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MATT MASIN , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Foothill senior Hannah Upshaw is the Register's Orange County girls lacrosse player of the year.

Girls lacrosse player of the year: Foothill's Hannah Upshaw

STAFF WRITER

Playing in goal wasn’t always the desired position for Hannah Upshaw, but she knew where she wanted to be.

Foothill’s senior goalie started playing lacrosse in the fourth grade after watching her older brother, Michael, play for Foothill.

“I started playing goalie in the fifth grade,” Upshaw said. “I wanted to wear gear, I really wasn’t into the skirt thing.”

Fast forward several years, and Upshaw is still in goal. She led Foothill to Orange County and Southern Section titles last year and a berth in the O.C. championship gane this year. For her stellar play and leadership, Upshaw has been selected the Register’s Orange County girls lacrosse player of the year.

This season didn’t go as well as Upshaw and the Knights would have liked, but the experience she gained will serve her well at the next level.

“Last season we won almost every game,” she said. “This season was very different from that. You take away different things from every season. You learn how to win, you learn how to lose and you learn from losses, but overall it has been a really good experience.

“I’ve been coached by great coaches, and I think I’ve had a positive experience, so definitely no complaints.”

Upshaw is ready to take the next step in her career; she heads to USC next fall. She also received interest from Princeton and Dartmouth, but she committed to USC before her first varsity season.

“USC showed the most interest and the coaching was a big factor for me,” she said. “And working with (coach) Lindsey Munday is insane and I knew I wanted to part of a growing program. When I committed, they were a top-40 program and now they’re top five, so that part is really intriguing for me.”

Upshaw, a team captain this season, anchored a young defense. She saved 60 percent of shots she faced and allowed six goals a game.

“This season, I felt like I was looking at my play a lot more, trying to learn from it,” she said. “I became a lot more confident in goal, and for me that’s made all of the difference. My confidence and trying to learn from my mistakes and understanding that every game there’s going to need to be improvements and that help me.

“It is always kind of the goalie’s job to lead the defense, but this year, I really felt more of a role in doing so, and I felt like I had the respect of my defense lot more.”

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ALL-COUNTY GIRLS LACROSSE

Contact the writer: dcalhoun@ocregister.com


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