HUDSON — If her teammate is lurking behind the net with nowhere to go, she suddenly appears to bail her out.
When the opponent has the ball and is poised to put it in the goal, she magically comes out of nowhere to completely destroy the possession.
If a ball is rolling harmlessly on the turf, she’ll effortlessly scoop it up before anyone else.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sarah Hinkle, the tireless junior midfielder on the Hudson girls lacrosse team who has a knack for those “How did she do that?” moments.
“You don’t know where she comes from, but she’s everywhere on the field,” Explorers’ first-year head coach Kyra Maludy said.
She certainly was Friday.
As a result, Hudson is one step away from playing for a regional championship.
The top-seeded Explorers cruised to an 18-3 victory over Avon Lake in a Division I, Region 2 quarterfinal match at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Hudson (13-3) is scheduled to host Avon in a Region 2 semifinal contest Monday.
As usual, Hinkle was her do-it-all-self against the Shoremen.
She scored a match-high six goals and added an assist. She also scooped up a team-high eight groundballs, won four of five draws, had two takeaways and caught her opponents off-guard by constantly getting in their faces on the defensive end.
Hinkle was particularly pleased with her team’s ability to thwart Avon Lake’s offense, which did not score a single goal after halftime.
“I think, overall, we had a really good game across the whole field,” Hinkle said. “We’ve really been working on crashing because our weakness is girls coming straight in and crashing hard. I thought we did a really good job of that because they had some strong players.”
Hinkle, a three-sport standout who also plays basketball and golf, has been the model two-way player for the Explorers due to her nonstop motor.
Seeing Hinkle attack the opponents’ goal with relentless ferocity and then run full speed to defend her cage shouldn’t be too surprising.
Hinkle is a former cross country runner, who, apparently, has machines for lungs.
“She has unlimited steam,” Maludy said. “She’s awesome. She’s crucial on draws, on attack and in the midfield. She has a great ability to cause turnovers. Her shot placement is looking so great.”
Since she can run like a deer, Hinkle probably has more stamina then most of the population. Oddly enough, her teammates rely on Hinkle to … slow them down.
“I like playing both [offense and defense],” Hinkle said. “I like playing offense better because I feel I settle the offense down. Sometimes, we get too flustered. It’s good to have someone to give everyone a chance to catch their breath.”
Hinkle, who helped the Explorers reach the state semifinals last season, would like nothing more than to see her team make a similar run to the finish line this spring.
So far, so good.
“I feel we had a really good win,” Hinkle said. “A lot of people were going in and playing different positions, which was good because we’re more comfortable with the ball.”
If Hudson finds its “comfort” zone and advances to the state title match for the first time in school history, a certain unabating midfielder will play a pivotal role.
“She’s just a smart and athletic girl,” Maludy said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.