Dec. 1, 2015 — A look ahead to awards season

With the end of the U.S. domestic field hockey season, we follow the advice of the late field hockey writer Jim Davis: “move this stuff inside.” Here’s what we’re planning for our end-of-the-year coverage:

Dec. 4: Region of the Year
Dec. 8: United States Coach of the Year: The Nominees
Dec. 11: The State of Hockey 2014
Dec. 15: The Final Top 50
Dec. 18: Games of the Year
Dec. 22: The Final Statwatch for 2014
Dec. 25: Your national scoring champion
Dec. 29: United States Coach of the Year

Nov. 29, 2015 — An old problem

Today, it was announced that Rutgers University was replacing head football coach Kyle Flood was going to lose his job after a 4-8 season.

But what was unusual about today’s announcements coming from the state university of New Jersey was the fact that Rutgers athletic director Julie Hermann, the leader of the entire athletics department, would be fired immediately.

Not at the end of the school year, not on the anniversary of her contract, but immediately.

Hermann had a lot of baggage coming from her time as the volleyball coach at the University of Tennessee as well as an athletic administrator at the University of Louisville.

That undermined her, especially when it came to dealing with the school’s football team. Failed drug tests, allegations of bullying, and crimes committed by football players hit the front pages.

The firing of Hermann is going to do very little, unfortunately, to make athletic departments around the country hire more women. She was only one of five female athletic directors around the Football Bowl Subdivision when she was hired three years ago.

But the timing of the announcement — right after football season — also does little to dispel the notion that football and men’s basketball teams are more important than the people who are supposed to have oversight over them.

As such, the events of today should be the call to arms for those looking to reform, revamp, and control American intercollegiate sports.

Nov. 28, 2015 — A new product

Some of you may have read that there is going to be a professional women’s lacrosse league starting up next spring, backed by STX, the lacrosse equipment manufacturer.

There have been drips and drabs of information coming out over the last few weeks, but there have been some bits of published information already about the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX).

The league will run for eight weeks from the end of the Division I Final Four through July.

The league commissioner is going to be U.S. Lacrosse Hall-of-Famer Michelle DeJuliis. We don’t know exactly how much she will be involved in day-to-day decisionmaking or whether she will be the person with the long-term strategic vision that any new league is going to need. She is, however, a pretty good person to get behind any effort to professionalize women’s lacrosse in the U.S.

The league’s footprint will begin in the northeast United States: Boston, Long Island, Philadelphia, and Baltimore are the first four announced teams. No colors or nicknames yet, but I find it interesting that the four announced cities have exactly one STX-affiliated team (Johns Hopkins) in their city limits.

Were I on the league’s planning committee, I would start small and grow into something larger. For Baltimore, I’d start with the Ridley Family Complex at Loyola (seats 6,000) or Homewood Field (8,500) before considering Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in Annapolis (34,000). The Long Island team would do much better at Motamed Field at Adelphi University (2,000) as opposed to Mitchel Field (13,500). For Boston, I’d suggest Cawley Stadium in Lowell (6,700) where the Boston Cannons began their existence, before moving on to either Nickerson Field (10,000), or Harvard Stadium (34,000). In Philadelphia, I know the league would love to move into current NCAA Final Four site PPL Park in Chester (21,000), but the smart money says Farrell Stadium in West Chester (7,500).

As for the league’s sustainability? Well, a lot of that is up in the air. There will be 20 players five members of the front-office staff for each team. The league is being run by a foundation called Play It Forward, which is run by Digit Murphy and Aronda Kirby. They had been with the professional women’s ice hockey team, the Boston Blades, as head coach and general manager, but were forced out by the Canadian Women’s Hockey League for undisclosed reasons.

Murphy, a tireless champion of women’s sports for decades, is looking to create an amalgamation of models. She and Kirby are looking to take from the NWSL, the WNBA, and the United Soccer Leagues in order to be able to create a low-cost league that will eventually be able to drum up sponsors and fund a roster of players.

