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Nov. 18, 2018 — The Final Third, championship edition

Please join us on Facebook Live this afternoon for The Final Third, our live wraparound coverage of the NCAA Division I and III field hockey finals, beginning around 1 p.m. Eastern time. We’ll have context, perspective, and a few things you may not know about these four very different matchups.

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Nov. 17, 2018 — Hershey (Pa.) 2, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 1, OT

POSTGAME Thanks for following along; we will see you on Facebook Live tomorrow

POSTGAME It is what you might expect with two true rivals located four miles apart along Route 322

POSTGAME It was a very even contest, one which saw Kit Olmstead make the key save in the final minutes, but a key yellow card in overtime put Lower Dauphin a player down, and it took less than two minutes for Hershey to shake a player free in the circle

64:37 HERSHEY GOAL Apparently, quite a bit. Kalie Obenstine with the game-winner! Wow! Hershey wins its first PIAA field hockey title 2-1

63:10 Yellow card, Lower Dauphin: Emma O’Neill off for five; how much of a difference will this make in the outcome?

62:16 LDPC Domovich shoots and Olmstead says no

60:00 We are on with extra time

FULL TIME We will have overtime again! Next goal wins!

FULL TIME At the end of regulation, it is 1-1 between these two Mid-Penn Keystone sides

57:33 LDPS Olmstead with the save on Hunter! We play on!

57:30 LDPC A stroke is called on the round-the-horn play; it was the denial of an obvious goal-scoring opportunity with the fouled player having a clear lane to goal

56:40 LDPC Hunter puts it into the mixer; sent away by the Hershey defense

55:20 HPC Sofia Pendolino with the defensive takeaway

54:55 HPC Zimmer tackled; will rerack

52:00 LDPC Olmstead makes two smart saves

50:42 LDPC and GOAL A third effort by Katie Sparks sends the ball over the goal line! Game tied 1-1

50:00 LDPC Lauren Hunter’s shot is raised by the Hershey defense; will rerack

49:20 LDPC Domovich defensed by Zimmer

48:46 LDPC Domovich with the blast; Kit Olmstead says no

48:46 Timeout, Lower Dauphin

41:40 HERSHEY GOAL Zimmer with a neat pass to Held, who slots it home from an angle! Trojans lead 1-0

40:20 HPC Hi-lo to a cutter and the shot is blocked

38:35 Green card, Hershey: Kailey Obenstine off for the push

37:33 Timeout, Hershey

35:45 HPC Zimmer shoots but dangerously

33:40 Domovich blasts wide

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Lower Dauphin and Hershey have had their chances, but only on corners. Zimmer and Domovich are the likeliest to score but their opposing defenses have held

HALFTIME The sides are goalless at the half

25:30 LDPC Wally corner is a pass down low to Sienna Pegram, and the pass is cut out

22:20 LDPC Domovich defensed by Zimmer!

21:10 LDPC Audrey Domovich’s cannon is wide!

17:30 HPC Ashley Arnold runs a hi-lo to the inserter but the pass misses

15:14 Timeout, Lower Dauphin

11:15 HPC Shot saved by LD goalie Brandelynn Heinbaugh

8:15 HPC Maddie Zimmer’s shot is defensed but rolls pass the goalkeeper! Heads-up play by the Lower Dauphin defense to clear!

6:00 Play is in between the 25s

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Lower Dauphin is in the royal blue with white letters, while Hershey is in the white with orange and black letters

PREGAME It’s gotten a bit colder, with the temperatures dipping down to 41

PREGAME Hershey, for its part, has never won a PIAA field hockey title. They have come close on a number of occasions, but this may be the Trojans’ best chance ever. Bri (Davies) Price won a state championship as a player at Palmyra in 2005 as the main provider for teammate Kelly Fitzpatrick’s 66 goals

PREGAME Lower Dauphin has won the state championship on six previous occasions, but has not won since 2013. The Falcons beat last year’s Virginia Class 6A champions, First Colonial, in a preseason friendly, beat PIAA Class A winner Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) in the Falcon Classic, and beat Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) in the District 3 final a scant two weeks ago

PREGAME This is a Route 322 derby match, as the two schools are a scant four miles apart along Governor Road

PREGAME Lower Dauphin is 22-1-1 on the season, Hershey is 18-4-1. These two sides are rivals from the Keystone Division of the Mid-Penn Conference, a division that Hershey won

PREGAME Back now at Whitehall for the final game of the day, the Class AAA final between Hershey (Pa.) and Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.)

