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Archive for June 13, 2019

June 13, 2019 — A perspective on runaway scores

Yesterday, I published an opinion on the U.S. women’s national soccer team’s 13-0 win over Thailand.

It wasn’t the only opinion, naturally.

But my thoughts on blowouts (and how to deal with them) are shaped by what I have seen on this site over the last 21 years.

And some of the defeated teams were American.

On Constance Applebee’s first European tour of the Home Nations of Great Britain back in 1920, the United States women’s field hockey team lost to England by a score of 16-0. Don’t believe me? Read the title card from this vintage newsreel. It wouldn’t be until 1962 until an American field hockey team got at least a draw from the English national team.

On the men’s side, India defeated the United States by a score of 23-1 in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. It stood for decades as the most lopsided international score in men’s field hockey until Argentina’s men beat the Dominican Republic in the 2003 Pan American Games by a score of 30-0. That was only surpassed in 2007 when New Zealand beat Papua New Guinea by a score of 39-0.

And there was one high-school game in Pennsylvania in which Hazelton (Pa.) Area beat Wyoming (Pa.) Area by a score of 29-0.

Lacrosse has also had its share of monumental blowouts. Back in the 1960s, when an England women’s national select team was taking a tour of North America, the team played a Long Island all-star team and beat their hosts 40-0. There have been some blowout defeats domestically on the part of teams like the girls’ team at Ellicott City Mount Hebron (Md.), a side which routinely beat teams by 25 or more goals during the late 80s, early 90s, and the 2000s.

In college lacrosse, the record had been a 1993 game between Roanoke’s men and Virginia Wesleyan, which the former won by a score of 40-0. That is, until the Colorado Mesa men beat Johnson and Wales-Denver by a score of 52-0 in a game this past April. It is a game which had been shortened by 7 1/2 minutes due to a severe injury.

So, I ask you: where were the pundits then, decrying the victors in these games?