TopOfTheCircle.com

Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

BULLETIN May 17, 2019 — It’s gotten worse at Ohio State

Remember this?

Today, this happened.

The independent report has uncovered a pattern of abuse which is infinitely worse than was expected. Some 177 student-athletes at Ohio State spanning the gamut of men’s sports at the school — even a pair of cheerleaders — were abused by Dr. Richard Strauss over the course of some 20 years.

Now, given what we already know about some of the school-based sexual abuse scandals coming to light over the last few years, it’s anyone’s guess how much further this is going to go.

May 17, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games played through May 15

Hi, everyone. The statistical trend of the week concerns the top of the list for individual goal-scorers. Brittany Sherrod had nine goals in the state public-school semifinals for the state of Kentucky as well as four in the final to finish with 158 goals for the 2019 season, which is tied for third all time in the history of girls’ scholastic lacrosse dating back to the start of the sport in the early 1920s.

But Sherrod isn’t your national scoring champion yet. There are about four weeks left in the domestic season, and there are plenty of impressive players who can also make a run at the top. We’ll see what happens.

Below is combination of girls’ scholastic lacrosse statistics from available sources, including MaxPreps.com, NJ Advance Media, The Harrisburg Patriot-News, The Providence Journal, The Albany Times-Union, Long Island Newsday, The Worcester Telegram, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MassLive.com, the Denver Post, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, MSG Varsity, the Ann-Arbor News, and The Washington Post.

I encourage you to convince your team, your school, league, or state governing body to adopt the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com 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.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
158 Brittany Sherrod, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
145 Katelyn Murphy, Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.)
144 Eliz Fino, Highland (N.Y.) Central
139 Francesca Frieri, Lockport (Ill.)
138 Bailey Gehler, San Diego Our Lady of Peace (Calif.)
125 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
122 Abbey Peterson, Versailles Woodford County (Ky.)
122 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
118 Stela Chepenik, Jacksonville Episcopal (Fla.)
117 Jordan Zablow, Richfield Revere (Ohio)
116 Juliana Lopez, Brodheadsville Pleasant Valley (Pa.)
116 Hennessey Evans, Mission Viejo Trabuco Hills (Calif.)
114 Makena Carter, Los Angeles Hamilton (Calif.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
103 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
102 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
73 Balay Woodworth, Dallas North Paulding (Ga.)
71 Bella Mims, Clermont East Ridge (Fla.)
70 Maddi Koury, Pottstown Owen J. Roberts (Pa.)
69 Lois Garlow, Kenmore Mount St. Mary’s (N.Y.)
69 Kayla Rinaldi, Mooresville Lake Norman (N.C.)
67 Maddie Barber, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)
66 Sadie Tschider, Piedmont (Calif.)

CAREER GOALS SCORED
409 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
332 Madi Tare, Camp Hill Trinity (Pa.)
325 Cassidy Spilis, Tabernacle Seneca (N.J.)
317 Hannah McCarthy, Bedford (N.H.)
311 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
307 Mariana Lopez-Ona, Princeton (N.J.)
286 Kira Sides, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)
206 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)

CAREER ASSISTS
440 Caitlyn Wurzburger, Delray American Heritage (Fla.)
292 Erin Coykendall, Spencerport (N.Y.)
273 Reilly Casey, Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.)
253 Keara Patterson, Fulton (N.Y.)
215 Maddie Barber, Lower Cape May Middle Township (N.J.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
45 Denver Colorado Academy (Colo.)

COACHING WINS
794 Kathy Jenkins, Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.)

So, we could use a little help. If you see something missing or askew, please feel to send us an email at TopOfTheCircle.com. Give us a name or a bit of documentation (a website will do) so that we can make the adjustment.

Thanks for sticking with us and we’ll try to do better next week.

May 16, 2019 — Dear Tiffany

I can’t believe it was 22 years ago yesterday when word of your passing came to my attention.

I must say, things in Mercer County field hockey have changed pretty significantly since you left us. Almost every team in the capital region now plays on some form of artificial grass. A number play on their school’s football stadiums, and that has really made local players better.

