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Archive for January 8, 2022

Jan. 8, 2022 — The case for Talia Schenck

One in a series of posts laying out arguments for the greatest scholastic field hockey player of all time.

In the last three years of scholastic field hockey, there has been a tremendous story coming out of the capital region of the state of New Jersey. And that story rotated around Talia Schenck, a center forward for Lawrence (N.J.).

In 2021, she got all of our attention for becoming one of only three players in the history of scholastic field hockey to score 100 goals in a season.

Think of this, however. Before Schenck, the career scoring leader for the entire county was Jackie Gaudiuso-Radvany, who had exactly 100 goals for Princeton Stuart Country Day School (N.J.) before a distinguished field hockey career at North Carolina.

Let’s rewind that for a second. Schenck, in one season, scored more goals than the previous career scoring leader for all of Mercer County in central New Jersey.

During the Lawrence season, she scored from all over the pitch. She scored from long shots, short shots, on passing plays, or on the trendy backhand shot.

But one thing that distinguished her play, I think, was her use of the self-start. She has a first step reminiscent of a top baseball base-stealer, tilting the field of play any time she had a chance to make a self-start.

Schenck also was able to bring Lawrence its first major trophy in nearly 40 years when she assisted on the Cardinals’ game-winning goal in the Mercer County Tournament final. Though the team lost to eventual state champion Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.), the moments Schenck brought to the team and to the capital region were unique and unforgettable to all who were fortunate to witness them.