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Archive for September 15, 2022

BULLETIN: Sept. 15, 2022 — Delmar (Del.) reaches rarefied air

This afternoon, with a 10-0 win over Laurel (Del.), the six-time defending state champion Delmar (Del.) field hockey program has won its 100th consecutive game.

Here’s how rare this achievement is: only Watertown (Mass.) and Oklahoma City Casady (Okla.) have ever strung together more consecutive victories in the recorded history of scholastic field hockey, dating back to 1909.

Let us take a deep dive into the two streaks longer than Delmar’s. First off, Watertown’s 124-game winning streak was part of a 184-game unbeaten streak that lasted from 2008 to 2017. Casady’s 106-game win streak lasted from 1956 to 1969, which gives you an idea as to the length of seasons that each of these teams had to play.

Delmar, if it keeps its rich seam of form, would get to Watertown’s mark sometime in the middle of the 2023 season. But even with that, Delmar would have to be undefeated another 60 games (roughly four DIAA seasons) to get to Watertown’s unbeaten mark.

The coaches of the other two teams to achieve 100 consecutive win are true national legends. Dorotha Edwards coached Casady from 1956 to 1991, winning 375 games and winning more than 20 Southern Prep Conference championships. Eileen Donahue has coached Watertown for the last 37 years, winning 711 games, eighth all-time.

For Delmar’s part, the Wildcats’ last defeat was Oct. 22, 2016, a 1-0 loss to Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.). Over the last 15 years, the Delmar-Cape rivalry has been a great happening in Sussex County. Last year, Delmar beat their Henlopen Athletic Conference rival by identical 2-1 scores in league and in conference championship play.

The Wildcats and Vikings teams are scheduled to meet Oct. 6th in league, and, if the two teams finish at the top of their respective HAC divisions, they’ll meet again Nov. 5.

Those games should be a true treat for American field hockey aficionadoes, especially seeing as both sides were in the presesaon Top 10.

Sept. 15, 2022 — Interesting goings-on in two of the nation’s best field hockey conferences

In the heart of central Pennsylvania, along Route 422, sit three of the schools in the Mid-Penn Conference’s Keystone Division. Right in a row, you have Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), Hershey (Pa.), and Palmyra (Pa.), who have engaged in some titanic fixtures over the years.

Across the Delaware River in New Jersey, the 1990s saw the breakaway of several large field hockey schools, including Marlton Cherokee (N.J.), Medford Lenape (N.J.), and Medford Lakes Shawnee (N.J.), to go from the Burlington County Scholastic League to the Olympic Conference. While these three schools have had great traditions in the 20th Century, the story over the last two decades in the Olympic is the ascendancy of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) and their strings of state and sectional championships.

The 2022 season, however, may see some change and intrigue in these two powerful field hockey conferences.

First off, the Olympic Conference has added a pair of teams with great traditions, Mount Holly Rancocas Valley (N.J.), and the first American scholastic field hockey team, Moorestown (N.J.). This means that Moorestown is guaranteed to meet Shawnee, and both are, in turn, guaranteed to meet Eastern.

Back in Pennsylvania, a lot of preseason talk is about Mechanicsburg (Pa.), a team which not only made the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AA Tournament, but is one of two teams scheduled to meet Eastern at the National High School Invitational next week. It’s a game which raises the profile of this contending team, but the thing is, there are still plenty of AA-sized rivals in District 3 awaiting them in league and District play.

Keep an eye on the teams in these two leagues. I think what happens here will go a long way to determining several state champions this year.