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Nov. 18, 2018 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Nov. 16

It’s our penultimate run through of national field hockey statistics, meaning that we can start making some predictions about how things are going nationwide. We think the number of 50-goal scorers are going to remain the same through the weekend; 10 is a pretty stout number, the same as the 10 we had a year ago.

Below are a collection of national field hockey statistics from available sources. This includes, amongst others, amongst others, Advance Media, PennLive.com, LancSports.com, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, PhilaFieldHockey.com, and the Washington Post. It also includes data from the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com reporting tool, and I encourage readers to contact their coaches, athletic directors, and student managers so that they may register for and use the MaxPreps.com platform, and we encourage you to get your fellow teams as well as perhaps your conference, league, or your 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.

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
92 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
67 Olivia Sahaydak, Bethlehem Liberty (Pa.)
59 Hannah Trottier-Braun, Lewiston Saint Dominic Academy (Maine)

58 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
56 Sarah Wilson, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)

54 Kate Schneider, San Diego Serra (Calif.)
53 Leah Zellner, Emmaus (Pa.)
52 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)
52 Alivia Klopp, Tulpehocken (Pa.)
50 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
46 Morgan Carr, Walkill Valley (N.J.)
46 Jessica Maute, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

45 Elizabeth Romano, Madison (N.J.) Borough
45 Riley Baughman, Emmaus (Pa.)
45 Lily Croddick, Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
44 Regan Dougherty, Haddon Township (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
38 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
35 Nicki McNamara, Chantilly Westfield (Va.)
35 Julia Russo, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)

34 Gabby Andretta, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
32 Taryn Tkachuk, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
31 Melissa Maynard, Falls Church George C. Marshall (Va.)
31 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
30 Olivia Perrone, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
29 Leah Crouse, Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.)
28 Ellie Decker, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
28 Elizabeth Romano, Madison (N.J.) Borough
28 Natalie Nava, Edwardsville (Ill.)
28 Greer Gill, Norfolk (Va.) Academy
28 Lindsay Dickinson, Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.)
28 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, CAREER
227 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
165 Riley Fulmer, Norfolk (Va.) Academy
160 Lily Croddick, Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.)
146 Regan Dougherty, Haddon Township (N.J.)
137 Sammy Popper, Fort Washington Germantown Academy (Pa.)
132 Charlotte de Vries, Virginia Beach Cape Henry Academy (Va.) and Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)*

130 Alivia Klopp, Tulpehocken (Pa.)
129 Elizabeth Romano, Madison (N.J.) Borough
127 Ali McCarthy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
117 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)**
113 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
112 Sarah Wilson, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
108 Jessica Maute, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

108 Julia Russo, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
107 Gianna Morganti, Hammonton St. Joseph’s (N.J.)
107 Leah Zellner, Emmaus (Pa.)
105 Gabby Andretta, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
104 Alexis Rider, Delran (N.J.)
104 Leah Crouse, Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.)
103 Riley Donnelly, Buckingham Central Bucks East (Pa.)
96 Morgan Carr, Walkill Valley (N.J.)
97 Hailey Couch, Easton (Pa.)
92 Ellie McIntyre, Easton (Pa.)
91 Olivia Sahaydak, Bethlehem Liberty (Pa.)
87 Erin Matson, Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.)***
* — four-year varsity career
** — three-year varsity career
***— inactive for 2016-17 seasons

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, CAREER
108 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
106 Gabby Andretta, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
104 Leah Crouse, Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.)
91 Greer Gill, Norfolk (Va.) Academy
79 Julia Russo, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
70 Kara McClure, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)

67 Elizabeth Romano, Madison (N.J.) Borough
66 Ali McCarthy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
65 Riley Fulmer, Norfolk (Va.) Academy
57 Hailey Couch, Easton (Pa.)

GAMES UNDEFEATED
115 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
90 Los Gatos (Calif.)
76 San Diego Serra (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
76 San Diego Serra (Calif.)

I’ve done all the hard work, so this is where you, the loyal reader, kicks in. If you see something that needs correction, 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 reading, and we’ll see you at Thanksgiving.

