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May 20, 2023 — A different kind of living memorial

As we’ve said on numerous occasions, there’s one team that has seemingly defined the coverage behind this website: the field hockey team at Voorhees Eastern (N.J.).

We’ve seen the players, coaches, and teams from this one school dominate competition for some two decades, playing some of the best hockey you’ll ever see from an ever-evolving group of under-18 players.

While we’ve done work in creating blog posts, video features, and an assembly of statistics you can see just to the right of these paragraphs (or below of you’re on, there is a wonderful webpage detailing the history and heyday of the Eastern program.

This page was authored by Ted Silary, a veteran journalist for the Philadelphia Daily News, who died last week. While his main focus was on basketball — mainly the Philadelphia Catholic League — he also found great stories in just about every assignment he took on during his remarkable career.

For four decades, he told stories about players, teams, and the waxing and waning of schools as the PCL saw schools close, others merge, and still others move from the city out to greater suburbia.

Even if you didn’t know the first thing about Philadelphia-area scholastic hoops aside from Kobe Bryant, the Ted Silary website is a great rabbit-hole of information, statistics, and storytelling.

And one cool thing is that this site was name-checked by the great Ted Silary; go find it on the Eastern field hockey page. Mind you, he continued with his coverage of the team, even to the great 2021 Tournament of Champions final when Ryleigh Heck scored on an untimed corner at the end of regulation to beat Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) after falling behind 3-0 in the first half.

Silary’s site is a database and a great source of information. I hope someone can pick up the reins and keep the site running for a while.

May 19, 2023 — Friday Statwatch for games played through May 17

Welcome back to Statwatch, our attempt at collecting statistics from all over the nation to tell stories about players, teams, and even trends.

This week, our goals and assists leaders are in playoff mode. Vanni Intini, a sophomore attacking midfielder from Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy, finishes her season tomorrow in the NCISAA Division II Tournament against The Asheville (N.C.) School. She has 152 goals this season, but there are others waiting in the weeds looking to overtake her.

In the assists category, junior attacker Lauren Hayden has amassed 138 this season, which puts her already third all-time behind the remarkable Besser Dyson and Corinne Wessels in the all-time single-season assist list. Hayden and her Newport Croatan (N.C.) side are in the NCHSAA Division 1A/3A title match against Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (N.C.). Bishop McGuinness, incidentally, has a top scorer in Kathleen Dennen, who will be looking to improve on her 116 goals.

What you see below are from available sources, including MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media. To make this list an even more complete one, I encourage you to adopt the easy-to-use platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

152 Vanni Intini, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
151 Riley Sterling, Palo Alto Castilleja (Calif.)
151 Caroline Ling, Springboro (Ohio)
140 Sara Williams, Winter Haven All Saints Academy (Fla.)
134 Jaryn Zdanavage, Irgine Portoia (Calif.)
131 Scarlett Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)
125 Ryann Frechette, St. John’s Bartram Trail (Fla.)
120 Reilly Cormer, Denver Northfield (Colo.)
118 Alexandra Gladding, Pompano Beach Pine Crest (Fla.)|
116 Sienna Chirieleison, Camp Hill Trunity (Pa.)
116 Kathleen Dennen, Kernersville Bishop McGuinness (N.C.)|
115 Triniti Cassidy, Snellville Brookwood (Ga.)

138 Lauren Hayden, Newport Croatan (N.C.)
87 Emily Phillips Wake Forest (N.C.)
87 Sophia Richardson, Lexington Sayre (Ky.)
84 Polly Miller, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
82 Charlee Nyquist, Lake Mary (Fla.)
77 Riley Nee (Hampstead Topsail (N.C.)
76 Taylor McGovern, Margery Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)
75 Allie Hirst, Southern Pines Pinecrest (N.C.)
68 Lilli Forman, Pompano Beach Pine Crest (Fla.)
66 Addie Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)
66 Aubrey Harrison, Fairmount (W.Va.) Senior

850 Kathy Jenkins|
501 Lisa Lindley
450 Chris Robinson

We could use help rounding out this list, given the number of lacrosse teams who no longer are covered by newspapers or who don’t connect with MaxPreps. If you see something amiss (bearing in mind that this is supposed to be a snapshot of lacrosse stats as of the end of play on Wednesday), please feel free to send an email to us at Include some backup (a website link will do), and we can make corrections.

Thanks for reading and we’ll be back next week.

