Kings had to battle back from an 8-5 deficit early in the second half.

CdM gave up three rapid-fire goals to open the second half. Hostetler credits Mulvaney, a junior who gave the defense a pep talk after that. The Sea Kings ended the game on a 9-2 run.

"We regrouped and we all took a deep breath," Hostetler said. "Kylie gives great pep talks ... [Winning the game] felt incredible, especially because last year we kind of gave up in the game. A lot of that was my fault."

This year, give Hostetler credit for helping the Sea Kings, ranked No. 4 in Southern California by laxpower.com, beat No. 5 Beckman in the huge game. She stands just 5-foot-3, but her goaltending has grown in her second year as varsity starter.

On the team she's better known as "Sugg," pronounced like "sugar" minus the last two letters. This was the nickname given to Hostetler by junior varsity head coach Curtis Jordan, because she was sweet enough to step in as goalie when the JV team needed one her sophomore year.

Coming up to the varsity, Hostetler had big shoes to fill. She was replacing Zoe Salaam, a first-team all-league goalie before graduating in 2010. Salaam was the ASB president at CdM her senior year as well.

Hostetler got very serious about the sport. Last year she began working with a private coach, Jon Capristo.

Podesta, the CdM goalie coach and a sophomore goalie herself at Chapman University, said she has seen the strides that Hostetler has made. They have worked a lot on positioning in the cage. Then there is the mental game.

"The thing about being goalie is you just have to have a good attitude," Podesta said. "It's kind of like a force field that spreads throughout the rest of the team. I've noticed that that's become something that's become more prevalent; [Hostetler] keeps a good attitude and stays focused. [That goes to] her defenders, and it just kind of gradually spreads up the field."

Hostetler also is a great leader in other venues than lacrosse, where she has coached at the youth Newport Wedge program.

As ASB president, Hostetler has served as a CdM student representative at Newport Mesa Unified School District board meetings. She is also very involved with her church youth group. On the CdM campus she's part of the International Princess Project club and, last year, she co-founded the Ecoexist club.

"We took the greenhouse at CdM that had been previously unused, and we've transformed it into a working greenhouse," Hostetler said. "It's now a resource for the science department to use whenever they need plants, or to run experiments in a controlled environment.

"It's nerdy, definitely," she added with a laugh.

Her teammates don't mind if Hostetler has a nerdy side. She is a leader as the Sea Kings are working toward their first-ever league title. The second game against Beckman, on April 25, is the regular-season finale.

"We have to keep up this intensity," Hostetler said. "We have to realize that it was fantastic that we won, but we have so much more to do and so much farther to go."

It sounds like the beginnings of a great speech.

matthew.szabo@latimes.com

Twitter: @mjszabo

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Sarah Hostetler

Born: Feb. 1, 1994

Hometown: Newport Beach

Height: 5-foot-3

Sport: Lacrosse

Coach: Aly Vislocky

Favorite food: Homemade pizza

Favorite movie: "13 Going on 30"

Favorite athletic moment: Beating Newport Harbor last year in her first varsity Battle of the Bay game.

Week in review: Hostetler made 17 saves as Corona del Mar beat Beckman, 14-10, the Sea Kings' first victory over the Patriots in nearly five years.

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