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Nov. 16, 2017 — A note of congratulations

I didn’t want to go too long without making note of this news item from the world of women’s lacrosse, because it is a significant and well-deserved change.

Jenny (Slingluff) Levy, who built a North Carolina program that made the Final Four in its second and third seasons, then figured out how to win a national championship 15 years later, is now the head coach of the U.S. senior women’s national lacrosse team.

I first met Levy back in 1996 in the upper levels of the horseshoe at Goodman Stadium at Lehigh University. She and the team were sitting together watching the track meet unfold in front of us as Maryland was playing Temple.

At the end of our talk, I told Levy, “One of these days, you’re going to win one of these,” meaning a national championship.

I thought it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that North Carolina, with support from an athletics department who knew how to get the best out of their student-athletes, was someday going to win a title match. But little did I suspect that it would take three overtime periods in a wild game at Villanova Stadium a decade and a half later for this prophecy to come true.

This appointment comes at an interesting time in Levy’s career. Carolina is now a perpetual contender for national honors thanks to masterful recruiting and marrying these recruits to her offensive and defensive tactics.

The duty of national team coach means taking a small amount of time away from the focus on all things UNC, including some fall-ball tournaments as well as an annual preseason tournament, usually in Florida, when the United States national team pool gets a runout.

Somehow, I get the feeling your current FIL World Cup champions are in good hands.

 

Nov. 15, 2017 — Where streaks go to die

Last night, the longest field hockey win streak in the history of Pennsylvania ended at 81 games, as Emmaus (Pa.) was defeated 3-1 by Downingtown (Pa.) West in the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AAA championship.

Pennsylvania, it seems, is the place where all field hockey win streaks go to die. Given the high level of competition within the state, any game is a risk for defeat. And there’s also the trend over the last 40 years of PIAA competition, which states that no team has ever won three straight state field hockey championships.

And that scenario, as of this morning, still remains: all three defending champions are gone.

I guess a foreshadowing of all this occurred three weeks ago in the quarterfinal of the 3-AAA tournament, when Palmyra (Pa.), the last team to beat Emmaus until last night, was eliminated. Palmyra was looking for a fourth straight trip to the state final, but were beaten by the nation’s No. 1 team, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.).

Then there was last Saturday, when defending Class A champion Bethlehem Moravian Academy (Pa.) was ousted by Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.). Now, Greenwood is an interesting story unto itself. The school represents a bucolic village of 673 people along the banks of the Juniata River, although it also takes in students from the neighboring townships of Liverpool,. Tuscarora, and Greenwood.

The coach at Greenwood is Kent Houser, who has been coaching for more than three decades, amassing more than 1,000 wins coaching the softball, boys’ basketball, and field hockey teams. The only thing missing in that career is a state championship, and Saturday will be Houser’s first experience in a state final in any sport.

Also making her debut in the state final is Elizabeth Bradley, the head coach of Downingtown West. The Whippets have always been in the headwaters of District 1 competition, but this year have been outstanding from the opening weekend, beating Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) to open the season, then beating both Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.) and Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.) at the end.

Oddly enough, it has been a while since a public-school team from District 1 has made the state final; since 2002, when a Buckingham Central Bucks East (Pa.) team led by future U.S. national team captain Lauren Crandall beat an Emmaus team that had broken the national record for goals scored 1-0 in the final two minutes of play, only one other public school team from the five-county Philadelphia area — Pennsburg Upper Perkiomen (Pa.) — has made a final.

And it was about that time when District 2 was making a significant presence in PIAA field hockey, with Lauren Powley, Kelsey Kolojejchick, Kat Sharkey, and Paige Selenski making the U.S. national team. This year, two legendary coaches bring back their teams to the state finals. Linda Fithian has Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) one win away from winning the Class 2A final, and Karen Klassner has Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) one win from winning the Class 1A title.

Should be an interesting tripleheader.

Nov. 14, 2017 — Top 10 for the week of Nov. 12

There was such potential for change in the Top 10 this week, but, amazingly, all 10 of our teams held serve. But with championship finals in seven states plus the New England Preparatory Schools Athletic Council finals, there’s bound to be some change this coming week. Hold on tight.