May 18, 2023 — A goal and a game from the heavens

The 90-second possession clock had ticked down to five.

There was a shade over six minutes to go in an NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse game between fifth-seeded Denver University and the fourth seed, and defending national champion, North Carolina.

With the buzzer and expiration of the clock looming, Kayla DeRose, a graduate student wearing a black Denver jersey, swung left and, using two defenders as a partial (albeit legal) screen, unleashed a shot from about seven yards that found net.

In a game which had the pace and rhythm of a World Cup final from the early 1990s, that single goal proved to be priceless in Denver’s 5-4 win over UNC.

Denver, in making its first trip to the women’s lacrosse Final Four, held North Carolina to zero goals in the final 35 minutes of play. Sam Thacker, a defender late of Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.), was a defensive stalwart, and made a key late defensive play when she pounced on a loose pass out of an 8-meter free position with 1:42 to go. North Carolina never saw the ball in the critical scoring area again.

This game, and this season, has been a product of masterful coaching by former U.S. women’s national teamer Liza Kelly, who played her scholastic lacrosse in the nation’s greatest lacrosse conference, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.

It’s a testament to Kelly’s recruiting that she has been able to get enormously talented players from the likes of McDonogh, Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.), Olney Good Counsel (Md.), Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.), Delray American Heritage (Fla.), and the super-prep team from Hill Academy in Ontario.

The team, flying the flag of Western lacrosse, has ensured that there will be a new national champion. Too, it also raised the percentage of potential first-time champions in Division I; as of 7 p.m. Thursday, three of the last five teams — Denver, Syracuse, and Loyola — are programs which have never won a national championship.

Perhaps this win is a harbinger of things to come in women’s lacrosse — new areas of the country, new powerhouses, and perhaps a new focus on defense.

It’s going to be interesting to see what the Pioneers do against the likes of Northwestern, Syracuse, and Boston College, who have scored boatloads of goals in 2023.

May 17, 2023 — Does women’s soccer need a second professional American league?

In the last day, details emerged about the United Soccer Leagues’ proposed Women’s Super League, a 12-team professional Division I league which will be on the American soccer pyramid alongside the current National Women’s Soccer League.

Amongst the details are the location of eight of the franchises, including, interestingly, a team in Washington, D.C. which will be run by D.C. United. It is reminiscent of the time when there was a D.C. United Women team in the USL, which was between 2011 and 2012.

Interestingly, D.C. United Women became the Washington Spirit in the NWSL, It makes you wonder if the current Spirit, now with a working arrangement with Olympic Lyonnais Feminin, may be searching out a new home.

Now, the USL has been in the business of women’s soccer for the better part of four decades. When the league was known as the United States Interregional Soccer League, a group of women’s amateur teams were formed as a test league, one which ended when a team from Sacramento won the postseason tournament.

For years, the USISL’s W-League was a good place to watch the women’s game. Members of the U.S. women’s national team like Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm were linked with teams and, at one juncture, U.S. Soccer bought a franchise in Alabama and had the reserves from the 1996 Olympic Team playing for that side.

These days, the USL’s W-League has 65 teams spread across the U.S. with each team having amateur players. As recently as 2001, there were two divisions within the W-League, with the W-2 league being the strictly amateur league featuring college and some high-school players, but with the W-1 having players who were aiming for playing in the WUSA, which started in 2001.

Since 2001, however, the WUSA, WPS, and the NWSL have taken a lot of focus off the USL’s efforts to promote women’s soccer.

I find it interesting, however, that the U.S. Soccer Federation decided to sanction the new league as a co-equal of the NWSL, even as the latter has enjoyed record ratings and a national television contract which gives the league more visibility than Major League Soccer.

I’ll be interested to see whether this league is the start of a golden age in women’s soccer or whether it will set off a civil war for players, fans, and dollars.

May 16, 2023 — Top 10 for the week of May 14

Last week saw the end of competition in several places, including the CIF North Coast and in the Baltimore-area private schools in the nation’s best conference, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.

But in one of the better competitions, the postseason is just beginning. The Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference is often a bellweather of how teams will do in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference heading into June. It will be interesting to see what happens when Darien has to meet Wilton and/or New Canaan a second or third time this season..