Indeed, there was one player a few years ago who became the first player in the history of Mercer County to reach the 100-goal mark. She went to North Carolina and played in four NCAA championship games, winning one.

There are, I fear, a few trends which are going to change the nature of the game of field hockey forever. The imposition of eyewear has yielded a generation of forwards who aren’t afraid of going into a crowded circle and shooting at any angle because the ball isn’t going to pop up and hit you in the eye.

And the same goes for defenders; a lot of skill has been taken out of defenders who now will tend to sweep and lunge for tackles rather than block tackle. It has been years since I saw a good block tackle on a high-school field.

The seesaw has been tilted towards the offense; this past year saw a scholastic player hitting the 100-goal mark for a single season. After leading her team to their state championship in the most breathtaking walkoff goal I have ever seen, she received a callup to the U.S. women’s national team.

Tiffany, do you remember that cap I carried with me all over the place with the autographs of all of the local players who made some sort of age-group national team? I still have it, albeit it is worse for wear. I tend to look at all of the names on that cap and wonder what happened to some of those players.

A few have been successful in Division I field hockey. One transferred out of her school to follow her boyfriend, and never picked up a stick again. And, regrettably, one is in jail.

I hope you are having a fun time up there regaling about our times together with Jim Davis. And I hope you’re meeting up with George O’Gorman, his buddy at The Trentonian. He treated girls’ and women’s soccer like Davis did field hockey: with a certain paternalistic bent, wanting to see the best for the sport above all.

Till we meet again.

Yours in hockey,

Al

May 15, 2019 — The power of an athletic department and a cable network

The four host institutions for this weekend’s NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse championship — Maryland, North Carolina, Boston College, and Northwestern — released their schedule for their national quarterfinal matches. All four games will be on Saturday, giving the victors six days’ rest rather than five, a tactical move by all involved.

But I also noticed something interesting: only one of the four matches will be on an over-the-air cable network, and that’s the game between Maryland and Denver. Maryland is one of the members of the Big Ten, and the Big Ten Network had a 7 p.m. slot on Saturday for the game. Evidently, someone in the network brass talked with the Maryland athletics department to get the prime-time TV slot, meaning that this one game is likely to get more views than the other three games combined.

I think there are going to be a lot more of this kind of thing as the spread of boutique college sports TV outlets continues. The ACC Network, which starts this fall, is going to have enormous reach throughout the Eastern half of the United States. There is room for growth with the current Longhorn and Pac 12 Networks.

Most of the rest of what are badged as conference “networks” are only available through a computer or a streaming device. Heck, even the New England Small College Athletic Conference has its own digital network.

But all of these digital streaming networks are simply delivering games either live or on demand. There isn’t a dedicated slot on your TV with programming surrounding the games — talk shows, lifestyle shows, documentaries, and so forth. That’s the definition, for me, of an actual TV network.

Then again, perhaps the definition of a “network” is changing as radically as the broadcast landscape.

May 14, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of May 12

Well, there goes the neighborhood. Again.

Four out of our top five teams from last week’s Top 10 saw defeats in the last seven days, and it could have been four had it not been for McDonogh keeping it all together, facing a two-goal deficit in the final minutes.

Our honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is Regis University. The Division II side is undefeated and headed to the Final Four with a 16-14 win over Colorado Mesa, and meets Adelphi in a national semifinal this Friday.

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 21-0

Season complete: The Eagles won their 10th IAAM Class A crown in 11 years, but not without receiving a major scare from Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.). McDonogh was down two in the last four minutes before winning 5-4 in double overtime

2. Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 17-0

Churchwomen finish out regular season with Philadelphia Penn Charter (Pa.) before learning their PAISAA seedings

3. Rush-Henrietta (N.Y.) 10-1

The Royal Comets had a pretty good week, beating Brighton (N.Y.) 9-3 and Spencerport (N.Y.) 13-12

4. Orlando Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) 20-2

Season complete: Saved its best lacrosse for the end of the season, besting Delray American Heritage (Fla.) and then Palm Beach Benjamin School (Fla.) in the FHSAA final