Our RightToRightIsRight.com honorary No. 11 team of the week is Franklin & Marshall. The Diplomats won their way through their quarter of the bracket to make the NCAA Division III Final Four for the first time since 1983.

1. Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) 26-0

The Comets play Hershey today in the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AAA Tournament

2. San Diego Serra (Calif.) 23-0

Conquistadores take on San Diego Patrick Henry (Calif.) in the first round of the CIF San Diego Section Open Division Tournament play

3. Emmaus (Pa.) 25-0

Emmaus takes on Downingtown (Pa.) West today in the semifinals of the PIAA Class AAA Tournament

4. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 23-0-1

Royals will play Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.) in the semifinals of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions

5. Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 25-1

Indians will play Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.), a team they only beat by an overtime goal earlier this season

6. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 23-0-1

Vikings scheduled to take on winner of Haddonfield-Moorestown in NJSIAA Tournament of Champions semifinals

7. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 22-0

Season complete: Hornets won ninth straight NYSPHSAA title with 5-0 win over Vestal (N.Y.)

8. Norfolk (Va.) Academy (Va.) 25-0

Season complete: Bulldogs beat Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.) in VISAA Division I final

9. Oley (Pa.) Valley 24-1

Lynx will have a skilled Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) to play in order to get to the PIAA Class A final

10. Delmar (Del.) 15-0

Delmar has scored 122 goals in their last 11 games; has Felton Lake Forest (Del.) in semifinals of the DIAA Division II tournament

11.  Franklin & Marshall 18-3

Diplomats take on Middlebury this Friday at Bellarmine for a shot at the national final

Who’s out: None

And bear in mind: Los Gatos (Calif.) 17-0-1, Monument Palmer Ridge (Colo.) 16-1-1, Enfield (Conn.) 18-0, Greenwich (Conn.) Academy 16-1, Greenwich Sacred Heart (Conn.) 17-2, Lake Forest (Ill.) 22-2, Christian Academy of Louisville (Ky.) 22-5-2, Louisville Assumption (Ky.) 19-7, Andover (Mass.) 20-0-1, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.) 27-2, Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.) 21-2-1, Moorestown (N.J.) 18-3, Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) 18-4, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 19-2, Downingtown (Pa.) West 24-0,  Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) 22-1, Chantilly Westfield (Va.) 24-0, Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) 19-3

Nov. 13, 2017 — A high-stakes game 108 years in the making

It was in early November 1909 when a group of young women hopped off their various carriages or other long-distance conveyances to gather together for a ritual only a very few women of any age were privileged to have known.

And that ritual was interscholastic athletic competition.

Those two schools, Haddonfield (N.J.) Memorial and Moorestown (N.J.) played a home-and-home series in field hockey — the first recorded instances of the sport interscholastically in America.

The teams have played each other over the years, either in the New Jersey Scholastic League or in interleague competition as Moorestown joined the Burlington County Scholastic League, and Haddonfield joined the Colonial Conference.

This evening, however, at Mount Holly Rancocas Valley (N.J.), the two teams meet for the highest stakes they have ever played for since Bess Taylor persuaded the principal at Haddonfield to allow girls to play sports more than a century ago.

For tonight, Haddonfield and Moorestown play in the opening round of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions.

The T of C is something new for these two sides, despite the two programs’ championship heritage. Combined, Haddonfield and Moorestown have 26 titles between them, but the teams have had only once appearance each in the Tournament of Champions.

The winner of this game gets top-seeded Voorhees Eastern (N.J.), and whichever matchup occurs Wednesday night will be one rife with family conflict. Eastern graduate Lindsay Kocher is the head coach of Haddonfield. And Moorestown is not only Eastern coach Danyle Heilig’s alma mater, but its current field hockey team features a prominent player named Delaney Lawler — Heilig’s niece.

But that’s all for Wednesday. Enjoy tonight’s appetizer.

Nov. 12, 2017 — Three Final Fours, but a 13th team to think about

Yesterday, the field for next week’s NCAA Division I, II, and III’s grand jamboree next weekend in Louisville, Ky. were set.

