Field Hockey: Mollie Estepp is 'glue' behind Thomas Worthington's success
The Thomas Worthington field hockey team has made the state tournament each of Mollie Estepp's first three seasons.
The Cardinals beat Columbus Academy 1-0 for the title in 2017 and lost in semifinals the past two seasons.
Now, the senior midfielder and four-year starter is hoping to conclude her prep career with another trip to state.
“As a player, a person and a leader, she is exceptional,” coach Terri Simonetti Frost said.” She brings energy and dynamics to our team. Other teams might look at that and wish they had that type of player for them leading their team.
“We’re super lucky to have her, and I feel super blessed that she’s been part of the program for four years.”
Simonetti Frost said Estepp, a University of Denver lacrosse commit, was timid as a freshman. Even Estepp admitted to being a “raw athlete.”
But Estepp said she developed as a player, much in part to the coaching and guidance of Simonetti Frost and the support of her teammates.
“Definitely since freshman year, being on a team and having a coach like Terri, the biggest thing I’ve seen improve with myself is my confidence and my mental toughness, which I think comes from a lot of hard work and a lot of hard runs,” Estepp said. “But also having a team that has been supportive of me and let me grow (has been beneficial).”
The Cardinals were 12-1 overall before playing Rocky River Magnificat on Oct. 9 and 7-0 in the COFHL-West Division before playing Upper Arlington on Oct. 12. They also had outscored their opponents 67-5.
As expected, Estepp has played a large role in the success, leading the Cardinals with 17 goals and nine assists.
Bella Avila was second in goals with 13, while adding 14 assists. Cate Isaacson had added eight goals and two assists. Cora Hamilton had a team-best 15 assists to go with two goals, and Tate Beegle had 14 assists and five goals.
Estepp had 12 goals and 23 assists as a junior, six goals and 28 assists as a sophomore and two goals and two assists as a freshman.
Simonetti Frost said it’s not just the production that makes Estepp a special player; it’s her role as the “glue” that holds the team together.
“From freshman year to now, especially last year and this year, she’s like that glue that keeps the team together,” Simonetti Frost said. “You’re in the middle, and you’re putting all the pieces together, Mollie is the center. She’s the centerpiece.
“To help this team do what we did last year … and to do what we’re doing again this year, she’s that glue. When you need her in a clutch, she’s there. When you need her to put that ball in the cage, she scores that goal.”
Estepp said she again has high postseason expectations for the Cardinals.
“Obviously our goal is to always win the state championship. I think that our team has really good chemistry, especially because we didn’t lose any seniors. And we’re only going to grow from last year,” she said. “So I’m really hopeful to make it as far as we can, and I think we have a good chance of making it really far.”