The last two days in the world of field hockey have been competitive, historic, and, sometimes, controversial. Here are our Top 15 events from over the weekend:
15. Watertown (Mass.) beats Ipswich (Mass.) 3-1 in the title match of the MIAA Division 2 North title game to give the Raiders their 121st straight victory, and extends the team’s unbeaten streak to 181 matches. Watertown is two wins away from an eighth consecutive field hockey state championship.
14. Maryland is taken to within an inch of its life in the NCAA octofinal round against Atlantic-10 champion Massachusetts, a team playing its heart out for interim head coach Amy Robertson. Massacusetts forward Sarah Hawkshaw was able to pop in a shot in the ninth minute, but Maryland pulled its goalkeeper for an 11th outfielder, hammered at the dam, then leveled the match on a Grace Balsdon stroke. The teams played a half-hour of goalless overtime, whereupon Maryland won the penalty shootout 3-0.
13. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) has made winning look easy over the last eight years, but this year’s trip to the NYSPHSAA Class B semifinal and final round were anything but. The Hornets took 1-0 wins over Elma Iroquois (N.Y.) and Garden City (N.Y.) to win its eighth straight state title and extend its unbeaten streak to 93 games, the second-longest active streak in the nation.
12. Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) beats Flourtown Mount St. Joseph Academy (Pa.) in the quarterfinal round of the PIAA Class AA Tournament. The win itself is not the story, but the numbers are. The final score was 10-1, which may well stand as not only the most goals scored, but for the largest margin of victory of any PIAA state tournament game since the tournament began in 1974. The only caveat is that there are no recorded scores available from the 1975 tournament. In addition, Mackenzie Allessie breaks the state record for goals scored with her five-spot, and she breaks the known best mark for a high-school sophomore.
11. In Dubai, the FIH Congress votes to elect Narinder Batra as its new president. Batra is the mastermind behind the Hockey India League, which is the first professional men’s field hockey league, and he has a mandate to execute FIH’s plans to monetize and professionalize the game, its presentation, and its administration.
10. In a game which is a replay of the NCAA Division I final from two years ago, Connecticut’s Charlotte Veitner is able to free herself from coverage and score the overtime game-winner in the 81st minute to give the Huskies a 3-2 win over Syracuse. There will be a new Division I champion this year.
9. Wilmington Tower Hill (Del.) defeated Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 2-0 in the DIAA quarterfinals. It ensures that, for the first time since 2010, there will be a new champion in the state of Delaware; Cape had won the last five titles.
8. The two powerhouses amongst Class 6A schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia, Frank W. Cox and First Colonial, are located about two miles apart in Northeast Virginia Beach. As such, traveling to the state tournament at the former site of the USA Field Hockey National Training Center is a de facto home game. First Colonial has had the better of the rivalry the last few years, including last year’s state final and three meetings in the space of a month. But the fourth went to Cox, and it was the most important. The Falcons won 2-1 on a Leah Crouse goal in the 40th minute, and it was the program’s 19th VHSL state championship.
7. Los Gatos (Calif.), just two days after beating San Jose Archbishop Mitty (Calif.) in a penalty shootout, wins the CIF Central Coast final with a 2-1 win over Mountain View Saint Francis (Calif.). The Wildcats have now gone 71 games in a row without losing.
6. Chesapeake Great Bridge (Va.) is a field hockey program which is literally from the other side of the tracks in South Hampton Roads when it comes to field hockey excellence. But Great Bridge and a number of small schools were given a chance to win a state tournament because of the expansion of the sport in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Against Yorktown Grafton (Va.) in the Class 4A final, the Wildcats were taken into 30 minutes of extra time, and into a double-round of a penalty shootout. It took until the 11th round of the shootout before Peyton Tollaksen was able to score to give Great Bridge a 5-4 win after a 1-1 draw.
5. Drew Pecora of Pennsauken Bishop Eustace (N.J.) scored a goal three minutes into overtime to break a goalless draw with Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) in the final of the NJSIAA Non-Public Tournament. The win keeps Oak Knoll out of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions for the first time in six years.
4. Muhlenberg earns a late penalty corner against host Alvernia in the ECAC Division III Tournament. A flurry of shots are turned aside, but the fourth rebound is sent off the foot of an Alvernia poster, leading to a penalty stroke with the clock at 0:00. Emily Boyle, the Muhls’ inspirational figure, knocks it in off the goalie’s blocker and sends her side to the final.
3. Emmaus (Pa.) forward Kira Koehler is tackled in the circle by the Downington (Pa.) West defense in overtime. Who else do you send to the penalty spot but Meredith Sholder, the second all-time leading scorer in the history of the National Federation? She scores to win the game and the Hornets survive and advance in the PIAA Class AAA Tournament.
2. After surrendering a pair of quick goals late in the second half, the University of Delaware levels the match with its own quick brace, then wins the game on a Greta Nauck goal in the 73rd, sending the Blue Hens to their first NCAA Division I Final Four since 1982.
1. The Princeton Tigers, who got into the NCAA Division I Tournament with an at-large bid, get a dramatic goal from sophomore Sophia Tornetta in the final second of regulation to give them a 3-2 win over Virginia. The play hangs in the balance as the officials huddle to determine whether the ball went into the cage.