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Nov. 9, 2017 — The power of “what if”

Tuesday evening, a first round PIAA Class AAA first-round field hockey game was played featuring defending champion Emmaus (Pa.) and last year’s District 1-AAA champion, Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.).

The talent on the field was spectacular, with Unionville being able to unload nearly a dozen shots on the Emmaus cage in the first half, but it took a rebound goal off the stick of winger Emily Ingalls in the 42nd minute for the Hornets to take a 1-0 win.

But consider for a moment this fact: in each school’s student body is a field hockey player who is not on the current varsity team because they each helped the United States qualify for a field hockey World Cup.

For Unionville, the missing player was Erin Matson, the skilled forward with the calm demeanor who helped the States not only qualify for next year’s FIH World Cup, but won the World League semifinal tournament outright, an unprecedented achievement.

Also unprecedented was the U.S. women’s indoor national team winning its way into next winter’s FIH Indoor World Cup by winning the Pan American Hockey Federation qualifier. Part of the United States’ effort was the two goals scored by Madison Orobono of Emmaus.

Given the amazing skill in this generation of field hockey player, I guess it was inevitable that players would give up their high-school seasons in order to train full-time in pursuit of a dream.

And the fact that Matson and Orobono helped their U.S. teams in attaining that dream is something to be celebrated, not regretted.

Still, wouldn’t it have been something if both had been on the pitch Tuesday?

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