Senior Hope Battista led a South River defense that yielded only six goals in the regular season last fall. The All-Metro defender's play and leadership as a center back led the Seahawks to a 16-4 record, including a 1-0 loss to Quince Orchard of Montgomery County in the Class 4A state final that prevented her team from winning a third consecutive state championship. Also a catcher on the school's softball team, Battista is ranked 20th in her senior class of 565 with a 4.13 grade point average and scored 1,890 on the SAT.
Things have gotten tougher in the 4A East region, with 3A state champion Severna Park moving back up to 4A this season to join your team and Broadneck. How do you feel about that?
I think it's going to be a tough one. Everyone definitely looks good this year. Broadneck only lost a few players, and Severna Park is always definitely tough competition. But I feel like we have a strong team with good coaching, and we work as hard, so we have just as good a shot as anyone else.
What are your team's strengths?
We have a strong defense, strong teamwork, and we can score goals. Our midfield does great supporting our offense, and I just feel like overall we work well as a team and that's our best asset."
What are your main responsibilities?
Playing defense, basically. It's keeping the other team out of the goal. I play center back and, hopefully, I'm the last person there and even behind the goalie if I have to be. And I try to talk a lot to the other players and let them know where to be.
How many years have you been on varsity?
I've played all four years on varsity and have started every game.
What do you like the most about South River?
I love South River's teachers, our athletics, the whole scene and the way the kids get along at our school. Our sports support each other. I've had the best four years of my life at South River.
What are your plans for college?
I want to get into sports management, and right now I'm looking at Maryland and Georgetown. My grades are good, and I belong to the National Honor Society.
When you are not playing sports, what do you like to do?
Hang out with my friends, shop, go to the beach - things like that.
What's your favorite book and movie?
Harry Potter is my favorite book and Anchorman the movie.
What's on your iPod?
Mainly rap. That's what I like listening to to get pumped up. Before I work out, I definitely listen to rap, some rock. I also like pop music and pop punk for fun.