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Archive for October 17, 2018

Oct. 17, 2018 — Observations on a third record-breaking day

It was five years ago this week when Lexi Smith, the forward and attacking midfielder for Florence (N.J.) Memorial, crushed a penalty corner drive into the lower corner of the goal cage in a 6-0 win over Riverside (N.J.). That goal broke Sharon Landau Berney’s existing national record for career field hockey goals.

A bit more than a year later, it was Austyn Cuneo, the center forward for Voorhees Eastern (N.J.), who made a curving run into the Cherry Hill (N.J.) East scoring circle, and knocked in a forehand to break Smith’s mark in the midst of an 11-0 win.

Last night, Mackenzie Allessie, the center midfielder from Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.), broke Cuneo’s record with a spinning run and a backhand goal to eclipse Cuneo’s mark in an 8-0 win over Annville-Cleona (Pa.).

Your Founder was the only person to witness all three events.

It’s been an interesting era, this “Score-O Decade,” where the proliferation of artificial competition surfaces, the introduction of the composite stick, and the specialization of athletic-specific training have led to rapid-fire advancement of the national record for goals scored.

Let’s look at the fall of the all-time career scoring record on a timeline, starting back in the day when players used square-toed mulberry sticks to propel a painted cricket ball on grass:

Year Player School State Tot
1962 Maryanna Watson Gloucester N.J. 144
1983 Tracey Fuchs Centereach N.Y. 171
1985 Sharon Landau Mamaroneck Rye Neck N.Y. 174
2012 Lexi Smith Florence Memorial N.J. 191
2013 Austyn Cuneo Voorhees Eastern N.J. 328
2018 Mackenzie Allessie Mount Joy Donegal Pa. 331*

* — active

Watson’s mark is the highest-known total before the Title IX era, and, it must be said, there might have been other higher numbers but for poor or even no recordkeeping during the decades when it was the norm in girls’ high school sports. But the fact remains that Watson’s mark stood for more than two decades until the legendary Tracey Fuchs passed her in the midst of a recordbreaking 82-goal season in 1983.

It was only two years later when Sharon Landau brought the record from Long Island to the Hudson Valley. That record stood for 27 years until Lexi Smith broke the record, which now has been broken three times in the last five years.

What’s even more amazing is that, since 2010, six players have surpassed Landau’s old mark, including Charlotte de Vries’ five year varsity total (which we don’t discount because varsity play is allowed for middle-schoolers in the VISAA).

And I think there will be more. There’s been a knock-on effect from the establishment of Spooky Nook (just six miles from Donegal High School) as well as the proliferation of international-level coaching and playing knowledge into the U-19 level.

There will be record-breaking players in the future; they’re all going to be chasing Allessie’s marks now.