Nov. 17, 2018 — Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 1, Palmyra (Pa.) 0, OT

POSTGAME Back in a few minutes with the 3A final

POSTGAME I’ll link to a video of that goal because words fail to describe what is sure to be a legendary play in the annals of PIAA and NFHS play. This is the single most amazing walkoff goal we have seen in 25 years of covering this sport

POSTGAME That is Allessie’s 124th goal of the season, 351st career, and few have been more important than this one

68:59 DONEGAL GOAL Like a cavalier riding on a stallion, Mackenzie Allessie runs majestically from the defensive third into the attack zone through three defenders, dribbles around the goalkeeper and slots it home! Golazo! Indians win 1-0 in an absolute classic!

68:45 PPC Shot stopped by the Donegal defense

66:45 PPC Low shot eaten up by Johns

66:00 PPC Shot saved by Johns!

65:00 PPC Wadas’ shot tipped wide!

62:00 DPC Allessie shoots; Emma Miller tips it just wide!

60:00 And we are on with extra time

FULL TIME We will now play up to two 15-minute periods of golden-goal overtime

FULL TIME The end of regulation sees the sides goalless

59:03 Timeout, Donegal

56:40 Allessie gains the zone and aims a cross that is deflected; fine save by Byrd

55:34 Timeout, Palmyra

53:49 DPC Allessie tries a backhand but the receiver is called for stick obstruction

51:44 Allessie tests the left wing; Wadas tackles and clears!

48:00 Allessie generates a shot which is saved; rebound saved as well!

43:30 DPC Pass to Saunders is raised and called for danger

43:30 Timeout, Donegal

35:00 PPC Wadas’ shot is whistled for being dangerous

30:00 The second half is under way with Palmyra up a player

HALFTIME Both Wadas and Allessie have had their chances, but the defenses and goalkeepers have held

HALFTIME The half ends with the sides goalless

29:52 PPC Wadas misses the trap; half ends

29:03 Yellow card, Donegal; Kiera Baughman is off for five

28:00 DPC Lily Saunders and Allessie with shots; Ashton Byrd says no

19:08 Allessie puts a dipping drive into the cage from the edge of the circle; goal waved off for being outside the circle

16:40 PPC Wadas slams an angled drive that is raised for danger

14:00 PPC Ends on a Palmyra foot

13:15 PPC Sticked away; will re-rack

6:20 DPC Allessie dispossessed by Lauren Wadas!

5:30 DPC Allessie tries the left side and it is tipped over the end line; free-in for Donegal

4:10 DPC Backhander is called back for danger

3:35 DPC Allessie tries to dribble through a double-team and is fouled; will re-rack

2:45 DPC Shot tipped wide by the Palmyra defense; a free-in the result

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Donegal is in the black with green kilts; Palmyra is the white tops with black kilts

PREGAME The teams are warming up in the dusk, temperatures have dropped to around 43

PREGAME These two sides met a scant two weeks ago in the PIAA District 3 final with Donegal beating Palmyra 3-0

PREGAME Both Donegal and Palmyra have won state championships before. Palmyra’s Kent Harshman is looking for his first state title as coach, while Jessica Shellenberger is looking for her second — and last — state championship, as she is leaving coaching after this year

PREGAME The dominant figure in this game — as has been the case the last three years — is Donegal senior attacking midfielder Mackenzie Allessie. Over her four-year career, she has scored or assisted on 486 goals for Donegal. She is the all-time NFHS leading scorer with 350 goals, and has scored a whopping 123 times this season. These are almost Fuchsian records which may not be approached for decades

PREGAME Donegal is 27-1, while Palmyra is 19-5-1 on the season

PREGAME Back now at the Whitehall-Coplay Complex for the PIAA Class AA final between Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) and Palmyra (Pa.)

Nov. 17, 2018 — Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 2, Newport (Pa.) 0

POSTGAME Back in a few minutes with the 2A final

POSTGAME That being said, Wyoming Seminary had the talent, the skills, and the finishing touch around goal

POSTGAME Full marks to Newport for not giving up against an opponent which has been in the finals before; the Buffaloes have improved one game every year since 2016, making it to the quarterfinals two years ago, the semifinals a year ago, and this year’s title match

FULL TIME And that is game; Wyoming Seminary wins the game 2-0

59:55 SEM PC Does not have to be taken; clock runs out

55:20 SEM PC Defensed by Lillie Harris

52:18 Yellow card, Wyoming Seminary: Wesneski is being called for the block tackle, which looked clean. The umpires are handing out cards like speeding tickets at the Indy 500

50:54 Yellow card, Newport: Myers with another stick foul

49:34 Yellow card, Wyoming Seminary: Aubrey Mytych for a stick obstruction

48:35 Yellow card, Newport: Kate Templeton off for a stick obstruction

43:24 Offsetting yellows for Newport’s Abigail Myers and Sem’s Alex Wesneski

42:44 Green card, Wyoming Seminary; Bari Lefkowitz off for two

40:55 SEM PC Defensed by Chloe Smith

39:10 Timeout, Newport

39:10 Sem appears to score again through Maxwell, but third-party is called

38:02 SEM GOAL Maxwell with a 30-yard run up the left wing, took it into the circle, and buried it! Sem leads 2-0

