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Archive for February 3, 2018

Feb. 3, 2018 — Eleanor Snell, 1933-2018

We’ve gotten word today of the death of Eleanor Snell, who died last week of cancer. She was an important link in the history of the field hockey rivalry between Ursinus and West Chester, as she served as coach for 17 seasons as the program transitioned from the AIAW into the NCAA.

In addition, Snell was an important player in the history of the U.S. women’s national team program. She broke into the team in 1959, three years removed from a disastrous International Federation of Women’s Hockey Association tournament when the U.S. dropped a pool play match to its oldest rival, England, by a 9-0 scoreline.

But with Snell and a newer generation in the lineup, the Americans made improvements. They broke England’s 42-year win streak against the States in 1962, then, as host, held England to a goalless draw at the IFWHA held at Goucher College in Towson, Md.

She left the national team and joined the Ursinus faculty in 1967, then became head coach in 1972. She led the Bears to three runner-up finishes in the national AIAW tournaments and won the 1983 ECAC title.

For her service at many levels of women’s sports, Boyd was elected to numerous halls of fame, including USA Field Hockey, Cheltenham (Pa.), Ursinus College, the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association, and the Philadelphia Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.