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Archive for June 8, 2013

June 8, 2013 — PREVIEW: Harrow Cup

This weekend in Philadelphia, a few miles from where Constance Applebee once coached field hockey and taught physical education to generation of college-aged women, a new experiment is taking place.

A post-collegiate field hockey tournament, The Harrow Cup, is taking place on the campus of Temple University. The tournament, played in a pool/crossover format, is being contested amongst eight teams selected by eight designated captains last month. These eight teams are playing for a $10,000 cash prize.

As this league is a clean sheet of paper, it is difficult to discern exactly how a team will come together given limited practice time. In many of these situations in field-invasion games, you have to think that the play of the goalkeepers and the teams’ respective corner defenders will determine in large part how the teams will fare.

Here’s a quick look at the eight teams, each of which are named for a Harrow product:

BOOMERS
Captain/coach: Rachael Bloemeker Milne.
Key players: Amanda Fleichut (M), Danielle Forword (F), Melissa Vassalotti (G), Tatum Dyer (D).
Sidebar: Barbara Whalley (M) graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University, the only player amongst the eight rosters who graduated from a foreign university.
Outlook: The attack could be a concern; Forword can’t do it by herself.

VIPERS
Captain/coach: Liz Sanders.
Key players: Lauren Miller (D), Annie Zinkavich (G), Jessica Javelet (M/F), Elizabeth Stephens (F).
Sidebar: Kristen Holmes-Winn (M/D) is coach of the current NCAA Division I champion Princeton University.
Outlook: There are a lot of moving parts on this team, which could prove a problem to other teams trying to prepare for them.

TEMBOS
Captain/coach: Jesse Gey.
Key players: Courtney Tavener (F/M), Laree Beans (F), Alli Tanner (F), Jen Beaumont (G), Hilary Hartman (F)
Sidebar: Simone Attles (F) is the Sport Development and Marketing Manager at USA Field Hockey.
Outlook: This is an offensively talented team, with Gey heading up the attack. Could make the final on Sunday.

TITANS
Captain/coach: Meredith Long.
Key players: Natalie Dawson Ashman (M/D), Emiiy Beach (D), Alicia Grater (G)
Sidebar: Lindsay McNamara (F/M) and Julia King (M) are both from Division III Bowdoin College, a rarity in this league.
Outlook: This is a team that could surprise people; Dawson Ashman is a U.S. national team veteran who is listed as a defensive midfielder, but made her name as an attacker.

DYNASTY
Captain/coach: Heather Schnepf.
Key players: Barbara Weinberg (G), Pattie Gillern (F), Tiffany Leister Cappellano (D/M), Jen Sciulli (D)
Sidebar: Jimena Moses (M) is a native of Argentina who graduated from George Washington University in 2011.
Outlook: Weinberg may be the best goalkeeper in this competition and could determine the outcome.

MAMBAS
Captain/coach: Sarah Dawson.
Key players: Harrie Tibble (D), Sarah Dalrymple (G), Amie Survilla (F), Meghan Dawson (D), Shaun Banta (F), Allie Scola (F/M)
Sidebar: Danyle Heilig (F/M) coached three of her Mamba teammates as high-schoolers.
Outlook: This is the team to watch. Dalrymple has played excellent hockey in the Women’s National Championship over the years, but has not managed to get a callup for the national team.

NINJAS
Captain/coach: Pam Spuehler.
Key players: Melanie Brill (D), Tina McDavitt (M), Erin Hanshue (G), Dina Rizzo (F/M) Marybeth Freeman (G), Lizzy Peijs (M)
Sidebar: Former UConn star Lindsey Leck (D) plays organized club field hockey in Queensland, Australia, and has traveled some 10,000 miles to play in this tournament.
Outlook: Freeman is not only a goalie, but can act as a second coach on the field. Rizzo has more international caps (133) than anyone else in the competition. The Ninjas could make the final.

TOMAHAWKS
Captain/coach: Jamie (Whitten) Montgomery
Key players: Xan Funk (D), Katie Grant (F), Rhian Jones (M), Tracey Larson Arndt (M/D), Sandra Cook (D), Hayley Rausch (F)
Sidebar: At least three member of the team, notably Arndt, Cook, and Kiley Kulina Strohm, are mothers.
Outlook: With all of the coaching genes and experience in this lineup, this team is as likely to beat you with their brains rather than brawn.