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Archive for June, 2019

June 30, 2019 — One lead pass

Delaney Sweitzer, a senior lacrosse goalie for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Pa.), was looking to make an impact in overtime of the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

She had her senior season truncated because of a knee injury, and she was still participating in the all-star game with a knee brace protecting and stabilizing the reconstructed joint, but that didn’t stop her from making the game-winning effort in the game for the North side. Her 30-yard pass to a cutting Livi Lawton sprung her into the final third, and her running forehand two minutes into overtime gave the North a 13-12 win.

The annual game, featuring 44 of the best senior lacrosse players in the U.S., was played at a pace and rhythm which are extremely uncommon at the scholastic level. Indeed, it’s a game which is very close in speed of execution to what you might see at the international level.

Kasey Choma, who recently won a championship with Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) and Madison Ahern, who won a championship just a week ago with Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.), were particularly outstanding.

June 29, 2019 — A U.S. women’s field hockey team, on top of the world

This past week, the United States Over-60 women’s field hockey team completed an undefeated run through its competition in the European Women’s Cup in Brasschaat, Belgium, winning the gold medal with a 3-0 win over an Alliance team which represented hockey nations such as South Africa, England, Holland, Canada, and Spain.

The U.S. team was led by former U.S. national teamers Linda Kreiser and Diane Angstadt, as well as former U.S. women’s lacrosse and field hockey national-team star Anne Keating, longtime Lock Haven head coach Pat Rudy, and former long-time Dallastown (Pa.) coach Jeri Myers.

The States made the final despite winning only one of its three pool matches, a 2-1 win over England a week ago. The Masters team drew its other two pool games, against Holland and against the Alliance.

A U.S. men’s master’s side also participated in the Belgium event and finished fifth. The team was led by long-time U.S. men’s national team participant Peter Jones.

 

June 28, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games played through June 21

With the end of the scholastic girls’ lacrosse season Friday night, we were able to close the book on some pretty remarkable statistical stories in the 2019 domestic season.

Take, for example, Madison Ahern, who finished her scholastic career at Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.) with the eighth-most combined totals of goals and assists (630) of all time. It’s notable that two other players — Caitlyn Wurzburger of Delray American Heritage (Fla.) and Kayla Soltys of Warrenton Highland School (Va.) — finished ahead of her this year amongst active players, but only Ahern achieved her total in the standard four-year window.

Below, please find national girls’ scholastic lacrosse statistics from available sources, including MaxPreps.com, NJ Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Providence Journal, The Albany Times-Union, Long Island Newsday, The Worcester Telegram, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MassLive.com, the Denver Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSG Varsity, the Ann-Arbor News, and The Washington Post.

I encourage you to convince your team, your school, league, or state governing body to adopt the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
158 Brittany Sherrod, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
157 Bailey Gehler, San Diego Our Lady of Peace (Calif.)
154 Eliz Fino, Highland (N.Y.) Central
154 Francesca Frieri, Lockport (Ill.)
146 Madaleine Champagne, Livonia Stevenson (Mich.)
145 Katelyn Murphy, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.)
130 Kelsey Kimmel, Lampeter-Strasburg (Pa.)
125 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
125 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
122 Abbey Peterson, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
108 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
103 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
94 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)
92 Allie Schwab, Harriton

85 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
83 Bailey Thomas, Dexter General Brown (N.Y.)
82 Maddi Koury, Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)
79 Tatumn Eccleston, Pottstown Hill School (Pa.)
77 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)

75 Grace Arthur, Marblehead (Mass.)
73 Balay Woodworth, Dallas North Paulding (Ga.)
73 Corinne Bednarik, Downingtown (Pa.) West

72 Abby Walheim, Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.)
71 Bella Mims, Clermont East Ridge (Fla.)

69 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
69 Maddie Barber, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)
69 Sydney Reipl, Tinton Hall Trinity Falls (N.J.)
66 Meghan Decker, Watchung Mount St. Mary Academy (N.J.)
66 Sadie Tschider, Piedmont (Calif.)
66 Sophie Sorenson, Lincolnshire Adlai Stevenson (Ill.)

