Village News Reporter
On the field, Fallbrook High School senior Mallory Sehnert concluded her field hockey career Saturday, Nov. 12, in the CIF Division I championship game. The panel of coaches and media members who selected the all-CIF field hockey teams concluded Sehnert's high school career by placing her on the all-CIF first team.
"When I saw my name, I was very excited," Sehnert said.
"The fact that she was accepted to that all-CIF team speaks volumes about her skills and the impression she left on coaches," Fallbrook coach Debbie Berg said.
Canyon Hills High School defeated Torrey Pines High School in the Open Division final. Poway and Scripps Ranch high schools reached that division's semifinal round. San Marcos, Bishop's, Mission Vista and La Jolla high schools were also in the Open Division playoffs. Nine of the 11 all-CIF first team players were on one of the Open Division teams. Valley Center High School, which defeated Fallbrook in the Division I final, had no players on either the first team or the second team.
"All-CIF players generally come from the Open Division," Berg said.
Fallbrook and Mission Vista both had 8-2 Palomar League records to share the league championship. Mission Vista's only all-CIF player was on the second team, however, so Sehnert was the only Palomar League player on the all-CIF first team.
"I felt very shocked at first," Sehnert said.
During the 2022 season, Sehnert scored 25 goals, including three from shootouts and added four assists.
"Mallory Sehnert has made a huge impact not only on our team but our program as a whole. She lives and breathes field hockey," Berg said.
"I don't think that stats really come into play," Sehnert said. "I think it's really just like your impact during the game."
Goals are more often scored by a forward than by someone playing defense. Sehnert played all positions other than goalkeeper for the Warriors.
"When we are playing a powerhouse team, Mallory plays center-back defense. She is the wall. She stops the oncoming attack and quickly begins the counterattack. Mallory also played center forward and high center midfielder for us when our defensive line was strong enough without her. This is where her skills really shined. She can maneuver through most defensive lines and take a shot on goal," Berg said. "She has mastered the aerial pass, 3-D dribbling, reverse chip and strokes."
What Sehnert did when she didn't have the ball or was seeking to prevent an opponent from advancing the ball also impresses Berg.
"Mallory bridges the gap between player and coach and is able to bring the instruction to the players in a way that is understandable. She is very knowledgeable about the game of field hockey as a whole, studies film of the college games and implements what she sees into practice," Berg said.
Sehnert is the youngest of three children, all girls. Taryn Sehnert, who is now Taryn King, graduated from Fallbrook High in 2016. Delana Sehnert graduated from Fallbrook High in 2020. Both of Mallory Sehnert's older sisters also played field hockey for the Warriors.
"They're the ones who introduced me to it," Sehnert said.
Sehnert began playing field hockey in sixth grade.
"When I first started it I just hung on with it," she said.
Berg was Fallbrook's coach for all four of Sehnert's high school years. Sehnert made the varsity as a freshman and also started for the 2019 Warriors, who won the CIF Division II championship. Sehnert played primarily defense in 2019. She was primarily a midfielder as a sophomore before becoming primarily a forward for her junior and senior seasons. Sehnert first earned all-league honors as a junior; she was named to the Palomar League second team. The 2022 Palomar League coaches placed Sehnert on the first team.
"This year I definitely had the mindset," Sehnert said. "I was consistently pushing myself."
Sehnert was also a participant in a team goal.
"At the beginning of the year we set a goal to win league," she said. "To see us get that was a huge honor."
Two playoff victories advanced the Warriors to the CIF final.
"Being able to achieve that was so special," Sehnert said.
The semifinal win was against Cathedral Catholic, and Sehnert considers that to be the highlight of her senior season.
"We lost to them earlier in the season 1-0 and we were not going to go down without a fight that game," she said.
Cathedral's 1-0 victory was Sept. 9. Fallbrook was on the preferred end of the 1-0 score Nov. 10.
"Pushing them to the very end and to beat them, I'll never forget that," Sehnert said.
The CIF final – and the post-season awards – concluded Sehnert's high school field hockey career.
"It's a bittersweet feeling," she said. "It's now over, but I'm excited for what the future brings."
Sehnert is also active in Fallbrook's chapter of the National FFA Organization. FFA has an alumni year provision which allows FFA members to pursue their American FFA degree, and Sehnert will pursue that accomplishment. She will thus stay local and attend either Palomar College or Mira Costa College.
"I will be putting my athletic career on hold," she said.