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Archive for January 11, 2019

Jan. 11, 2019 — The case for Haley Schleicher

One in a series of posts laying out arguments for the greatest scholastic field hockey player of all time.

Between 2012 and 2015, Haley Schleicher, like Lexi Smith the daughter of a coach, embarked on a singular scholastic field hockey career for Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.).

What distinguished her from most of the other players one could consider for being the greatest scholastic field hockey player of all time was not just her scoring, but being able to draw the pictures for her teammates to score.

Indeed, the assist she had to break Kate Barber and Chantae Miller’s record for career assists back in 2014 was a thing of beauty and brilliance. On a free-out from the 16, she struck a 50-yard pass up the left wing that found open space and teammate Riley Taylor, who scored to give First Colonial the lead in the first 30 seconds of the game.

What made First Colonial so difficult to beat was the fact that most defenses had no idea what to do in order to mark her. This difficulty showed itself in the state tournament, where she helped lead First Colonial to two state championships, in 2011 and 2015.

Schleicher took her talents to Duke, where she has become the Blue Devils’ go-to player on penalty strokes; she was perfect during the 2018 season, which had a hard-luck ending on a double-overtime goal from an impossible angle.