CAREER GOALS SCORED
467* Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
437* Kayla Soltys, Warrenton Highland School (Va.)
435 Madison Ahern, Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.)
371 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
346 Hannah McCarthy, Bedford (N.H.)
331 Cassidy Spilis, Tabernacle Seneca (N.J.)
316 Mariana Lopez-Ona, Princeton (N.J.)
316 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
294 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)
290 Kira Sides, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)
250 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
213 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
* — five-year career

CAREER ASSISTS
485* Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
293 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
284 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)
279 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
273** Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
225 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
217 Maddie Barber, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)

208 Grace Arthur, Marblehead (Mass.)
203* Kayla Soltys, Warrenton Highland School (Va.)
* — five-year career
** — six-year career

CONSECUTIVE WINS
45 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)
34 Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)

COACHING WINS
794 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)

So, if you see something missing or wrong, please send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment.

This Statwatch will be the last of the season and will form the basis of the Final Statwatch which will be released in early July.

June 27, 2019 — Taking an active stand

Last night, and tonight, about two dozen Presidential candidates are taking the stage to re-introduce themselves to the American public. They will be talking about everything from national security to trade policy to climate change to immigration.

But that’s all talk. Especially the last issue, immigration.

One field hockey team in Canada, however, is turning talk into action. Read about them here.

June 26, 2019 — An original ESPNer hangs up the microphone

Yesterday, it was announced that Bob Ley, who had been with ESPN for four decades and who broke ground in video sports journalism, taking over in an era when local newspapers dropped the ball on enterprise stories, was leaving the network as of this week.

Ley, in his show “Outside The Lines,” tackled such various and sundry subjects as fake autographed sports memorabilia, steroids in baseball, concussions in football, and the ongoing scandals in the governance of world soccer.

While Ley said this week that he was leaving the network on his own terms, some of his topics, and the undeniable pushback from some of his subjects, may suggest otherwise.

You see, sportswriting is what is called “the candy store” in terms of journalism. Lots of hero worship, the building up of personalities and teams, and certain coddling of the big names in the sport.

That went away, big-time, one morning in 2015 when Ley, having been provided with a copy of a meeting agenda of the FIFA meeting to elect a new president to replace the disgraced Sepp Blatter, tore it in half.

“This is FIFA, making it up as we go along,” he said.

Ley never capitulated to pressure from ESPN bosses when it came to stories which called into question the integrity of the sports the network considered “properties.” He took on the questions about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (or CTE) long before some of the bizarre suicides that some NFL players committed in order to preserve their brains for post-mortem study.

The NFL, with a two billion-dollar footprint on the national sports landscape, has considerable clout, even influencing ESPN to not make another season of Playmakers, a drama which follows a fictional NFL team and its players.

I wonder if some of that clout forced Ley out of his chair.

June 25, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of June 23

With the U.S. domestic season finishing out last week in Massachusetts, we now have a pretty good Top 10 on which we’re going to rely as the basis for our final Top 10, which will be released in July.

For our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week, let’s give a call to Langley (Va.), which won its first Virginia High School League state championship with a 17-10 win over Vienna James Madison (Va.) to win the Class 6A state final

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 21-0

Season complete: The Eagles won their 10th IAAM Class A crown in 11 years, but not without receiving a major scare from Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.). McDonogh was down two in the last four minutes before winning 5-4 in double overtime

2. Northport (N.Y.) 18-1

Season complete: The Tigers beat Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 10-8 in the NYSPHSAA Class A final

3. Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) 20-2

Season complete: Saved its best lacrosse for the end of the season, besting Delray American Heritage (Fla.) and then Palm Beach Benjamin School (Fla.) in the FHSAA final

4. South Huntington St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 17-1

Season complete: Beat Hempstead Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.) 9-7 to win CHSAA Class AA title

5. Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 17-2

Season complete: Beat Cross River John Jay (N.Y.) 11-8 to win NYSPHSAA Class C championship

6. Summit Oak Knoll (20-2)

Season complete: Won NJSIAA Tournament of Champions with a 10-8 victory over Moorestown (N.J.)