34:35 Green card, Wyoming Seminary; Hannah Maxwell is off for encroachment of the five-yard zone

31:00 SEM PC Hi-lo misses the inserter

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Newport has been effective on the counter and has earned corners against the Blue Knights’ backline

HALFTIME Sem has the goal and the lead, but Newport is giving the six-time state titlists all they can handle

HALFTIME The siren goes with Wyoming Seminary leading Newport 1-0

29:40 Green card, Newport: Rachel Bohn off for the push

25:05 SEM PC Low backhander is saved: rebound is wide!

24:00 NHS PC Defensed and cleared by Alex Wesneski

22:00 SEM PC Option-right is defensed

20:38 Green card, Wyoming Seminary; Julia Christian is off for the rash tackle

19:30 NHS PC Flip shot waffles away by Sem goalie Mia Magnotta

17:13 SEM PS and GOAL Reznick into the low corner; Blue Knights lead 1-0

17:10 SEM PC Ball stopped by Kate Templeton’s body and a penalty stroke is called!

14:00 NHS PC Option-right fizzles out

12:34 SEM PC Shot deflected wide and a long hit the result

9:25 NHS PC Hi-lo defensed by Kelsey Reznick

8:40 NHS PC Abigail Myers’ shot stopped by a Sem foot

7:20 SEM PC Deflection by Hannah Maxwell is well-saved by goalie Allie Harris

2:15 SEM PC Hi-lo is sent over the sideline by the Newport defense

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Newport is wearing navy with white numbers, while Sem is wearing white tops with powder-blue kilts

PREGAME The teams are warming up under gray skies with temperatures around 44 degrees and a breeze

PREGAME Newport, a town of a bit more than 1,500 people in Perry County, is in its first PIAA field hockey final. It looks like half the town is here in Whitehall

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary is a nine-time participant in the state final, winning on six occasions, and is coached by the legendary Karen Klassner. Indeed, it was about 12 years ago when the Blue Knights had two future members of the U.S. women’s national team

PREGAME The story of this game is Wyoming Seminary’s championship-level experience over the last century against Newport’s relative inexperience

PREGAME Newport is 18-6-1 on the season, Sem is 20-2-1

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Allentown Whitehall (Pa.) for the PIAA Class A final between Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) and Newport (Pa.)

BULLETIN: Nov. 17, 2018 — Weather changes the field hockey championship calendar

It was announced today that, because of yesterday’s Nor’easter that dropped a half-foot of snow throughout parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England, a number of changes would be made to the start times and/or sites of some state championship finals.

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Council (CIAC) postponed its three championship games, to be held at Westhersford (Conn.), from Saturday to Sunday.

In addition, the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Tournament of Champions final was moved from Kean University to Mount Holly Rancocas Valley (N.J.).

Tomorrow’s Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) title matches have been moved forward five hours, so that the tripleheader begins at 3 p.m. instead of 10 a.m.

Elsewhere, it is expected that the final of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Coast Section will be held tomorrow after a week’s delay because of wildfires in the greater Bay Area.

Nov. 16, 2018 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Nov. 14

In the last couple of weeks, there was one major statistical accomplishment that we forgot to recognize.

With a two-goal, three-assist effort against Pittsburgh Pine-Richland (Pa.) two Tuesdays ago, Emma DeBerdine, the senior for Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.), becomes the eighth known member of the 100-goal, 100 assist club:

G-A Name School ST Year
148-135* Chantae Miller Williamsville North NY 2003-2008
126-117 Chantae Miller Williamsville North NY 2005-2008
114-108 Alyssa Parker Glenelg MD 2008-2011
200-201 Haley Schleicher Virginia Beach First Colonial Va. 2012-2015
217-134 Meredith Sholder Emmaus PA 2013-2016
350-136 Mackenzie Allessie Mount Joy Donegal PA 2015-2018
104-104 Leah Crouse Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox VA 2014-2017
106-107 Gabby Andretta Summit Oak Knoll NJ 2014-2017
141-103 Emma DeBerdine Millersville Penn Manor PA 2015-2018

*– six-year varsity numbers

This group of players represents, to me, some of the most impressive players in the history of the modern game, recognizing that there are lots of places in the United States that still do not recognize and/or publish assists. All eight of these players were recruited for NCAA Division I play and I think just about every one of them made the U.S. senior or junior national team pool.

