Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 18, 2018 — Games of the Year, 2018

The 2018 scholastic field hockey season was a collection of some wild games played coast to coast, some of which had major implications for the direction of the season — and some which didn’t, oddly enough. Here are the games which will remain long in the memories of those who played and those who witnessed the competition:

15. Louisville Kentucky Country Day School (Ky.) 2, Louisville Assumption (Ky.) 1, OT, KHSAA semifinal: Assumption had come into the state tournament with a sizable chip on its shoulder, having battled to the semifinals of the Apple Tournament, only to come across Kentucky Country Day, losing by a goal. Then, as a sendoff to the Ring of Honor Tournament in Virginia Beach, Assumption played KCD again, losing 1-0 before posting its 2-2 record during a weekend of games in Hampton Roads. For the third meeting, you might think the Jim Davis First Law of Field Hockey might have come into play, but instead it was KCD coming up with a third consecutive winning effort

14. Nov. 3, 2018: St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.) 1, St. Louis Mary Institute-Country Day School (Mo.) 0, Midwest Tournament final: This is the game which turned Taryn Tkachuk from superstar to legend. The leading goal-scorer the last two years in the St. Louis area, she had a lower-body injury in mid-season, which kept her off the scoreboard for a fortnight. But in the game they needed her the most, she knocked in a goal four minutes into the second half to beat MICDS in the final

13. Nov. 3, 2018: Biddeford (Maine) 4, Skowhegan (Maine) 3, MPA Class A final: This was a victory of inexperience over experience, as Biddeford won its first championship, beating a Skowhegan team that had made the state championship final the last 18 consecutive years

12. Oct. 8, 2018: Providence Moses Brown School (R.I.) 4, Walpole (Mass.) 2, regular-season game: Moses Brown has sent a number of good players to Division I schools in recent years, and the current varsity played a rare game outside the Rhode Island Interscholastic League. In that game, Moses Brown beat the perennial powerhouse from eastern Massachusetts. Oddly enough, neither team won its respective state tournament

11. Nov. 15, 2018: Escondido San Pasqual (Calif.) 1, San Diego Serra (Calif,) 0 (OT), CIF San Diego Section Open Division semifinal: San Pasqual, boasting perhaps its best team since the days when head coach Tracey Paul patrolled the sidelines in the 1990s, had battled the best of the San Diego Section, but had suffered four defeats to Serra, Scripps Ranch, and Torrey Pines in the regular season. But in the CIF Open semifinal match against Serra, the Jim Davis First Law of Field Hockey raised its head, and Serra could not beat San Pasqual a third time in the same season

10. Nov. 11, 2018: Garden City (N.Y.) 1, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 0, NYSPHSAA Class B final: Two great programs with outstanding traditions and superb coaching met up at Williamsville (N.Y.) North for this final, which was decided by a Kylie Tierney goal four minutes into the second half. The Trojan win broke Lakeland’s 137-game unbeaten streak and ended the Hornets’ championship streak at nine

9. Oct. 13, 2018: Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 2, Moorestown (N.J.) 1, regular-season game: On a Saturday night at McAleer Stadium, it was Eastern getting a telling second-half goal in order to beat a Moorestown team led by senior Delaney Lawler, the niece of Eastern head coach Danyle Heilig

8. Nov. 13, 2018: Westport Staples (Conn.) 2, Darien (Conn.) 1 (OT), CIAC Class L semifinal: These two teams always play it close; coming into the contest, the last eight contests were decided by one goal or fewer. For Staples, the difference was Kyle Kirby’s overtime penalty stroke. This allowed Staples to play for, and win, its third straight state championship under head coach Ian Tapsall

7. Nov. 17, 2018: Hershey (Pa.) 2, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 1 (OT), PIAA Class AAA final: These two teams are rivals in the Mid-Penn Keystone Conference, and had met each other three times earlier in the season, with Lower Dauphin winning two including a District 3-AAA semifinal. But Hershey was able to beat Lower Dauphin in the game which mattered most, on an overtime goal; it was the Trojans’ first state field hockey title

6. Aug.  31, 2018: Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.) 3, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) 2, regular-season game: The closest thing you are going to get to a Tournament of Champions in Pennsylvania, the defending PAISAA champion met the defending PIAA-AAA champion. It was a dandy match which was decided by two Lauren Curran goals in the second half. Oddly enough, neither team made it back to their respective state final

5. Oct. 17, 2018: Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.) 3, Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) 2, regular-season game: Not to be outdone, Notre Dame took on the defending PIAA-AA champions and beat them as well, only it took a four-goal comeback on the part of the Irish after spotting the Hurricanes a 2-0 lead

4. Sept. 23, 2018: Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 5, Oley (Pa.) Valley 3, regular-season game: Speaking of comebacks, how about the way Donegal spotted Oley Valley a 3-0 lead at the interval, only to score five goals in the span of 6:01 to come out victorious? This showcase game, played at Penn State, saw the two players who would eventually finish 1 and 3 in the national scoring race for the year. Donegal’s Mackenzie Allessie and Oley Valley’s Sophia Gladieux would finish with a goal apiece

3. Nov. 13, 2018: Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 3, Fort Washington Germantown Academy 3 (Episcopal Academy won 3-1 in penalty shootout), PAISAA final: While the entire Eastern Pennsylvania private-school field hockey world focused on defending champion Notre Dame, it was Germantown Academy, not Episcopal or Notre Dame, that took the No. 1 seed in the PAISAA Tournament. Popper, from the U.S. indoor World Cup team, had a hat trick in the final, but Episcopal Academy and its cadre of young stars held off Germantown Academy. In the shootout, goalkeeper Caroline Kelly of EA was massive in holding down GA’s shooters

2. Nov. 10, 2018: Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) 1, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) 0, 2 OT, VHSL Class 6A final: These two schools are a mere two miles apart and have fought for state honors annually since First Colonial head coach Laura “Beanie” Schleicher came over from Norfolk Maury (Va.) a few years ago. Cox, meanwhile, had a new head coach in Taylor Rountree, who was looking to cement her name in the lore of Cox field hockey. But the one name that people will remember from this final is Kylie Levine. In a bizarre overtime period which saw four yellow cards issued, Levine was able to make a defensive save in the 68th minute, then, as the time wound towards the 88th, she latched onto a Zoe Campisi diagonal pass and scored. It was her first goal of the season, and the difference in Cox’s 20th state championship victory

1. Nov. 17, 2017: Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 2, Palmyra (Pa.) 1, OT, PIAA Class AA final: This game is going to be remembered not for the first 60 minutes, but the last 2 1/2 minutes. Donegal, seeking a second title in three seasons, was seemingly back on its heels, having to absorb corner after corner from Palmyra. That is until Mackenzie Allessie, the senior midfielder, said, “Enough.” Self-starting from the edge of her striking circle, she thundered down the field and beat four Palmyra players for pace, wove left around the Palmyra goalkeeper, and slotted it into the goal, cool as you like. It was Allessie’s 351st and final scholastic goal

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