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Q&A with Samantha Stark of Northfield

By Ron Haggstrom, Star Tribune, 01/18/11, 2:04PM CST


Raiders goalie Stark has her priorities in order

Samantha Stark has been a mainstay in the Northfield hockey program.

The senior goalie has started all but one game for the Raiders since she was an eighth-grader. She has a .927 save percentage and 1.98 goals-against average in her final season for a .500 team. Here is a closer look at Stark:

Best movie I've seen in the past year: "True Grit." That 14- year-old actress [Hailee Steinfeld] is amazing and so witty.

Three songs I never skip on my iPod are ...? "The Boys of Fall" by Kenny Chesney gives me the goose bumps it's so good; "Dynamite" by Taio Cruz gets me pumped up; and lastly would be "Back to December" by Taylor Swift.

Three words my friends or teammates might use to describe me: Shy, smart, talented.

How do you balance school and sports during the year? I think of it this way: When I'm in the class my only priority is school, but once I hit the ice, my only priority is hockey. That principle has gotten me through high school.

Favorite pregame meal: Pasta, preferably penne noodles with red sauce, and garlic bread.

How did you get started in hockey? I got started skating when I was 5 years old. I originally started out as a forward in Rosemount at the U-8 level, but our team needed a long-term goalie, so I decided to hop in. The rest, I guess, is history.

At my first varsity practice, I felt... shaky, and sooo nervous. First of all, I was 12 years old and thought I was too young to join the varsity level. I had just come from Rosemount where I was on the U-12 team. So it was definitely a huge change in pace. Secondly, I didn't know a single soul on that team besides my twin sister, Shelby.

To get focused for competition, I... usually try to visualize myself making saves, like stick saves and glove and blocker saves. I also try to just get myself calm and composed by taking deep breathes and closing my eyes.

What is your most memorable moment as a high school athlete so far? Winning our first section playoff game last year against Austin.

What did you work on in the offseason? I mostly worked on speed and agility. I also worked on hand-eye coordination.

I know I have an edge on an opponent when ...? I make a key save in the beginning of the game. If I do that, it builds my confidence and I know I am focused and prepared for whatever they throw at me.

Do you have a secret talent - and if so, what is it? It's kind of gross, but I can roll my top eye lid up.

Who is your favorite college or pro sports team and why? The Minnesota Wild are my favorite team because they have the best dynamic duo in the NHL in Niklas Backstrom and Jose Theodore. I love watching them play and marvel at the saves they make. They always give their team a chance to win.

What is the best sports advice you ever received? The best sports advice I ever received was from my mom. She always says to me "play your best, and don't worry about what other people think." This has stuck with me all through my high school career.

Samantha Stark

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