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Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 28, 2014 — Clearing off the desktop

I’ve gotten used to the concept of “idea clutter,” where I’ll hold off on commenting on something I notice until I get more context and perspective. But there’s been so much going on, I decided to empty some of the scraps here.

* Up until the end of the 2012 season, the most goals anyone had ever scored in scholastic field hockey was 174. It’s entirely possible that four players may exceed that mark by the end of the 2016 season.

* You see all of these corporate-sponsored bowl games, and these special football uniforms that seemingly change every week? That’s money and effort not being used for other collegiate sports.

* I don’t have a lot of in-depth reporting from fall-ball, but I did notice that the Northwestern alumnae vs. varsity game finished with a final score of 27-26. Don’t know whether that means the current Wildcats are going to be a run-and-gun team or whether the coaching staff will try to stifle other teams by taking the air out of the ball.

* If they do, they may give the ball to Corinne Wessels, the greatest assister in the history of the National Federation. During fall-ball, she was already being referred to as an impact freshman. She was given the jersey 00 (her father’s number at Air Force), even though the number 00 is going to be illegal under U.S. Lacrosse rules in a few years. Tells me the coaching staff at Northwestern knows it has a keeper.

* Austyn Cuneo is likely to be a similar impact player next fall at North Carolina, given the fact that she up and crushed the old National Federation record for goals, plus led Pan American Hockey Federation Youth Olympic qualifying in goals for the United States.

* For a handful of other high-school seniors, there are others who are going to be entering college early. This year’s crop includes Olivia Reiter, matriculating from Severna Park (Md.) to the University of Maryland for spring hockey. But that’s nothing compared to what Elise Wong is doing. She is a junior with Lake Forest (Ill.) who is entering Princeton University a year early.

* As I was watching the PIAA Class AAA semifinal match between Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) and Warrington Central Bucks South (Pa.), I made a notation in the play-by-play which I’m just circling back to. Six weeks later, I’m still amazed that both of these teams made the state semifinal, in the state with the most field hockey programs, with fewer available subs than are available in Test matches.

* But I also wonder if the move of girls’ soccer to the fall in Pennsylvania has begun to enervate a lot of once-proud field hockey programs in terms of available athletes.

* This coming spring should be the continuation of a golden age for women’s lacrosse in NCAA Division I.  There is a good spread of talent all over the country, and not just concentrated in a couple of elite teams. I think as many as seven teams can win the trophy at the end of the season.

* That is, if both players and fans can survive that long; it’s ridiculous that the earliest scheduled games are on February 1st.

* There have been rumblings that the NBA has been planning to put corporate advertising on its tops like soccer jerseys. They may justify it by the fact that a number of WNBA and NBDL teams already have uniform ads on them, but the fact is that splashing multiple ads on basketball uniforms really take the soul out of them; there are, for example, two massive shoebox-size ads on the front of the Washington Mystics top with a little team logo relegated to the upper chest.

* As well as the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association runs its field hockey competition, it has fallen short in one respect. Cohen Field, on the campus of Rider University in Lawrenceville, is a bandbox of a field hockey facility located behind the old gymnasium. The venue, however, does not have enough seating, amenities, or bathrooms. I’m hoping that the university will make upgrades soon to make it truly a championship-level destination.

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