1. Darien (Conn.) 13-0
The Wave have 10-goalled their last three opponents heading into this week’s Fairfield County tournament
2. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 20-1
Season complete: Eagles beat Brooklandville St. Paul’s (Md.) 13-9 in Class “A” Tournament final
3. Radnor Archbishop Carroll (Pa.) 16-1
Patriots take on Philadelphia Archbishop Wood (Pa.) tomorrow in the semifinal round of the Philadelphia Catholic League tournament
4. Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) 15-0
Phantoms beat Smithtown (N.Y.) West 14-2 to close out regular season; Section XI Class C playoff bracket has them hosting the winner of Robky Point and Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) this Saturday
5. Brooklandville St. Paul’s (Md.) 17-2
Season complete: The Gators fell to Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) in the final of the IAAM Class “A” Tournament
6. Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 22-1
Season complete: The Stallions made their run through the FHSAA Class 1A tournament look easy, especially with an 11-4 win over Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) team in the final
7. Eldersburg Liberty (Md.) 11-1
Lions were to meet Sykesville South Carroll (Md.) in the regional final yesterday
8. South Huntington St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 15-2
Beat Manhasset (N.Y.) 11-9 last weekend; Friars took on Uniondale Kellenberg Memorial (N.Y.) yesterday
9. Manchester (Md.) Valley 14-0
Were to play Glenelg (Md.) in the MPSSAA Class2A octofinals yesterday
10. Danville San Ramon Valley (Calif.) 22-0
Season complete: The Wolves beat El Dorado Hills Oak Ridge (Calif.) 14-7 in the final of the CIF North Coast Section Tournament

Who’s out: Lutherville Maryvale Prep (Md.) 16-4 loss to Brooklandville St. Paul’s (Md.)

And bear in mind: Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.) 17-0, Greenwich (Conn.) Academy 8-2, Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 14-1, Lutherville Maryvale Prep (Md.) 16-3, Severna Park (Md.) 13-2, Olney Good Counsel (Md.) 16-5, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 11-3, Summit (N.J.) 11-2, Cicero-North Syracuse (N.Y.) 14-1, Baldwinsville (N.Y.) 12-3, Rush-Henretta (N.Y.) 15-1, Canandaigua (N.Y.) Academy 12-3, East Setauket Ward Melville (N.Y.) 14-2, Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) 20-1, Charlottesville St. Anne’s-Belfield (Va.) 16-2

May 15, 2023 — The one to watch

So, in the world of NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse, the top four seeds have made it through to Thursday’s octofinal round. One of the seeded teams, Florida, fell to Notre Dame. Three other matches were one-goal games, which made for much better viewing than the first-round games two days earlier.

But if there is one team which I think could be the one to make a serious push towards the Final Four, it’s the five seed, Denver.

Head coach Liza Kelly had taken over the Pioneers’ program after Cathy Reese took the job at the University of Maryland. Over the intervening 17 seasons, Reese led Maryland to five NCAA titles. Kelly, before this season, had only seven wins in NCAA Tournament play, making the quarterfinal round only once.

Denver, who is playing your defending national champion North Carolina in the quarterfinal round, is a fun team to watch. Their defense, statistically, is one of the finest in all of the land. They also have a couple of really good attackers in Julia Dilbert and Lauren Black. It’s notable, however, that, when you look at the list of top scorers, many of these players don’t start. Ryan Dineen leads the team in assists, but has not started one game this year. Sloane Kipp has 29 goals, but hasn’t started a game this year, either.

The three Denver players who are seventh, eighth, and ninth in scoring on the team has exactly one start amongst the three of them.

This tells me that Kelly has a unique substitution pattern; it’s not like the coaching staff throws on a second platoon for extended garbage time. Instead, I think there are definite strategic substitutions for many different situations depending on team needs. I think this has made Denver an incredibly difficult team to scout for, and it allows different players to get hot.

I think the one player who might be the most fun to watch is defensive midfielder Trinity McPherson. She is a player who did not graduate from a U.S. high school; instead, she spent her junior and senior years of high school at the International School of Manila after playing for two years at Catonsville (Md.).

McPherson originally played her college ball for Johns Hopkins, graduating with a degree in psychology before choosing a grad-school year at Denver as she earns credits to her master’s degree in social work. She is a draw-control and ground-ball machine, amongst the leaders in both categories for the Pioneers.

I have a feeling the game between Denver and UNC, scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, could be one in which both coaches take more risks in their strategy and tactics than in the sum total of the rest of the season. And there’s so much at stake, as Denver represents the new frontier of women’s lacrosse as well as the long process of building a competitive program. Opposing UNC represents the established cadre of teams which have won NCAA championships, as well as an emphasis on offense.