“We want to be more sustainable and do more community outreach,” Murphy tells Lacrosse Magazine. “This is about owning the sport.”

We also don’t know to what degree rules changes, over and above those already agreed to for the college games, will be in place.

I think the most controversial question is going to be whether STX, as a league sponsor, will push the idea of mandatory headwear similar to what was saddled on Florida a year ago. But I guess those details will start coming out around the time of the U.S. Lacrosse convention in January, and throughout the 2016 domestic season.

Nov. 27, 2015 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Nov. 21

Happy Friday, folks.

The year in field hockey numbers has seen all manner of individual and team marks that have been made during the season. From early September, when Susan Butz-Stavin broke the all-time record for field hockey coaching wins to the final Saturday of the season, when Megan Rodgers of San Diego Serra became the sixth player this year to score 60 goals, it was a year full of great performances.

I think the one that cannot be overstated, however, is the fact that Watertown (Mass.) gave up one goal this season, one year after going through the season shutting out every opponent. In total, the Raiders have posted 46 shutouts in their last 47 games, which is a truly remarkable stretch of play.

Below are statistics reflecting games through the end of play last weekend. This means that it is entirely possible you might see something different in the column to the right, since Daily Statwatch gets updated continuously. I encourage readers to contact their coaches, athletic directors, and student managers so that they may register for and use the platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams as well as perhaps your conference, league, or your state governing body to enter field hockey information there, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

Here’s what we’ve compiled thus far, thanks to, amongst others,, Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch,, The Washington Post, The Reading Eagle, Newsday,, and The Ann Arbor News:

69 Nikki Santore, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
67 Bree Bednarski, Exeter Wyoming Area (Pa.)
64 Meredith Sholder, Emmaus (Pa.)
61 Haley Schleicher, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
60 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
60 Megan Rodgers, San Diego Serra (Calif.)
51 Kathryn Roncoroni, Glen Gardner Voorhees (N.J.)
51 Jessica Welch, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
49 Erin Matson, Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.)
49 Julianna Tornetta, Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.)
48 Emily Surgent, Wall (N.J.) Township
47 Kelee LePage, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
46 Dana Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
46 Lily Croddick, Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)

50 Haley Schleicher, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
43 Brianna Muniz, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
41 Meredith Sholder, Emmaus (Pa.)
36 Nikki Santore, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
35 Riley Dolan, Drexel Hill Bonner Prendergast Catholic (Pa.)
32 Julianne Malgano, Newtown Council Rock North (Pa.)
29 Emily Surgent, Wall (N.J.) Township
29 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
28 Emily Wanko, Exeter Wyoming Area (Pa.)
28 Ally Mastroianni, Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.)
28 Madison Morano, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
27 Gabby Andretta, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
27 Lia Sinisi, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
26 Mackenzie Keegan, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
26 Rialee Allen, Ocean City (N.J.)
26 Kelsey Keener, Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.)
25 Dani Profita, Washington Warren Hills (N.J.)
25 Dana Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
25 Riley Taylor, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
25 Mallory Fortenbaugh, Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.)

200 Haley Schleicher, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
159 Jessica Welch, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
159 Meredith Sholder, Emmaus (Pa.)
141 Kathryn Roncoroni, Glen Gardner Voorhees (N.J.)
137 Alyssa Curtis, Camden (N.Y.)
130 Madison Maguire, Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
127 Bree Bednarski, Exeter Wyoming Area (Pa.)
127 Nikki Santore, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
118 Bridget Condie, St. Louis Mary Institute-Country Day School (Mo.)
113 Samantha Scire, Wall (N.J.) Township
103 Dana Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
101 Ally Parker, Orange Ralph C. Mahar (Mass.)