7. Severna Park (Md.) 19-1

Season complete: Falcons beat Timonium Dulaney (Md.) 10-5 to win MPSSAA Class 4A final; program’s 14th state championship

8. Hingham Notre Dame Academy (Mass.) 23-3

Season complete: Won MIAA Division 1 championship with an 8-7 win over a game Longmeadow (Mass.) squad

9. Eastport-South Manor (N.Y.) 18-2

Season complete: Beat Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) in the NYSPHSAA Class B final

10. Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.) 12-10

Season complete: It’s not often you see a 10-loss team anywhere near a Top 10 in any kind of national sports countdown. But this Gators team, part of the single toughest league in the country, put together a great run in the IAAM playoffs, knocking off Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) and Glenelg (Md.) Country to get to the final

11. Langley (Va.) 18-4

Saxons repared for their playoff run by playing New Albany (Ohio), Springfield (Pa.) and Delray American Heritage (Fla.) during the regular seasons

Who’s out? None

June 24, 2019 — The end of a road, beginning of another

The U.S. women’s field hockey team learned a number of hard lessons during their 16-game FIH Pro League campaign.

The numbers don’t lie; the American team had just one win, gave up 47 goals, and finished at the bottom of the nine-team league. It’s a side which has had to bring up some very young players in order to make up for a number of retirements.

The U.S. “kid corps” include the likes of Mackenzie Allessie, Margaux Paolino, and Erin Matson on attack, and it looks as though the American coaching staff is going to go with age-group national teamer Kelsey Bing in the goal cage. The Stanford product has been Player of the Match twice during the Pro League, which says something about her demeanor in the face of such opposing offensive pressure.

Can the American side use the next 32 days in order to organize, improve, or upgrade in time for the Pan American Games in Peru? We’ll see.

June 23, 2019 — An incubator for greatness

The scene was the ancestral home of American lacrosse, Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University. The game was a WPLL fixture between the (formerly Philadelphia) Fire and (formerly New England) Command, a game which would determine the top of the league table with just two match weekends to go.

With the clock ticking down to under six minutes to go in the second half, Katrina Dowd, the former Northwestern star, threw a lollipop pass across the face of goal about three feet over the plane of the crossbar. Suddenly, a blue-shirted Fight player stuck her stick in the air, and in one motion, guided the ball over the Fire goalie and into the net.

Golazo!

It was an amazing bit of teamwork which is pretty much to be expected from some of the best female lacrosse players on the planet. Cummings has been spectacular this year for the Fight, as she had five goals this afternoon, including a handful of the artful variety. And that’s also to be expected from her as a three-time Tewaaraton Trophy winner.

But it also turns out that Cummings is a heck of a coach, too. She was able to get her alma mater, Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.), to run the table in the nation’s most demanding league schedule, winning non-league matches against teams in New York and Florida, and taking the IAAM Class A title at the end of the season to claim the consensus No. 1 designation as the finest girls’ scholastic lacrosse team in the land.

And now, just two years after helping the United States to wins in the World Cup and the World Games in 2017, Cummings is tearing it up in the WPLL. It’s almost as if though everything she touches turns to gold when it comes to the game of lacrosse.

 

June 22, 2019 — The red ebb

The octofinal round of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup begins today, having eliminated eight teams, many from nations who just happen to excel in that other field-invasion sport, field hockey.

But there were a number of national teams which were not even qualified for the tournament this time around. If you take a look at a European map, there’s an entire area which is not represented: the region which was, in another generation, known as the Communist Bloc.

Think of it: Croatia’s men were the second-best team at last year’s World Cup. But the women’s team fell out of second-round UEFA qualifying without winning any of its eight games.

Russia, which prioritized its men’s national soccer team for last year’s hosting duties of the World Cup, saw its women finish third in its group behind England and Wales. Bulgaria, whose men’s team made the Final Four at USA 1994, didn’t even enter a women’s team for this World Cup.

North Korea, which made four straight World Cups between 1999 and 2011, did not make this World Cup after having been banned from the 2015 tournament due to doping results.

Indeed, the only Eastern Bloc country to make this World Cup was China. China is in the octofinal round playing Italy this coming Tuesday.

I’m wondering why it’s taking so long for the national governing bodies of some of these countries to fund their women’s soccer programs equally with their men.