So, what you see below is our Statwatch, thanks in part to, amongst others, MaxPreps, Advance Media, PennLive.com, The LNP Media Group, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, PhilaFieldHockey.com, and the Washington Post.

I encourage the use of the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com website to report statistics. It is easy for the average coach, athletic director, or student managers to register for  the MaxPreps.com 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.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
123 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
59 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)
58 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
55 Hope Rose, Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.)
49 Sara Stone, San Diego Westview (Calif.)
48 Lauren Curran, Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.)
48 Peyton Halsey, Reading Exeter (Pa.)
48 Riley Baughman, Emmaus (Pa.)
46 Elle Maransky, Flourtown Mount St. Joseph Academy (Pa.)
45 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
45 Hannah Miller, Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.)
44 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
44 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
44 Abby Asuncion, Sterling Potomac Falls (Va.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
41 Riley Baughman, Emmaus (Pa.)
36 Ellie Decker, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
35 Julianna Kratz, Flourtown Mount St. Joseph Academy (Pa.)
35 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
31 Sarah Beers, Oley (Pa.) Valley
30 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
29 Zoe Snook, Louisville Assumption (Ky.)
28 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
28 Hannah Hartwell, Delsea (N.J.)
28 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
26 Isabella Bressler, Reading Berks Catholic (Pa.)
26 Abby Playle, San Jose Leigh (Calif.)
26 Josie Rossbach, Leesburg Heritage (Va.)
26 India Reed, Louisville duPont Manual (Ky.)
26 Madison Kline, Oley (Pa.) Valley

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, CAREER
350 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
191 Charlotte de Vries, Virginia Beach Cape Henry Academy (Va.) and Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)*
180 Paityn Wirth, Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.)
180 Sammy Popper, Fort Washington Germantown Academy (Pa.)
173 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)**
153 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
141 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
140 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
127 Gabby Bitts, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
126 Raegan Hickey, Greenfield (Mass.)
112 Lily Saunders, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
109 Reagan Bonniwell, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.)
106 Peyton Halsey, Reading Exeter (Pa.)
105 Allison Sabb, Ann Arbor (Mich.) Huron
100 Kenzi Thompson, West Chester (Pa.) East
100 Lauren Curran, Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.)
* — five-year varsity career
** — four-year varsity career

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, CAREER
136 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
103 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
90 Charlotte de Vries, Virginia Beach Cape Henry Academy (Va.) and Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)*
* — five-year varsity career

GAMES UNDEFEATED
110 Los Gatos (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
57 Brattleboro Bellows Falls Union (Vt.)
39 North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)

Given the number of stats I read about each week, this list isn’t perfect. This is where you come in. If you see something missing, feel free to send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment.

Thanks a lot for dropping in, and we’ll see if we can get it right next week.

Nov. 15, 2018 — The perfect storm

Last night, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), the No. 3 team in the TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10, won its semifinal game in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. By the same token, so did Voorhees Eastern (N.J.), the No. 1 team in the Top 10.

With No. 2 Emmaus (Pa.) having fallen 5-3 to Hershey (Pa.) on Tuesday evening, this sets up a dream matchup Friday evening at a patch of artificial grass a scant nine miles west of Lower Manhattan. Tomorrow at Kean University, the Tournament of Champions concludes.

Though these two sides have met nine times with high stakes, this game does not fit the definition of a “rivalry,” since these teams are not guaranteed to meet each other in league play. And even though the No. 1 slot in the TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10 is at stake, this game does not fit the definition of a “National High School Championship,” since the term is trademarked by the National Federation of State High School Associations.

But given the remarkable circumstances surrounding the games these two sides have played over the last 11 years, it is appropriate that this game, the latest chapter in the saga of Who Runs Field Hockey in New Jersey (and, sometimes, nationally), is the climax. Here’s the rundown of the scores:

EASTERN vs. OAK KNOLL
(Eastern leads series 5-3-1)
2007: Oak Knoll 3, Eastern 2 (OT)
2010: Oak Knoll 4, Eastern 2
2013: Eastern 3, Oak Knoll 0
2014: Eastern 3, Oak Knoll 2
2015: Eastern 3, Oak Knoll 1
2016: Eastern 6, Oak Knoll 2
2017: Eastern 2, Oak Knoll 2 (tie)
2017: Oak Knoll 2, Eastern 1 (OT)
2018: Eastern 5, Oak Knoll 3

We saw these two sides only about seven weeks ago on a warm evening at McAleer Stadium. And each member of the fanbase will look at tomorrow’s match through that lens. Viking fans will remember the first 56 minutes of the contest, in which Eastern rolled up a 5-1 lead. But Royals’ supporters will remember the last three minutes, in which Oak Knoll scored a pair of quick goals and forcing an Eastern timeout.

It should be an awesome denouement to the season.

Who you got?