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Archive for March 5, 2021

March 5, 2021 — Not a law yet

Yesterday, I was tuning into a pair of Virginia High School League games, and both played out very much alike when it came to the result.

These were two derby matches — Yorktown Grafton (Va.) vs. Yorktown Tabb (Va.), and Fredericksburg Stafford (Va.) vs. Stafford North Stafford (Va.). They unfolded about the same way, in that one team seemingly had an athletic and territorial advantage over the other, but the goalkeepers of the teams which were on the back foot were making a number of amazing saves to keep their opponents off the board.

Now, in my observations on scholastic field hockey over the years, I have posited that it takes longer for defenses to jell over the course of a season than offenses. But we haven’t codified this in one of our laws of field hockey (which you can read here). I think one reason why is that goalkeepers in the modern game have become so much better at not only shot-stopping, but taking control of the striking circle. I think this goes double in this Fall 2 field hockey season, as a number of players starting this week have just come off of the National Indoor Tournament, and goalies, especially, are in prime shape.

As it happens, Tabb beat Grafton by a 4-0 count, and Stafford took care of North Stafford 7-0. But I want to give the Grafton and North Stafford goalkeepers a shout-out because of their ability to frustrate their high-caliber opposition.