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Archive for August 13, 2022

August 13, 2022 — More than just “leveling up”

Last weekend, on the north banks of the Piscataquis River in central Maine, a field hockey exhibition was played featuring alumnae of Dover Foxcroft Academy (Maine).

The site was Gene Philpot Field. But it wasn’t enough that the playing surface was named for the school’s longtime coach.

Philpot Field is located inside of Jim Robinson Fieldhouse, a $7 million facility built right next to the school campus. The floor of the main competition surface is lined for both soccer and field hockey, surrounded by a three-lane track.

As the pages of this site have detailed over the years, field hockey has had a lot of investment in infrastructure. Since the construction of an enormous artificial grass surface behind Angela Tammaro Field House in Greenwich, Conn., almost every scholastic field hockey team in America has moved off grass.

Slowly, a number of teams in Connecticut, Virginia, Missouri, and Texas have started playing on water-based artificial turf.

But playing in an all-weather facility? That’s a level above anything else we’ve seen.

Now, there have been indoor facilities where field hockey has been played before. Rutgers University’s football practice bubble on the Piscataway side of the Raritan River was, for several years, the site of the U.S. women’s national field hockey team’s selection camp.

We’ve also noted that a New York state playoff game in Section III was held at an indoor facility.

And we know of a lot of indoor soccer facilities around the nation which are privately-owned but not many are used for the stick-and-ball sport.

Philpot Field is a bit of a snug fit inside the field house, albeit there appears to be more room around the outside of the pitch than there was for the indoor bubble at Spooky Nook. I guess we’ll find out Sept. 2 just how many people the place can hold; that’s the date for the Ponies’ first home match against Guilford Piscataquis (Maine).