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Olivia Mobley of Breck is the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune , 02/17/20, 5:30PM CST


The Quinnipiac University-bound senior scored 49 goals and 35 assists this season as she leads the Mustangs in their bid for a third consecutive Class 1A title.

Olivia Mobley, who broke former Breck star Grace Zumwinkle's single-season records for goals and points, “still shows up at practice every day like she’s trying to make the team,” Mustangs coach Steve Persian said. Photo: Jerry Holt * jerry.holt@startribune.com

Olivia Mobley’s list of hockey accomplishments includes six varsity seasons, a Division I college commitment, two state championships and two Breck scoring records.

This week Mobley, a senior forward with 150 career goals, leads the Mustangs in pursuit of a third consecutive Class 1A state title. Win or lose, she already holds a place alongside two former Breck standouts. She broke Grace Zumwinkle’s single-season records for goals and points. And capturing two state titles eclipses Milica McMillen, who won one.

But they have something Mobley does not — a gold medal from international competition playing with the U.S. Under-18 national team. Mobley’s chance never came. Not making a national team fueled her rise into a dominant player few high school teams could stop.

An elite power forward, Mobley is the Star Tribune girls’ hockey Metro Player of the Year.

“It definitely lit a fire under me,” Mobley said of the snub. “Those weren’t my best tryouts and I’m aware of that. I was upset and mad at myself for not making it. Going forward, I’m definitely not going to hold anything back.”

With a combined 65 goals as a sophomore and junior, the Quinnipiac University-bound Mobley took another step this season. She surpassed Zumwinkle’s record for goals and points. Mobley brings 49 goals and 35 assists for 84 points into the Mustangs’ Class 1A quarterfinal Wednesday against Luverne.

Olivia Mobley of Breck, Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. Photo: Anthony Souffle, Star Tribune

Mobley called sharing a pedestal with Zumwinkle and McMillen “such an honor because they are great athletes and great people. To come through a program this successful and to leave such a mark on it is really special.”

A special athlete best describes Mobley, who also excelled in track and field. She competed last spring for the first time since middle school and ended the season with all-state honors for placing ninth in discus throw at the state meet.

On the ice, Mobley is lauded by coaches for playing with an edge, her ability to control games as a left wing and her tendency to shine in big games. She has seven hat tricks this season, including a six-goal outburst against Orono.

Mobley’s best asset, Breck hockey coach Steve Persian said, is how she “still shows up at practice every day like she’s trying to make the team.”

“I want to win,” Mobley said. “Every drill, whether it’s a battle against another teammate or a battle against myself, I’m always trying to get better because I want to be the best. It’s the internal drive, like, ‘No one is going to get around me. I’m not going to get beat.’ ”

While Persian considered Mobley’s omission from a national team “absolutely crazy,” he encouraged her to expand her game.

“She can simply overpower some of the people we play against,” he said. “The ability to do that goes away a bit against a higher level of competition. We’ve talked about having more tools, about slowing down more and finding a different path at times.”

“That’s fair,” Mobley said. “I’ll admit that I rely a lot on my size. I’m bigger and faster than a lot of the girls on the ice at this level. Moving forward, I’m definitely going to improve my skills.”

Mobley’s record-setting senior campaign owes to another record-holder, senior center Ally Qualley. Her 53 assists shattered the previous school mark.

This season marked the first full-time pairing of Mobley and Qualley, who committed to Merrimack.

“It’s been awesome,” Mobley said. “We were ecstatic when we got put on the same line. We are best friends off the ice and our chemistry is fantastic. Playing with better players makes you better.”

Breck forward Olivia Mobley (17) looked to pass the puck off as she went down during a game against Wayzata. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

Past Star Tribune Metro Players of the Year

2019: Madeline Wethington, Blake
2018: Gabbie Hughes, Centennial
2017: Grace Zumwinkle, Breck
2016: Presley Norby, Minnetonka
2015: Taylor Williamson, Edina
2014: Sydney Baldwin, Minnetonka
2013: Dani Cameranesi, Blake
2012: Hannah Brandt, Hill-Murray
2011:  Meghan Lorence, Irondale
2010: Bethany Brausen, Roseville
2009: Becky Kortum, Hopkins
2008: Lauren Smith, Holy Angels
2007: Katharine Chute, Blake
2006: Chelsey Jones, Stillwater
2005: Maggie Fisher, South St. Paul
2004: Erica McKenzie, Hastings
2003: Erica McKenzie, Hastings
2002: Ashley Albrecht, South St. Paul
2001: Renee Curtin, Roseville; Jody Horak, Blaine
2000: Krissy Wendell, Park Center
1999: Krissy Wendell, Park Center
1998: Natalie Darwitz, Eagan
1997: Ronda Curtin, Roseville
1996: Winny Brodt, Roseville
1995: Jamie DeGriselles, Apple Valley


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