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Archive for November 4, 2022

BULLETIN: Nov. 4, 2022 — It’s over

At the full-time whistle in an NJSIAA Group IV South quarterfinal match held at Barchuk Field, the end of one of the most remarkable state tournament streaks in scholastic sports history has been confirmed.

Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) 7, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 0.

Through 23 years, four head coaches, and hundreds of young women coming through the doors of Eastern Camden County Junior and Senior High School’s campus just adjacent to Coffins Corner, the Vikings built a dynasty of skill, quickness, and teamwork that won the last 22 consecutive state championships on offer; 23 consecutive sectional titles when you factor in the COVID-19 season of 2020. The Vikings’ loss today was the first Group IV playoff defeat in the last 111 tries.

Eastern has set numerous records over the years. Twice, the team has spun unbeaten streaks exceeting 100. Four Viking players scored more than 69 goals in a season; two broke the 300-goal barrier for a career. Four Dawson sisters — Natalie, Rachel, Meghan, and Sarah — have been capped for the senior women’s national field hockey team, something which may be unmatched in the history of U.S. sport. Eastern has scored more than 200 goals a season as a team on eight occasions. And if that wasn’t enough, Eastern goalkeeper Alana Barry collected 75 shutouts in a brilliant career.

Eastern’s reign of excellence was not limited to the state of New Jersey. Starting in the early 2000s, the Vikings scheduled interstate matchups — first with Emmaus (Pa.), then against the likes of Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) and Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) on traveling weekends, then at the National High School Invitational.

It was a foreshadowing at the NHSI this year when the Vikings showed up and dropped a 4-0 defeat to Mechanicsburg (Pa.) and a 7-1 defeat at the hands of Ann Arbor Skyline (Mich.). These two games were the heaviest defeats the Vikings program had suffered in some time. And there were others in the regular season leading up to today’s defeat.

In fact, it’s hard to remember such heavy defeats befalling this team since a brilliant NCAA championship-winning coach named Danyle Heilig started coaching the team in the fall of 1999, and changed everything.

Eastern had been a pretty good program for most of the 1990s, often offering the stiffest of tests for teams either going through the Group IV South bracket or against the Group IV Central champions on the way to the state final. Eastern, however, raised the bar. It would not accept even one goal scored against them, especially in the postseason. It seemed that, once October ended, the Vikings turned into another team, and would only stumble (if you could call it that) only against competition in the Tournament of Champions.

Indeed, it was in the T of C when the Vikings learned of a committed and excellent group of players from the northern half of the state which were seemingly the “yin” to Eastern’s “yang.” That team, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.), met up with Eastern 14 times in a rivalry we’ve started calling The Garden State Firm because of how close the two sides were.

And were they ever close, In last year’s Tournament of Champions final, Eastern fought from three goals down to win on an untimed corner at the end of regulation. But this year, having graduated a number of outstanding players including a current member of the U.S. senior women’s national team pool, the Vikings were stopped by a good Kingsway team which might be the best public-school team in the state.

The Vikings, and their collective excellence, effort, and pure joy of playing the game, will live long in the memory. Yes, this phase of domination may be over, but it is instructive to note that sport, as in life, there are new games to be played and new history to be written.

And if any team can rebound from this, it is Eastern.

Nov. 4, 2022 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Nov. 2

Hi, and welcome back to Statwatch, a feature of this website which tries to make sense of scholastic field hockey through its numbers.

This week’s most interesting statistical occurrence happened on Tuesday in the PIAA District 11-AAA Tournament as Emmaus (Pa.) senior Abby Burnett, on a corner shot deflected in by high-scoring classmate Rachel Herbine, earned her 100th career assist.

This isn’t the first time that teammates have gained 100 assists while playing together. It was just three years ago when Somerset-Berkley Regional (Mass.) had the brother and sister duo of Lucas (132 assists) and Cami (122) Crook, playing for a team which would win state championships — and because of gender, raise hackles amongst traditionalists.

Still, you can’t blame them for wanting to success in the game that their mother taught them, and help out teammates by drawing the pictures and luring them to space, so that it was easy for them to put in goals. Which, last I heard, is still the object of the game.

What you see in the red type are numbers published by, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media. We encourage coaches, ADs, team managers, and staffs to register for the MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams as well as perhaps your league, section, or state governing body to enter field hockey information there, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

SEASON GOALS
81 Olivia Fraticelli, Toms River (N.J.) North
50 Tyler Everslage, Louisville Assumption (Ky.)
44 Aubreigh Uba, Reading Berks Catholic (Pa.)
44 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
41 Jessica Albertson, Gibsonia Pine-Richland (Pa.)
41 Maci Bradford, Delmar (Del.)
41 Danielle Hand, Queensbury (N.Y.)41 Katie Clarke, Purcellville Loudoun Valley (Va.)
41 Izzy Morgan, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.)
38 Ava Michael, Benton (Pa.) Area
38 Madison Beach, Glenbrook (Ill.) South
38 Reagan Eickhoff, Boiling Springs (Pa.)
36 Olivia McKenna, Northport (N.Y.)

SEASON ASSISTS
43 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
34 Abby Burnett, Emmaus (Pa.)
31 Molly Digiulio, Buffalo Nichols School (N.Y.)
30 Sammie Goin, Leesburg Independence (Va.)
28 Erika Culp, West Lawn Wilson (Pa.)
28 Madison Beach, Glenbrook (Ill.) South
27 Lillian Willis, South Glens Falls (N.Y.)
27 Smilla Klas, San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.)
26 Halley Beaudoin, Fairfax (Va.)
26 Ella Murphy, Buffalo Nichols School (N.Y.)
25 Gigi Edwards, Fontenac Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
25 Julia May, Louisville duPont Manual (Ky.)
25 Melea Weber, Emmaus (Pa.)

CAREER GOALS
215 Olivia Fraticelli, Toms River (N.J.) North
173 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
164 Maci Bradford, Delmar (Del.)
134 Lauren Masters, Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.)
118 Josie Hollamon, Delmar (Del.)
117 Tyler Everslage, Louisville Assumption (Ky.)
114 Olivia Bent-Cole, Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.)
106 Maggie Sturgis, Marblehead (Mass.)
106 Emma Watchilla, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
101 Ava Bleier, Pittsford Sutherland (N.Y.)
101 Kate Galica, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)

CAREER ASSISTS
128 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
100 Abby Burnett, Emmaus (Pa.)
80 Josie Hollamon, Delmar (Del.)
79 Gigi Edwards, Frontenac Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
78 Hope Haynes, Houston Kinkaid (Tex.)

GOALS SCORED, TEAM
192 Emmaus (Pa.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
111 Delmar (Del.)
66 Emmaus (Pa.)
52 Northport (N.Y.)

CONSECUTIVE UNBEATEN
111 Delmar (Del.)
66 Emmaus (Pa.)
52 Northport (N.Y.)

ACTIVE COACHING VICTORIES
1037 Susan Butz-Stavin, Emmaus (Pa.)
869 Linda Krieiser, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.)
757 Karen Klassner, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
726 Eileen Donahue, Watertown (Mass.)
724 Cheryl Poore, Harwich (Mass.), Monomoy (Mass.), and Nauset (Mass.)
705 Sharon Sarsen, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y)

Now, here’s where you come in. If you see something that requires adjustment or correction, please send me an email to us at TopOfTheCircle.com. Send us some evidence (a website will do), and we can make a quick fix.

We hope you enjoyed reading us, and we’ll try again in seven days.