Corri Parsons was the most balanced scoring threat for the Forbes Road Cardinals.
Corri Parsons was the most balanced scoring threat for the Forbes Road Cardinals. (Public Opinion photo illustration/Ryan Blackwell and Markell DeLoatch)
Corri Parsons has been around field hockey her entire life.

Her grandmother, Carol Cline, has been the coach at Forbes Road her entire life, and Parsons has been playing the sport since she was 5 years old.

Parsons said there's one reason she continues to play after all these years - there are countless benefits.

"I like being with my teammates and just the fun you get out of being around everyone and playing the game," Parsons said. "Whenever you score, it's a really good feeling, and you stay in great shape."

After having a superbly successful senior season and leading the Cardinals to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AA playoffs, Parsons is the Public Opinion Field Hockey Player of the Year.

Parsons was the most balanced threat for the Cardinals, finishing the season with 14 goals and 23 assists; she had the second-most assists on the team and the fourth-most goals.

"I can always count on Corri," Cline said. "She reads the field so well, and she is very unselfish. She's constantly looking to pass, and her pass is always right on."

As a midfield leader, Parsons said she has been working on her passing game since starting at the high school level four years ago.

"I would have to say my biggest strength is my passing and finding the open people," Parsons said. "I'm pretty good at communicating and telling everyone where the open girl is. We had a very strong midfield this year, and we were able to create opportunities for each other."

With the triangle of Parsons, Sammie Clippinger and Kiersten Cline in the midfield, Forbes Road was very successful offensively. The Cardinals totaled nearly 100 goals and posted a 15-3-1 overall record. They went undefeated in the Keystone League, and their only losses were to Greencastle-Antrim, Conrad Weiser and Greenwood.

Parsons had hat tricks in both of the Cardinals' games against Belleville Mennonite, and she had three multi-goal games this season. She had as many as four assists in games versus Huntingdon and Belleville Mennonite, and she totaled seven multi-assist games.

As a senior, Parsons was also one of the team captains, and Cline said it was Parsons' ability to communicate both on and off the field that was one of her biggest strengths.

"She plays center middle, so she's like the quarterback," Cline said. "Her communication with the other kids as to who's open and who's where is such an asset to the whole team."

One of Forbes Road's biggest threats was its corner game. Although Parsons is not the quickest player, she is very powerful, which helped the Cardinals dominate their way into the circle, setting up the corners.

This year, Parsons struggled with some back issues, which sometimes made it difficult for her to practice and play, but she said she did all she could to fight through those difficult times.

"Toward the end of the season, it was terrible," Parsons said. "I started to get sharp pains in my back and didn't know if I could play in the postseason. But by then, we had won the district title, and I'd never been in a state playoff before. I felt like I would never get the opportunity to do it again, so I strived to get back."

This determination was yet another reason she was chosen as a team captain.

"She's just always positive," Cline said. "She steps up and does what she's supposed to do. She goes over and beyond to be the better player, so she's a really good example of what you want on your team. She's truly committed and devoted to what she's supposed to do."

Parsons is also a basketball and softball player for Forbes Road, and while she shines in all three sports, Parsons said she might be done with competitive athletics after this year. She is hoping to get into Lebanon Valley College to study physical therapy, and for at least the first year, Parsons said she is going to focus strictly on her education.

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Lizi Arbogast can be reached at 262-4788 or larbogast@publicopinionnews.com.