Despite an early exit from the PIAA playoffs, Forbes Road's senior Kiersten Cline will have the opportunity to continue her field hockey career past high school.

But with a bit more competition.

She will leave the comfort of her Forbes Road family to join the 41,000 students at Kent State University, where Cline has officially signed to play at the Division I program on a partial athletic scholarship.

"I'm definitely glad that I got to play my four years of high school at Forbes Road," Cline said. "One good thing about coming out of a school is that it's so small, you're like a family."

Cline said Kent State had a similar "family atmosphere" surrounding its field hockey program, which enticed her to join the Golden Eagles.

"When I went for my unofficial visit everyone was really funny, and I liked the mentality of the coaches," Cline said. "Their hockey team is like a family; that's what made me want to go there."

As a four-year varsity starter for the Cardinals, Cline as racked up 58 goals and 75 assists, despite missing a majority of the season her junior year. With 27 goals and 23 assists just in her senior season, Cline is ranked second in the area leaders with 77 points.

Cline came across Kent State's radar while playing for East Coast Field Hockey, and again during Forbes Road's appearance in the PIAA Class AA quarterfinals against Oley Valley last year.

"I love when the kid's passion for the sport takes them there," Forbes Road coach Carol Cline said. "I'm so glad she could do that and kept her thumb on everything and made herself better so she could play at that level."

Kiersten said Cline has offered advice on the transition to college field hockey, especially having to be a little fish in a big pond.

"Coach has given me a lot of perspective as to how its going to be," Kiersten said. "I'm really looking forward to it, it's going to be a little nerve wracking moving out there, but I think I will adjust well."

Kiersten joins a list of Forbes Road field hockey alumni, coached under Cline, who moved on to play at college. There have been so many, in fact, that after 38 years, Cline can't remember them all.

"Kent State is not that big, and they're still Division I," Cline said. "They have a respectable team, and it is a good fit for her."

Mercersburg sends three to Division I >> A trio of Mercersburg Academy student-athletes committed to play at the NCAA's highest level.

Jake Artz committed to St. Joseph's to play baseball, Molly Taylor has committed to Loyola University (Md.) to play women's basketball, and Kate Hastings signed with the rowing team at the University of Virginia. 

Hastings is currently the No. 1-ranked triathlete nationally in the 17-18 age group.

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