June 21, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games through June 19

Only four more teams remain to add to their statistical outputs, as the championship finals of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association are scheduled for today. So, this week, I’d like to take you through the statistical wonder that is United States U-19 attacker Caitlyn Wurzburger.

Wurzburger, by almost any measure, is the single most prolific point-scorer in National Federation history. Since starting her varsity career at Delray American Heritage (Fla.) as a middle-schooler (which was allowed under the state rules of the time), she has caused a sensation just about every time she has taken the field — either for the Stallions, summer travel or all-star teams, or for the U.S. Under-19 program.

Her staggering varsity numbers, year on year, are below:

Year G A Year
7th 58 40 98
8th 100 103 203
Fr 101 115 216
So 105 114 219
Jr 103 103 206
TOT 467 485 952

Now, when Wurzburger’s numbers are printed (eventually) in the pages of the National Federation’s record book, only her freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior years will be counted. That may rob her of 300 scoring plays, but she is still — with one year left — amongst the top four-year performers of all time.

Mind you, she many “only” have 309 goals in her upper-school years, but her assist and total-points outputs are off the charts. Reminder: she still has one more year to go before matriculating to North Carolina:

ASSISTS (4-year)
331 Caitlyn Wurzburger
318 Allison Hunter
297 Maura Mahoney
293 Erin Coykendall
289 Emily Garrity
278 Alyssa Murray
275 Besser Dyson
275 Carolyn Davis

COMBINED (4-year)
695 Emily Garrity
667 Taylor Pinzone
659 Sophia Turchetta
654 Charlie Rudy
641 Caitlyn Wurzburger
619 Bridget Ruskey
618 Alex Moore
611 Shannon Smith

Below, please find national girls’ scholastic lacrosse statistics from available sources, including MaxPreps.com, NJ Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Providence Journal, The Albany Times-Union, Long Island Newsday, The Worcester Telegram, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MassLive.com, the Denver Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSG Varsity, the Ann-Arbor News, and The Washington Post.

I encourage you to convince your team, your school, league, or state governing body to adopt the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
158 Brittany Sherrod, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
157 Bailey Gehler, San Diego Our Lady of Peace (Calif.)
154 Eliz Fino, Highland (N.Y.) Central
154 Francesca Frieri, Lockport (Ill.)
146 Madaleine Champagne, Livonia Stevenson (Mich.)
145 Katelyn Murphy, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.)
130 Kelsey Kimmel, Lampeter-Strasburg (Pa.)
125 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)

125 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
122 Abbey Peterson, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
108 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
103 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
94 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)

85 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
83 Bailey Thomas, Dexter General Brown (N.Y.)
82 Maddi Koury, Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)
77 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
75 Grace Arthur, Marblehead (Mass.)
73 Balay Woodworth, Dallas North Paulding (Ga.)
71 Bella Mims, Clermont East Ridge (Fla.)
69 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
69 Maddie Barber, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)
69 Sydney Reipl, Tinton Hall Trinity Falls (N.J.)
66 Meghan Decker, Watchung Mount St. Mary Academy (N.J.)
66 Sadie Tschider, Piedmont (Calif.)
66 Sophie Sorenson, Lincolnshire Adlai Stevenson (Ill.)

CAREER GOALS SCORED
467* Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
437* Kayla Soltys, Warrenton Highland School (Va.)
371 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)

346 Hannah McCarthy, Bedford (N.H.)
331 Cassidy Spilis, Tabernacle Seneca (N.J.)
316 Mariana Lopez-Ona, Princeton (N.J.)
316 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
294 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)
290 Kira Sides, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)

250 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
213 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
* — five-year career

CAREER ASSISTS
485* Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
293 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
284 Joanna Helm, Wyomissing (Pa.)
279 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)

273 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
217 Maddie Barber, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)
208 Grace Arthur, Marblehead (Mass.)
203* Kayla Soltys, Warrenton Highland School (Va.)

* — five-year career

CONSECUTIVE WINS
45 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)

COACHING WINS
794 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)

So, if you see something missing or wrong, please send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment. See you all next week for what should be our final Statwatch of the year.