200 Haley Schleicher, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
90 Meredith Sholder, Emmaus (Pa.)
89 Bridget Condie, St. Louis Mary Institute-Country Day School (Mo.)
83 Dana Bozek, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
79 Madison Morano, Voorhees Eastern (N,J.)
74 Nikki Santore, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
66 Brianna Muniz, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
61 Alyssa Curtis, Camden (N.Y.)
61 Emily Surgent, Wall (N.J.) Township

235 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
214 Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
175 Emmaus (Pa.)
172 West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
170 Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
167 San Diego Serra (Calif.)
154 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
152 Houston St. John’s (Tex)
148 Pittsburgh Fox Chapel (Pa.)

1 Watertown (Mass.)

160 Watertown (Mass.)
133 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 
73 Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.)
71 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
70 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)
54 Los Gatos (Calif.)

100 Watertown (Mass.) 
76 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 
71 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)

865 Susan Butz-Stavin, Emmaus (Pa.)
755 Linda Krieser, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.)
680 Cheryl Poore, Harwich Monomoy Regional (Mass.)
621 Karen Klassner, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
609 Wendy Martin, Louisville Collegiate (Ky.)
600 Matt Soto, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
596 Eileen Donahue, Watertown (Mass.)

This is the last of our Friday Statwatches. If you see something we should include for the Final Statwatch in December, send us an email at Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment. Thanks for reading this feature every week.

Nov. 26, 2015 — A lower-key holiday

Today is the first Thanksgiving we’re celebrating without my parents.

I’m currently typing this blog entry in the spot where Papa was a year ago. He was still in the walker, but it was only a couple of weeks before he moved to the wheelchair, and only two months later, he passed away.

Our family is spread out this year from New York to California, and I’m spending this year with my brother. We’re now the generation who has to handle things like running errands, making the biscuits, and hosting guests.

The smells are a bit different this morning than they were in Mississippi. A lot of it comes from the fact that we’re all eating differently from what we did then. It also helps that we have a heart patient in the house.

This afternoon, we’ll have an event outdoors with the temperature around 60 degrees; an amazing contrast to last year, when there were several inches of snow on the ground.

It’s a different Thanksgiving, to be sure. But it’s ours.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Nov. 25, 2015 — A prominent addition to Division III

The Capital Athletic Conference, which already has a number of prominent field hockey and lacrosse participants such as Christopher Newport and Salisbury, is about to get a whole new name.

Penn State.

No, the Division I university isn’t about to pack its tent and move down to Division III. Instead, Penn State’s Harrisburg campus (one of its 23 satellite campuses) is planning a major infrastructure upgrade in the next three years, building two facilities for soccer, lacrosse, track, and field hockey.

In field hockey and lacrosse terms, this is a significant addition. The location of the university bridges the gap between Eastern and Western Pennsylvania and can help add both field hockey and lacrosse in PIAA District’s 5, 6, and 9, which collectively have only one or two schools that play either sport.

But I also think that the addition of Penn State Harrisburg in both field hockey and lacrosse will affect the State College campus. Penn State has what is called a 2+2 system, where students in good standing may transfer campuses between sophomore and junior years.

I can foresee a time when a Penn State Harrisburg student-athlete, who just happens to be a pretty good field hockey or women’s lacrosse player, will use her experiences with the Harrisburg team to walk on to the Division I team at State College if her course of study requires her to transfer campuses.

But I also think Penn State Harrisburg is going to be a well-run team with immediate championship aspirations. It’s a name school which has excellent field hockey and lacrosse traditions at Division I. Watch for them in a few years.

Nov. 24, 2015 — Top 10 for the week of Nov. 22

With the scholastic field hockey season coming to thrilling conclusions in five states and the New England prep schools last week, here’s the last of our weekly quick-and-dirty Top 10s of the year. This list forms the basis of our well-researched Top 50 which is coming out next month. As usual, we’re not guaranteeing that the Top 10 in that list will be in the same order as you’ll find here.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is the University of North Carolina club hockey team, which won its second consecutive National Field Hockey League championship tournament this past weekend in Virginia Beach.

1. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 27-0

Season complete: Vikings won Tournament of Champions with a 5-0 win over Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), their fourth win in seven days; senior Nikki Santore led the nation with 69 goals

2. Emmaus (Pa.) 27-0

Season complete: Bested Palmyra (Pa.) 1-0 in overtime of the PIAA Class AAA final; junior Meredith Sholder exceeded state record with her 159th career goal

3. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 21-0

Season complete: Defeated Garden City (N.Y.) 4-1 to win its seventh straight state championship in NYSPHSAA Class B

4. Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 25-0

Season complete: Shut out Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) 4-0 in Saturday’s PAISAA final

5. Watertown (Mass.) 21-0

Season complete: Raiders beat Auburn (Mass.) 6-0 to win seventh straight MIAA Division 2 championship; winning streak now at 100 games and team has shut out 46 out of their last 47 opponents

6. Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.) 27-2

Season complete: Raiders beat Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) 3-1 to win Class AA title

7. Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) 21-2

Season complete: Patriots beat Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) 6-2 to win VHSL Class 6A title; senior Haley Schleicher finished with exactly 200 goals and 200 assists for her career

8. Palmyra (Pa.) 25-3

Season complete: Cougars played Emmaus to within an inch of its life in PIAA Class AAA title match

9. San Diego Serra (Calif.) 26-1

Season complete: Conquistadores beat San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) 3-0 in CIF San Diego Open Division final; Megan Rodgers (60 goals) scored in 25 straight matches

10. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 24-2

Season complete: NJSIAA Non-Public state champions survived an overtime match with Madison (N.J.) Borough before confronting Eastern in the Tournament of Champions final

11. North Carolina Club Field Hockey 13-0-1

Came back from a draw in its opening pool match with Virginia Tech to sweep their last five matches

Who’s out: Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.), 2-1 loss to Emmaus (Pa.); Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.), 1-0 loss to Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.); Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 4-3 loss to Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.)

And bear in mind: San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) 24-3, San Diego Scripps Ranch (Calif.) 22-4, Los Gatos (Calif.) 18-0, Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.) 17-0-1, Wilton (Conn.) 18-5, Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 19-0, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.) 24-5, Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 22-6-1, York (Maine) 17-0, Skowhegan (Maine) Area 15-2, Pittsfield Maine Central Institute (Maine) 14-4, Severn Archbishop Spalding (Md.) 18-0-1, Pocomoke (Md.) 16-3, Bel Air (Md.) 10-7, Severna Park (Md.) 11-6-1, Parkton Hereford (Md.) 17-2-1, Acton-Boxborough (Mass.) 23-0, Andover Phillips Academy (Mass.) 15-2-2, Ann Arbor Pioneer (Mich.) 16-2, St. Louis Mary Institute-Country Day School (Mo.) 21-4-3, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.) 21-2-2, Hampton Winnacunnett (N.H.) 15-1-1, Lebanon (N.H.) 16-1, Berlin (N.H.) 18-1, Washington Warren Hills (N.J.) 22-3-1, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.) 22-5, Madison (N.J.) Borough 21-3, East Chapel Hill (N.C.) 20-2, Charlotte (N.C.) Latin 14-3, Worthington Thomas Worthington (Ohio) 19-0-1, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 27-1, Stroudsburg (Pa.) 21-4, North Kingstown (R.I.) 14-6-1, Cumberland (R.I.) 19-0, Houston Kincaid School (Tex.) 18-5-2, Houston St. John’s (Tex.) 21-1, Brandon Otter Valley Union (Vt.) 10-2-3, Westminster Bellows Falls Union (Vt.) 13-2-2, South Burlington (Vt.) 13-3-1, Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.) 23-1, Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) 20-3, Yorktown Tabb (Va.) 22-1, Gloucester (Va.) 23-0, Hartland Arrowhead (Wisc.) 


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