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Archive for November 8, 2017

Nov. 8, 2017 — A rare opportunity

The field hockey team from Wexford North Allegheny (Pa.) had driven 225 miles to Spartan Stadium at Hershey Milton Hershey School (Pa.) to play Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) yesterday in the first round of the PIAA Class AA Tournament.

Only the two teams found the stadium floor strewn with globules of snow and water and ice. It proved to be less than an ideal surface.

But then, an announcement came over the Lower Dauphin Twitter feed:

The field hockey game is being moved to Spooky Nook and will start at 7:45 p.m.

Spooky Nook? Heck, what’s another 16 miles?

“A lot of the girls were super excited when we told them we were going to play at the Olympic Training Center,” North Allegheny head coach Trish Herbert tells The Harrisburg Patriot-News.

With the U.S. women’s national field hockey team over in New Zealand preparing for the World League finals, the space was most definitely open and available.

But what also happened yesterday made a little history. It was the first PIAA state field hockey tournament game ever to be played indoors.

Yep, indoors. The Nook had offered the two teams and their supporters the indoor dome.

Now, I know there’s been at least one state tournament game which has been held indoors; it was in New York about a decade ago during the regional round.

Though the game started late, around 7:45 p.m., the atmosphere was electric: how many times are a pair of school-age teams given the opportunity to play on the same pitch as the finest players in the country?

Full marks, and a hearty “Well-played!” to the management of Spooky Nook for recognizing a need and providing it.

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