It should be a fascinating contest.

May 14, 2023 — In the shadow of death

Last evening, a guy a know, Dave, emerged from an alcove at the place where a few hundred of us were swing dancing.

Dave, one of the most mild-mannered gents I know, was yelling at the top of his lungs and had a near-manic look in his eyes. I had absolutely no idea what he was saying, but I heard people around him saying, “We need a doctor!”

In that alcove was an older man whose eyes were closed and was slumped back in his seat, his skin ashen.

I sped across the front of the stage as some of the people following Dave out of the alcove stopped the live music and asked for a doctor.

Having gone through the experience I went through in August of 2018, when I saw a man die at a similar event, I realized that there was one thing I needed to do. You see, in the instance of the August 2018 event, there was no portable defibrillator on site; it took several minutes for someone to go down the street to the pizza parlor and get one. Since then, I have been much more aware of the need for one at many public places I frequent.

This includes this vintage ballroom, which I knew had gotten a portable machine sometime in late 2018.

The problem was, I didn’t know where the thing was. I looked on the wall leading the loading dock, but only found a first-aid kit.

I stepped into another alcove with steps leading to the lobby when I saw a white box bolted to the wall. I opened the box, took out the black bag and instructions for the portable unit, and rushed it over to the stricken man’s side. I left the vicinity to let two medical professionals take charge until the ambulance came.

I brooded over the entire experience for the next few minutes. The man who had fallen ill, who I’ll call Rob, is a long-time volunteer within the dance community, always willing to help out with one of the jobs that many people didn’t want, which was to sweep dustbunnies off the floor and help ensure the room was tidy for the next group using the ballroom the following afternoon.

After a number of years of doing this work, he stopped volunteering at the start of the pandemic, only coming back a few months ago, but he changed his preferred volunteer hours to be earlier in the evening.

I don’t know what has happened to him; all I saw was him lying on a gurney being rolled into an ambulance with a mask over his nose and mouth.

It is events like these which make me pledge to cherish every moment and to not waste time on trifles or unproductive issues.

“Seize the day,” it is said.

May 13, 2023 — In search of … a competitive game

Yesterday, the first round of the NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse tournament was a little bit of a snoozer for the first part of the day.

As I started streaming the first couple of hours of play, the favored teams opened up the scoring, kept on the pressure, and on a few occasions pushed the underdogs over the edge into the 10-goal running clock.

It was such that I didn’t bother turning up the volume to hear commentary; I knew exactly what was going on in most of the games.

But late in the day, a bit of lacrosse magic started appearing on the screens. That magic came courtesy of the State University of New York at Albany.

Albany had made the NCAA Tournament after winning the America East tournament final with a rollercoaster, edge-of-your-seat win over Binghamton that saw several lead changes and Albany coming back from a 6-4 deficit to level the match at the interval, then forged ahead in the third and fourth quarters under continuous pressure.

I didn’t expect this when Albany fell behind 9-3 in the 32nd minute of play of yesterday’s NCAA game against Virginia, one of the seven schools which have won the NCAA championship since 1990.

Albany, thanks to an otherworldly performance by Katie Falk, came all the way back to win 16-14.

Part of the promise of the post-Charlotte North era in women’s lacrosse is that not all NCAA Tournaments games would go according to seed; there was going to be room for underdogs to compete against established powers and create moments of magic.

I have a feeling there’s going to be some magic in the octofinal round on Sunday. These should be some great games.

May 12, 2023 — Friday Statwatch for games played through May 10

Good morning, and welcome to Statwatch, our look at the statistical side of girls’ scholastic lacrosse nationwide.

Our Stat of the Week is the ascendancy of Darien (Conn.) head coach Lisa Lindley into the 500-win club. The milestone was achieved on Tuesday with a 17-7 win at Massapequa (N.Y.). She become only the fifth known coach with 500 wins in the recorded history of scholastic girls’ lacrosse, behind Kathy Jenkins, Angela Tammaro, Deanna Knobloch, and Phyllis Kilgour.

It’s a rarefied level of coaching, and one which is well-deserved for the coach of the current No. 1 team in the nation.

