Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Archive for May 28, 2022

May 28, 2022 — History repeating itself, again

In the games of field hockey and lacrosse, it’s amazing how many times over the last few years that events in each sport seem to parallel each other.

Take, for example, what is going on when it comes to the all-time coaching wins in both sports. For the last several years, Kathy Jenkins of Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) and Susan Butz-Stavin of Emmaus (Pa.) have broken their respective career goals records repeatedly upon becoming their respective sport’s all-time leaders in wins.

Both broke the existing record only a few months apart, during the same academic year of 2015-16. Butz-Stavin was the first, breaking Nancy Williams’ career record on Sept. 9, 2015, while the following April 8, Jenkins surpassed Angela Tammaro’s all-time best for girls’ lacrosse.

When it comes to all-time win streaks, I find it interesting that the Watertown (Mass.) field hockey team saw its record streak of 124 games snapped the same academic year (the 2017-18 year) that Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) saw its 198-game lacrosse win streak end in the IAAM final in April 2018.

The events of the past week also are a parallel, as last November, Ryleigh Heck scored 125 goals for the Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) field hockey team, and Fran Frieri scored her 192nd goal for the Lockport (Ill.) girls’ lacrosse team, both all-time records.

You can find all sorts of statistical and other parallels between the two sports if you look. When you look at the women’s lacrosse Final Four of this weekend, you see four highly successful colleges — Northwestern, North Carolina, Boston College, and Maryland — who have also made Final Fours in field hockey in the last few years. Indeed, Northwestern is your defending national champion in field hockey.

And one other interesting parallel can be seen on the field, wearing a striped shirt. One of the umpires in the pool for the Division I women’s lacrosse Final Four is Judy Strong, who is a member of the 1984 Olympic field hockey team in Los Angeles, and is a highly-rated field hockey umpire.

Despite the silos that the two sports are in now, compared to 25 years ago, the two sports are likely to maintain these kinds of parallels going forward.