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Archive for November 2, 2022

Nov. 2, 2022 — A final meeting?

It was seven years ago when this site witnessed a field hockey game between Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) and Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.). On offer were the tremendous individual talents of youth national teamers Charlotte de Vries and Erin Matson.

This afternoon, in the semifinal round of the ACC field hockey tournament, de Vries and Matson, both seniors and both members of the 32-woman senior national team, met for what could be the final time as opponents. On the day, Matson’s North Carolina side, the No. 1 team in all the land, edged de Vries’ Syracuse Orange by a 2-1 score.

Throughout the game, these two women dominated play and fif their best to prevent their teams from losing. Matson, with a box of skills enhanced by years of club play as well as making the senior women’s indoor team at the age of 11, pinged a penalty stroke just after the interval after a penalty corner shot by teammate Meredith Sholder went off an Orange foot in the goalmouth.

For de Vries’ part, her contribution was a backhand pass that went high off a UNC stick into an open area towards the offensive right wing. Running into the space was winger Joy Haarman, who swatted it out of the air and into the goal. The Orange goal came eight minutes from time, and led to a phase of great pressure on the part of Syracuse.

But the final whistle sounded without an equalizer.

North Carolina, the No. 1 team in America this season, is a lock to win a berth in next week’s tournament. Meanwhile, Syracuse, a Top 10 team this season, could very win one of the at-large berths. But it’s more likely than not that the next time we see Charlotte de Vries and Erin Matson on the pitch at the same time will be as teammates. That’s because the FIH Pro League season will begin for the United States in February 2023 with a quartet of matches in New Zealand against China and the host White Sticks.

Of course, a lot can happen in three months when it comes to roster selection. But given the relative youth of the U.S. roster, I would not be surprised to see these women make the traveling roster.