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Archive for October 1, 2021

BULLETIN: Oct. 1, 2021 — Scandal-ridden NWSL shuts down for a weekend and fires its commissioner

In the fast-moving fallout from the firing of a third coach in the National Women’s Soccer League due to misconduct, the league has put itself on pause.

There were supposed to have been five games taking place tonight and tomorrow, but those games have been postponed.

Too, we have gotten word that commissioner Lisa Baird and general counsel Lisa Levine have been ousted from their positions by a vote from the league’s board of directors.

A couple of hours before her termination, Baird had these words in response to the postponement of games.

“”Business as usual isn’t our concern right now,” she said. “Our entire league has a great deal of healing to do, and our players deserve so much better. We have made this decision in collaboration with our players association and this pause will be the first step as we collectively work to transform the culture of this league, something that is long overdue.”

As it turns out, truer words were never spoken. It’s not known whether a trio of midweek games will also be affected by the league pause, but the next steps by the Board of Directors have never been more important, in terms of hiring new and transparent leadership.


SUPPLEMENTAL: And now word has come that both FIFA and the U.S. Soccer Federation are opening investigations into the NWSL and how these situations have been handled.

The USSF investigation is seeking an independent investigator to, according to a statement, “follow the facts and evidence wherever they may lead.”

The FIFA probe indicates that its “judicial bodies are actively looking into the matter and have opened a preliminary investigation.”

FIFA’s probe could be the most consequential. The world governing body of soccer has absolute authority over the game worldwide, and has sanctioned clubs and national teams for everything from political influence to breaking salary rules to using overage players for youth national teams to wearing illegal uniforms.

For some of these violations, punishments have come in the form of fines but also in the form of suspensions from international competition.

I sincerely hope that the U.S. Soccer Federation isn’t found culpable in the way that coaches in the NWSL have been hired over the years. Then, the situation could get really ugly.

Oct. 1, 2021 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Sept. 29

Welcome back to Friday Statwatch, which aims to give you, the reader, a statistical perspective on field hockey nationwide.

This week, we welcome another member of the 100-goal, 100-assist club. That player is senior Natalie Foster of Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.). She attained that status with a three-goal, three assist effort against Robesonia Conrad Weiser (Pa.) this past Monday. Foster, the first Berks County player ever to join the 100-100 Club,

G-ANameSchoolSTYear
148-135*Chantae MillerWilliamsville NorthNY2003-2008
126-117Chantae MillerWilliamsville NorthNY2005-2008
114-108Alyssa ParkerGlenelgMD2008-2011
200-201Haley SchleicherVirginia Beach First ColonialVA2012-2015
217-134Meredith SholderEmmausPA2013-2016
104-104Leah CrouseVirginia Beach Frank W. CoxVA2014-2017
106-107Gabby AndrettaSummit Oak KnollNJ2014-2017
351-136Mackenzie AllessieMount Joy DonegalPA2015-2018
141-103Emma DeberdineMillersville Penn ManorPA2015-2018
142-122Lucas CrookSomerset-Berkley RegionalMA2016-2019
141-110Annika HerbineEmmausPA2017-2020
124-153Cami CrookSomerset-Berkley RegionalMA2017-2021
105-101Natali FosterElverson Twin ValleyPA2018-2021
*– six-year varsity numbers

We also wanted to point out a little something that we touched on Wednesday. Talia Schenck’s 2021 season represents the 97th time (that we know of) that a U.S. scholastic field hockey player to have breached the 50-goal mark for a season. Of those 97 occurrences, 83 of them have occurred in 2000 or later. It’s shown just how much today’s well-trained athlete, playing with space-age sticks and on artificial grass, have been able to find the goal cage.

Below is our usual weekly compilation of American scholastic field hockey statistics, culled from, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media.

We especially would like to get as many coaches and other field hockey people to register for the MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams as well as perhaps your conference, league, or your state governing body to enter field hockey information there, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible. 

SEASON GOALS
51 Talia Schenck, Lawrence (N.J.)
47 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
40 Alana McVeigh, Upper Gwynedd Gwynedd-Mercy Academy (Pa.)
34 Molly Catchpole, Watchung Mount St. Mary’s Academy (N.J.)
29 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
28 Julia Bressler, Reading Berks Catholic (Pa.)
24 Casey Lynn Dewald, Fleetwood (Pa.)
22 Ava Zerfass, Emmaus (Pa.)
22 Sydney Stumpf, Louisville Eastern (Ky.)
22 Reese Anetsberger, Glenbrook (Ill.) South

SEASON ASSISTS
26 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
25 Alexis Kociban, Emmaus (Pa.)
21 Izzy Bianco, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
21 Emily Williams, Louisville Ballard (Ky.)
17 Sammie Goin, Ashburn Independence (Va.)
17 Georgia Leary, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
16 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
16 Riley Hudson, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

CAREER GOALS
245 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
182 Talia Schenck, Lawrence (N.J.)
142 Alaina McVeigh, Gwynedd Valley Gwynedd-Mercy Academy (Pa.)
116 Molly Catchpole, Watchung Mount St. Mary’s Academy (N.J.)
105 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
105 Julia Bressler, Reading Berks Catholic (Pa.)
98 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
94 Victoria Griffiths, Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.)
87 Maci Bradford, Delmar (Del.)
80 Josie Hollamon, Delmar (Del.)

CAREER ASSISTS
101 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
76 Izzy Bianco, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
70 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
67 Riley Hudson, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
83 Delmar (Del.)

CONSECUTIVE UNBEATEN
83 Delmar (Del.)
51 Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)

So, if you see something missing or out of place, I encourage you to 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.

Thanks for dropping in, and we’ll see you next week.