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June 11, 2021 — Field hockey: United States Coach of the Year, the nominees

The United States Coach of the Year Award is given to a head coach or co-head coaches who made a noticeable difference in the performance of a scholastic field hockey team in a particular season. The coaching performance is not limited to progress made in the year which the award is given.

Here are this year’s nominees:

Chantal Ayers, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) — Assembled a very skilled and fit team which was able to win the autumn state championship in overtime against East Chapel Hill (N.C.)

Christina Elisio, Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) — Steered the Patriots to the PIAA Class AA state final game, and was an overtime goal away from becoming the first District 12 team to win a state field hockey title

Jodi Hollamon, Delmar (Del.) — The Wildcats dominated the opposition in 2020, allowing only two goals all season on the way to winning a sixth straight championship

Carrie Holman, Vienna James Madison (Va.) — The Warhawks were able to go through the entire 2021 spring season without yielding a goal, even while Holman was expecting; she coached the state championship through remote messaging

Alex Marshall, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) — She took over head coach Danyle Heilig’s position and the team seemingly did not miss a beat, winning all of their games over the course of a shortened season as well as a sectional title

Debra McMullen, East Greenwich (R.I.) — Managed to catch lightning in the proverbial bottle, managing her team during a short season and getting the team to believe it could win a RIIL state championship

Lissa Opolsky, New Tripoli Northwestern Lehigh (Pa.) — In her eighth season at the helm, the former Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.) star goalie was able to beat a number of local rivals for the first time an steered the team through a memorable run through the PIAA Class A Tournament

Tara Rose, Cincinnati Indian Hill (Ohio) — Team won its way into the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) state tournament for the first time in 20 years

Courtney Spleen, San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) — Had a stellar, albeit shortened, season with a senior-laden squad which could have been even more loaded but for a transfer and a player who had conflicts with the start of lacrosse

Gina Welling, Nortport (N.Y.) — Coached her team to its first sectional championship in program history, a 1-0 win over Garden City (N.Y.)

The recipient will be announced June 29.

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