In Division III, the presence of The College of New Jersey looms large, since the program has won 11 titles. Messiah, the defending champion, is also back in the Final Four, along with two-time champion Middlebury and a Franklin & Marshall side which has not made it this far in the tournament since 1983.

In Division I, Maryland and Michigan represent a surging Big Ten when it comes to field hockey aptitude, while North Carolina and No. 1 UConn make up the other half. All four are proven winners, having won 17 out of the last 30 national titles.

Which brings us to Division II. Shippensburg, East Stroudsburg, and Millersville have won the last four D-2 titles, while LIU-Post, a perennial player in women’s lacrosse, is seeing its first field hockey title after suffering three losses in the last four title matches.

But there is one team missing from the Division II bracket, in the humble opinions of many field hockey cogniscenti: West Chester. The Rams won the PSAC postseason tournament and were on a good run of form in the latter third of the season. Yet, when the tournament committee exited its deliberations on Selection Sunday, the Rams did not make the field.

I know that making the bracket for any NCAA championship — whether it is the 68 of men’s basketball, the 64 of soccer and women’s hoops, or the simple six of Division II field hockey — is not easy work.

For some committees, it’s a matter of trusting the “black box” of data and statistics the NCAA forwards committee members receive when making their decisions. Other committee members may have a healthy skepticism.

But the lack of an AQ in Division II field hockey for either the PSAC or Northeast-10 champs is very much a puzzle. And it still will be long after the tournament is a distant memory.

Nov. 11, 2017 — A day in Twitterverse

Today, we followed a number of field hockey games through social media. There were plenty of historical markers, overtime goals, and odd occurrences. Here’s a sample of what happened:

One toe short: The championship streak for Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) reached 19 seasons as the Vikings beat Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) 8-0. It’s an outstanding achievement, given the competition that Eastern has had to go through, year on year, to make it through the Group IV bracket, composed of large New Jersey public schools.

Spare a thought: Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.) has a streak which is just as remarkable as Eastern’s, in my opinion. The Panthers have made the state championship final for 13 consecutive seasons, but without winning the big trophy.

I thought that B-R had a puncher’s chance at winning the state championship this year because of what happened last spring with the school’s girls’ lacrosse team, winners of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. And since Alyssa Frazier coaches both teams, I thought there would be valuable lessons learned from last spring. This time, it wasn’t to be. As what has happened many times before, Eastern seized control of the game with a barrage of goals in a handful of minutes.

All day: Mackenzie Allessie figured in on all five goals as Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) beat Manheim (Pa.) Central 5-1. Allessie, the junior, has now become the second player in the history of U.S. scholastic field hockey to break the 90-goal barrier for a season.

Spare a thought II: Credit Manheim Central for not backing off the Donegal challenge; the scoreline today was nothing like what happened when the teams met on Sept. 15, when the scoreline was 9-0 in favor of Donegal. And credit the coaching of Laura Gebhart, a product of the Donegal system.

The costly red: One hidden hazard of receiving a red card is that your team is obligated to play short the rest of the game. And it did not take the University of Michigan very long to take advantage of a 7-on-6 situation during overtime to win its quarterfinal match 1-0.

In the 51st minute of play, a red card was shown to Syracuse’s Elaine Carey after she swung her stick and hit Michigan Maggie Bettez in the shoe after a collision at the edge of the circle. It was a momentary rush of blood, but one which proved costly down the road, as the extra space was ruthlessly exploited in under three minutes.

The orange whammy: One year ago, Princeton scored perhaps the most dramatic goal you will ever see in a defeat of Virginia. On this occasion, Sophia Tornetta pinged in a goal in the final second of play. And the usual suspects were out today as Princeton beat Virginia in overtime. Tornetta almost had the game won for Princeton in regulation, but her 67th-minute penalty corner goal was ruled out for danger.

Instead, the heroine on the day was Ryan McCarthy, who two years ago beat Penn in overtime in what was the de facto Ivy League championship. Her goal in the 92nd minute was the difference and sent Virginia home short of the Final Four for the seventh straight season.