What you see below are from available sources, including MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media. To make this list an even more complete one, I encourage you to adopt the easy-to-use platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams to enter their information there as well as whichever is your local news site, so that we can aim for as complete a statistical picture of the country as possible.

151 Riley Sterling, Palo Alto Castilleja (Calif.)
140 Sara Williams, Winter Haven All Saints Academy (Fla.)
140 Vanni Intini, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
139 Caroline Ling, Springboro (Ohio)
128 Jaryn Zdanavage, Irgine Portoia (Calif.)
127 Scarlett Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)
125 Ryann Frechette, St. John’s Bartram Trail (Fla.)
118 Alexandra Gladding, Pompano Beach Pine Crest (Fla.)
117 Reilly Cormer, Denver Northfield (Colo.)
115 Triniti Cassidy, Snellville Brookwood (Ga.)
114 Sienna Chirieleison, Camp Hill Trunity (Pa.)
112 Susan Lowther, Sarasota Riverview (Fla.)
112 Kelly Tou, Irvine University (Calif.)

118 Lauren Hayden, Newport Croatan (N.C.)
82 Charlee Nyquist, Lake Mary (Fla.)
82 Emily Phillips Wake Forest (N.C.)
81 Sophia Richardson, Lexington Sayre (Ky.)
78 Polly Miller, Fayetteville (N.C.) Academy
76 Taylor McGovern, Margery Stoneman Douglas (Fla.)
73 Allie Hirst, Southern Pines Pinecrest (N.C.)
73 Riley Nee (Hampstead Topsail (N.C.)
68 Lilli Forman, Pompano Beach Pine Crest (Fla.)
65 Addie Gilner, Chapel Hill (N.C.)
64 Aubrey Harrison, Fairmount (W.Va.) Senior
63 Sophie Warren, Lakewood Green Mountain (Colo.)

845 Kathy Jenkins|
500 Lisa Lindley
449 Chris Robinson

So, here is where you come in. If you see something amiss (bearing in mind that this is supposed to be a snapshot of lacrosse stats as of the end of play on Wednesday), please feel free to send an email to us at Include some backup (a website link will do), and we can make corrections.

Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you in a week.

May 11, 2023 — The end of a long worldwide nightmare?

This week has seen the World Health Organization call an end to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. And with it, the U.S. government is planning for the federal public health emergency to expire at the end of the day today.

It’s appropriate, in an odd way, that the end of the declaration occurs one day before the championship final of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland’s Class “A” Tournament.

That’s because, in 2020, one of the participants in tomorrow’s grand final, Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.), was to have played what might have been the game of the year against Delray American Heritage (Fla.) before the world shut down.

Three years later, what have we learned from all of the maskings, the social distancing, the vaccines?

I think the world health agencies have learned a lot, but there are, I think, a lot of lessons that school districts and schools had to learn the hard way. While there seemed to be some panic when a small handful of current college athletes died from the Coronavirus, a lot of the regulations put in place were, frankly, draconian.

On more than one occasion, a single positive COVID test within a sports team resulted in the forfeiture of play for the entire team. This forced the cessation of the entire athletics program at Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) in 2020, and it also determined the state championship in New Hampshire in Division III. In the latter situation, a single positive test within the Berlin (N.H.) team meant that the entire team would have to quarantine for 10 days, making the Concord Bishop Brady (N.H.) vs. Canaan Mascoma Valley (N.H.) semifinal the de facto final.

Now, if there was one location which seemingly breezed along within the field hockey and lacrosse universe, it was the Ohio High School Athletic Association. Teams played full schedules and had a full playoff bracket, acting as if nothing had happened.

I also remember seeing footage of the celebration from the Colorado state final in April 2021, where full student sections celebrated their teams’ successes as if nothing had happened. No masks, no social distancing. And this was about the time COVID-19 shots became widely available for limited population (DISCLAIMER: this writer received a first vaccine in March 2021 because of chemotherapy).

Today, as far as I can tell, there isn’t any scholastic competitive event which requires either a participant or a spectator to wear a mask. But that’s no reason to let down our guard as a people. There are billions of people around the world who have not received even a first COVID-19 injection. It’s estimated that the potential for a new COVID pandemic of the unvaccinated could decimate a number of developing countries, including the BRIC consortium (Brazil, Russia, India, China).

All I know is that if I’m going to be in a place with a large crowd, I’ll not only have a mask with me, I’ll also be listening to what my body tells me when it comes to symptoms.

As we all should.