5. South Huntington St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) 15-1

Friars have played extremely well since an early season defeat to Cold Spring Harbor; beat Manhasset in a Long Island showdown just last week

6. Manhasset (N.Y.) 11-1

Defeated Cold Spring Harbor 13-6 last week

7. Edgewater South River 12-3

Beat Severna Park (Md.) for the Region V championship after being 10-goalled by the same team only a few days previous

8. Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.) 14-3

Seahawks need to turn around after loss to Manhasset to take on a good Hempstead Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.) side this afternoon

9. Summit (12-3)

Hilltoppers have wins already over both finalists for the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions crown and can now add “Union County Champions” to their resume

10. Brooklandville St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.) 12-10

Season complete: Yeah, it’s not often you see a 10-loss team anywhere near a Top 10 in any kind of national sports countdown. But this Gators team, part of the single toughest league in the country, put together a great run in the IAAM playoffs, knocking off Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) and Glenelg (Md.) Country to get to the final

11. Regis (Colo.) 20-0

Senior center Sarah Myres not only leads the team in goals (92), but in draw controls (77)

Who’s out? Delray American Heritage (Fla.) 10-6 loss to Orlando Lake Highland Prep; Severna Park (Md.) 9-6 loss to Edgewater South River (Md.); Spencerport (N.Y.) 11-10 loss to Pittsford (N.Y.) and 13-12 loss to Rush-Henrietta (N.Y.); Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 11-10 loss to Summit (N.J.)

 

May 13, 2019 — About that homestand …

It was supposed to have been the stretch of matches, six out of the last nine, which would have the U.S. women’s field hockey team accelerating up the table of the inaugural FIH Pro League.

Instead, consecutive 4-0 defeats to Australia and Argentina have had the Yanks spinning their wheels.

With four points, the United States is the only one of the nine Pro League teams without a regulation win. Its four points come from one shootout win and two shootout losses.

Yet, after all this, the U.S. is not yet mathematically eliminated from one of the top four Pro League slots to contest this summer’s grand final.

The States could win its next four games in regulation and get to 16 points, which would make Belgium and Germany have to get two wins in the balance of their games in order to clinch a Top 4 berth; as of now, the U.S. cannot catch Holland, Argentina, and Australia.

That scenario, however, seems unrealistic unless there is a collapse of biblical proportions.

May 12, 2019 — A “superprep” finds some trouble

This week, it was announced that Kaleigh Gibbons, the head coach at Bradenton IMG Academy (Fla.), was being suspended for comments made to team members. These comments were originally reported in a story by Lacrosse Magazine:

It was an innocent conversation, to begin with. It started off with a girl on our team talking about what kind of dog she just had. She bought the dog for $1,500. I was like “oh my gosh are you kidding me?’ I get all my dogs for free, because on the reservation there are a lot of dogs that run around. They’ll mate and we’ll have litters of puppies for us to take one for free. I was explaining that to her and then the authority figure came in and said ‘Oh, I heard that’s how people are on your res, too.’ To not only degrade us to animals, but also give into a stereotype at the same time, and to go in and make a huge assumption about an entire group of people, it made me lose a ton of respect for that person.

Although not originally attributed to Gibbons, an investigation by the school as well as a meeting between team members and the IMG Academy head of school led to her suspension.

As with many situations which have occurred in the administration of youth sports over the last few years, it is, i think, necessary to bring in some context into this story. The Lacrosse Magazine article was about Jacelyn and Mimi Lazore, who played for Fort Covington Salmon River (N.Y.), the year a film crew did a documentary on the team as it embarked on a remarkable season.

Shortly after that, however, the sisters transferred to Gill Northfield Mount Hermon (N.H.), then moved a year later to IMG Academy, the nation’s first “superprep” girls’ lacrosse team.

The Ascenders’ lacrosse team, while maintaining its affiliation in the Florida State High School Athletic Association, plays a diverse schedule. They had both Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) and Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) on their schedule, as well as teams from Georgia, New Jersey, and California.

As such, you would think that IMG’s program would be represented and coached by people who would not make comments like the one excerpted above.