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June 24, 2007 — Pennsylvania/New Jersey 6, Midwest 1

VIRGINIA BEACH — For the Pennsylvania/New Jersey High-Performance Center field hockey team, the first half of the of the US Field Hockey National Championship match against the Midwest HPC was a test of the team’s work ethic encapsulated in the word “kaizen,” a Japanese term meaning “continuous improvement.”

Pennsylvania/New Jersey could have found itself doubting its improvement path when Midwest’s April Fronzoni put in a corner rebound in the third minute of play, while being unable to execute on its first seven corners.

But neither the team members nor P/NJ head coach Kristen Holmes-Winn were flummoxed in the least.

“We’ve had enough of a foundation, through our training, that we knew we would be able to come back, pull people out of spaces, and eventually get some easy goals out of it,” Holmes-Winn said.

After drawing level by the interval on a gorgeous high-low corner play between Katie Evans and Team USA’s Angie Loy, Pennsylvania/New Jersey rapped in five second-half goals, the last four in a span of less than six minutes to win the National Championship 6-1.

The win caps a splendid tournament for P/NJ, whose talent level and results compare to the best performances ever by a USA Field Hockey-sanctioned summer-league team.

Penn-Jersey’s eruption came about five minutes after Midwest peppered goalie Linz Markwart, late of Kent State University, with four rapid-fire shots.

“Our goalkeepers did really well in training, and unfortunately, Allison Nemeth got a head cold during the week, so Linz went in there and did a great job,” Holmes-Winn said.

U.S. international Sarah Dawson had goals in the 45th and 60th minutes, while Loy added a 59th-minute tally to her first-half goal. Teen sensations Katie O’Donnell (56th) and Kat Sharkey (62nd) rounded out the scoring.

P/NJ had some of the better young talent in the tournament, with Katie Reinprecht joining O’Donnell and Sharkey in the winning effort.

It must be said, however, that the outcome would not be the same without the efforts of some of the Team USA veterans, particularly captain Tracey Arndt (87 caps).

“With her out there, we could do things we ordinarily couldn’t,” Holmes-Winn said.

MIDWEST 1 0 — 1

PENNA-NJ 1 5 — 6

SCORING

M: April Fronzoni, fg, third minute

PNJ: Angie Loy (Katie Evans), pc, 22nd

PNJ: Sarah Dawson, fg, 45th

PNJ: Katie O’Donnell, fg, 56th

PNJ: Loy, fg, 60th

PNJ: Dawson, fg, 61st

PNJ: Kat Sharkey, fg, 62nd

Shots: M: 10; PNJ: 15.

Saves: M: Barb Weinberg 9; PNJ: Linz Markwart 9.

AWARDS

Outstanding Young Player: Katie O’Donnell, Pennsylvania-New Jersey HPC

Outstanding Goalkeeper: Amy Tran, New England HPC

Leading Goal Scorer: Katie O’Donnell, Pennsylvania-New Jersey HPC

Championship Final Outstanding Player: Angie Loy, Pennsylvania-New Jersey HPC

Championship Tournament Outstanding Player: Kayla Bashore, Midwest HPC

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