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Senior captain goalkeeper Mia Cost has held things down in the cage for the Valley Regional field hockey team throughout the past couple of seasons. Mia, who has 16 career shutouts in field hockey, is also a goalie for the Warriors’ girls’ lacrosse squad. (Photo courtesy of Mia Cost )
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Mia Cost has turned in some big-time performances as a goalkeeper for the Valley Regional field hockey team. Mia earned the nod as the Warriors’ starting goalie in her junior season last fall, and she’s been a stalwart in the net ever since. Mia has recorded 16 shutouts for Valley between the past two seasons. This year, she’s leading the Warriors as one of their senior captains. During the spring, Mia plays goalie for the Valley girls’ lacrosse team.
Mia takes pride in playing well against her formidable Shoreline Conference opponents. Valley Regional has proved itself as one of top teams in the conference by qualifying for the Shoreline Tournament during each of the past three campaigns. In order to get there, Mia and her teammates have had to beat some of the toughest clubs in the league.
“I think that getting into Shorelines the past three seasons is outstanding,” Mia says. “The team dynamic that we’ve built is great.”
As a senior captain, Mia helps out Valley’s underclass athletes as much as she can. That can be tricky since Mia attends The Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton and doesn’t get to see her teammates until she’s on the field. Regardless, Mia tries to make the most of the time that she spends with her team.
“I definitely have more face-time with the defense, because that’s who I practice with the most,” says Mia, who lives in Deep River. “When I’m not at practice, I don’t get to see anybody in the halls. So, when I’m at practice, I spend time getting to know everyone since I don’t know them as much as the other captains. But I definitely try to make up for it.”
Mia has seven shutouts this year, and she’s quick to credit her defenders for helping her post those zeros. Mia has a variety of tools at her disposal when it comes to stopping shots, although she tends to rely on her feet to kick the ball out of harm’s way.
“I can’t get all the credit. Without my team, the score would be much different,” Mia says. “In our league, I don’t get a lot of chip shots or aerials. I mostly end up making saves with my feet. I also have a really good clear when getting the ball out of the circle.”
Mia believes that much of her success stems from her mental preparation. Prior to each game, Mia takes some time to remind herself about her what mission is on the field.
“Before every game, I stand at the top of the circle and look at the goal. It reminds me: This is my cage. This is my home. This is what I defend,” Mia says. “If we’re going into a hard game, I will visualize different shots, and what I’m going to do to save them. Visualization reminds me I can stop those shots.”
Head Coach Beth McCabe-Powers has seen Mia’s skills improve with each passing season. She says that Mia has been putting forth some of the best showings of her career as the 2018 campaign has wore on.
“I’m very proud of Mia’s hard work this season. Her outstanding play has been a big part of the success of our team,” says McCabe Powers. “Her three shutouts in our last three regular-season games helped secure our home game for the State Tournament. Mia also had a great game in our Shoreline Tournament loss against North Branford, with many stellar saves. It was her most outstanding work of the season.”
This spring, Mia will play her second season as a goalie for the Valley Regional girls’ lacrosse team. While the position is the same in name, Mia had to adapt to some key differences when she stepped into the net for lacrosse.
“When I started last year, I thought it would be similar, but I was shocked with how different it is. The players are more in control of the pace. They can slow it down much easier than in field hockey,” she says. “I end up with a bunch more bruises in lacrosse, but I don’t mind them. They’re each like little trophies.”
Part of Mia’s love of field hockey developed from her family’s connection to the sport. Mia’s mother Shannon played field hockey at Haddam-Killingworth High School for legendary coach Patsy Kamercia, who passed away in November of last year. Mia’s brother Ethan also helped introduce her to field hockey after one of his friends decided to give it a try.
“When I was in 8th grade, there was a senior at Valley who was friends with my older brother. She gave me some information and, after I tried it, I fell in love with the sport,” says Mia. “My mom played with H-K, and she played for Patsy Kamercia. She had a big impact on my mom and, when she passed away, it had a big effect on everyone in the field hockey community.”
Off the field, Mia is driven to do volunteer work because of her cousin Ewan, who has the same form of leukemia that Kamercia had. Mia decided to take action by raising awareness for the need of bone marrow donors to help combat the disease.
“A couple of years ago, my cousin got a rare form of leukemia. He was five at the time. It’s rare in children,” Mia says. “I hosted two bone marrow drives with Be the Match, which is the national bone marrow registry. I helped get people to join the registry.”
Mia would like to play field hockey at the collegiate level if the opportunity presents itself. As she looks toward her future, Mia is thinking about a going into a career that centers around protecting the environment, specifically through public policy.
“If I go to a school with a field hockey team, I will try to play. I’m not applying to school specifically for field hockey. If there is an opportunity, I will definitely do it, because I love the sport,” says Mia. “A passion of mine is environmental sustainability. At my school, I was exposed to the maritime culture. I’d like to join the Coast Guard Academy, because they are ‘Stewards of the Ocean.’ That’s the wording they use. I like environmental science. I want to do something with environmental policy.”
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