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Archive for September 19, 2019

Sept. 19, 2019 — Inside the National High School Invitational, part 2

Following up on yesterday’s blog entry, we’re giving you more micro-previews of games at the National High School Invitational, sorting by match window. Today, we’ll take a look at the six hours’ worth of competition mid-day Saturday:

11 a.m. SATURDAY
Hershey (Pa.) vs. Malvern Villa Maria Academy (Pa.): This ought to be a good one, since Hershey is your defending PIAA Class AAA champion and Villa Maria is coming off a stretch of seasons in which they won two titles in four years.
Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) vs. Winnetka New Trier (Ill.): A battle of two sitting state champions with similar styles of play: get on top early and dominate. It will be an interesting battle in the between Eastern attacker Ryleigh Heck and New Trier defender Hillary Cox.
Gambrills Arundel (Md.) vs. North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.): 
Arundel may not have the history of some of the teams in Anne Arundel County such as Severna Park and South River, but the Wildcats achieved its first foray into its Class 4A region championship in 35 years. Arundel also has an enormous win this season over West Essex has won 18 NJSIAA state titles, including two out of the last three. The Knights have a 7-2 win over long-time state power Ocean City this year, and have a game later this year against Pottstown Hill School (Pa.).
Dexter (Mich.) vs. Fort Washington Germantown Academy (Pa.): 
Dexter, the 2014 Division 2 state champions from Michigan, were in the running for the Division I title but lost by a goal to Saline (Mich.). Germantown Academy, the runners-up in last year’s PAISAA championship, lie in wait.

1 p.m. SATURDAY
Norfolk Cape Henry Collegiate (Va.) vs. Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.): Put two former members of the U.S. national team behind the benches, and what do you get? A meeting of two of the best private-school teams in the nation. Cape Henry is coached by former U.S. captain Kate (Barber) Kinnear, and the Dolphins are your defending VISAA Division 2 champions. Episcopal, coached by former U.S. national-teamer Gina Buggy, is the current champions of the PAISAA.
Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) vs. Garden City (N.Y.): Garden City is a team that has won seven state championships, and bracketed Lakeland’s run of nine consecutive titles. But just as impressively, Garden City once spun a 32-game string of games (both regular-season and tournament) in which the Trojans did not give up a goal. Both Garden City and Cox are sitting state champions, and this should be an excellent matchup. 
Louisville Assumption (Ky.) vs. Owings Mills Garrison Forest (Md.):
Both of these schools fell short of their 2018 tournament goals, as Assumption fell to Kentucky Country Day School in the KHSAA semifinals, while Garrison forest was stopped by rival Notre Dame Prep in the IAAM Class A final.
Greenwich (Conn.) Academy vs. Houston St. John’s (Tex.): Both of these schools, as mentioned yesterday, are as well known for their fields as well as their performance on them. Whether it’s GA’s turfed-over acreage behind the gym that stretches nearly three acres, or St. John’s water-based turf, both schools have invested a lot in their field hockey programs.
Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) vs. Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.): Both of these schools have had high-achieving teams in sports other than field hockey. Notre Dame Prep was the finest team in girls’ lacrosse in 2018, while Sacred Heart has been ranked in basketball and girls’ soccer. Oh, and SHA was the top team in field hockey in 2008.

3 p.m. SATURDAY
Hershey (Pa.) vs. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.): It will be interesting to see how Hershey’s talismanic midfielder Maddie Zimmer controls play with the swiftness of Oak Knoll’s attack, which seemingly has multiple options depending on the situation.
Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) vs. Blairstown Blair Academy (N.J.): These two schools are, oddly enough, known for other sports than field hockey. The history of McDonogh on the lacrosse pitch is well-known, but Blair Academy has been an Eastern wrestling powerhouse, winning 31 National Prep Tournament championships in a row between 1981 and 2012.
Severn Archbishop Spalding (Md.) vs. South Hamilton Pingree School (Mass.): Both of these sides know what its like to be one game short of reaching their postseason tournament final, as Spalding lost 1-0 to Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) in IAAM “A”, and Pingree lost 2-1 to Boston Winsor School (Mass.) in NEPSAC “C.”
Biddeford (Maine) vs. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.): Biddeford comes into this weekend as a state champion. Oddly enough, Lakeland isn’t, but the Hornets have won nine titles in the previous nine years, the program has won 12 championships overall
Louisville DuPont Manual (Ky.) vs. Flemington Hunterdon Central (N.J.): Manual’s last major trophy was this year’s Apple Tournament, while Hunterdon Central’s last major piece of hardware was the 2016 Hunterdon-Warren-Sussex championship, the only New Jersey county tournament that covers three counties.
Langley (Va.) vs. Clifton Park Shenendehowa (N.Y.): Shenendehowa has won state championships in 2013 and 2016, and has shown incredible ability and firepower, shutting out its first five opponents of the season. Langley has already had a 5-0 win over Chantilly Westfield (Va.) to open the 2019 season, and spun two more clean sheets in their next two games.