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Sept. 23-25, 2022 — A word on our NHSI coverage

Hi, all.

As we said a couple of days ago, there are going to be 68 games at the National High School Invitational. I can’t possibly follow them all. Instead, I’m going to try to focus on the 12 games we highlighted on Wednesday.

For each of these games, we’re going to endeavor to have a postgame interview with a player or coach from the winning team. We’ll post these on our social media channels, just like we did for our preseason lists of top teams in Division I, Division II, and Division III, as well as the preseason Top 10.

We’ll endeavor to get these up on our TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube outlets as soon as we can.

Sept. 23, 2022 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Sept. 21

Hi, everyone. We’re kicking off our weekly Statwatch package on the first day of the National High School Invitational.

First off, a couple of rules of the road. The most important is that these statistics are through games played through the previous Wednesday. These will not show up in the continuously-updated “Chasing History” statistics, even though we’ve had a couple of items which could have shown up but for the Wednesday deadline. Note that, for example, Delmar is credited in this blog entry with 101 straight wins, but the Wildcats won yesterday to bring their number to 102. We’ll have disconnects like these throughout the season, but we’ll try to get them right by the end of the year.

Thus far this year, our statistical occurrence of note is the fact that Rachel Herbine, the senior from Emmaus (Pa.) became the 13th known U.S. scholastic field hockey player to score 100 goals and assist on 100 more in a career. In addition, she tops both the total goals and total assists list this week, which is pretty remarkable. I don’t remember any single player topping both lists.

Our stats are called from, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Advance Media.

We would like to get as many coaches and other field hockey people to register for 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. 

SEASON GOALS
25 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
25 Jessica Albertson, Gibsonia Pine-Richland (Pa.)
25 Olivia Vonderheide, Louisville Highlands Latin (Ky.)
24 Olivia Petrie, Louisville Highlands Latin (Ky.)
24 Tyler Everslage, Louisville Assumption (Ky.)
24 Katie Clarke, Purcellville Loudoun Valley (Va.)
21 Cece Tomaszewski, Leesburg Loudoun County (Va.)
19 Izzy Morgan, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.)
19 Jacqulin Gransbury, Walton (N.Y.)
18 Anna Finn, Windsor (N.Y.) Central
18 Emily Yazzetti, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
18 Mia Schoenbeck, The Christian Academy of Louisville (Ky.)

SEASON ASSISTS
22 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
20 Abby Burnett, Emmaus (Pa.)
14 Katie Clarke, Purcellville Loudoun Valley (Va.)
13 Molly Degiulio, Buffalo Nichols School (N.Y.)
13 Gigi Edwards, Frontenac Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
12 Annie Ryan, St. Louis St. Joseph’s Academy (Mo.)
11 Katie Crump, Frontenac Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
11 Erika Culp, West Lawn Wilson (Pa.)
11 Kaia Beaudoin, Fairfax (Va.)
11 Hannah Doyle, Gates Mills Hawken (Ohio)
11 Emma Westerhoff, Gibsonia Pine-Richland (Pa.)
11 Keira Gallagher, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
11 Mia Schoenbeck, The Christian Academy of Louisville (Ky.)

CAREER GOALS
155 Olivia Fraticelli, Toms River (N.J.) North
151 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
134 Maci Bradford, Delmar (Del.)
110 Lauren Masters, Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.)
104 Josie Hollamon, Delmar (Del.)
102 Olivia Bent-Cole, Cherry Hill Camden Catholic (N.J.)

CAREER ASSISTS
107 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
78 Hope Haynes, Houston Kincaid (Tex.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
101 Delmar (Del.)
52 Emmaus (Pa.)

CONSECUTIVE UNBEATEN
101 Delmar (Del.)
52 Emmaus (Pa.)

ACTIVE COACHING VICTORIES
1025 Susan Butz-Stavin, Emmaus (Pa.)
860 Linda Krieiser, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.)
744 Karen Klassner, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
722 Cheryl Poore, Harwich (Mass.), Monomoy (Mass.), and Nauset (Mass.)
712 Eileen Donahue, Watertown (Mass.)
696 Sharon Sarsen, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y)

See anything missing? It’s only the first week and I’m sure there are a lot of missing stats. Feel free to send an email to us at TopOfTheCircle.com. We’ll endeavor to fix it.

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

Sept. 20, 2022 — Top 10 for the week of Sept. 18

Hello, everyone, and welcome back to our weekly Top 10s, which is loosely based upon our preseason Top 10 that we released on social media in late August. As you can tell, there has been a lot of movement from that first back-of-the-envelope listing. But one thing that remains the same are our top two, Delmar (Del.) and Emmaus (Pa.).

Our RightToRightIsRight.com honorary No. 11 Team of the Week is Bates College, a small liberal arts school in Lewiston, Maine. The Bobcats, coached by Dani Kogut, have been on a tear in the New England Small College Athletic Conference, one of the best conferences in Division III. When Bates beat Bowdoin on Sept. 10, it was the first time the Bobcats had won against their CBB rivals since 1984.

1. Delmar (Del.) 4-0
The Wildcats have Seaford (Del.) and Milford (Del.) this week; have outscored their opponents 35-1 thus far with their well-worked attack led by Maci Bradford, U.S. national-teamer Josie Hollamon, and her younger sister Jordyn Hollamon

2. Emmaus (Pa.) 9-0
Hornets have outscored their opposition 103-0 this season; Rachel Herbine and Melea Weber have been leading the offensive juggernaut

3. Pottstown Hill School (Pa.) 4-0
Hill will have Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) tomorrow before playing Norfolk (Va.) Academy and The Christian Academy of Louisville (Ky.) this weekend at the NHSI

4. Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) 4-0
Dragons have a pair of major wins in their resume against sitting state champions Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) and Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.)

5. Palmyra (Pa.) 4-0
Cougars will have great tests against Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) and NHSI games with Garnet Valley (Pa.) and San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.)

6. Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.) 7-1
After a loss to host Chantilly Westfield (Va.) earlier in the season, the Titans beat Norfolk (Va.) Academy, 2-1 last weekend

7. Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 4-0-1
Blue Knights beat St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.) and Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) this past weekend; Sem will have Houston Kincaid (Tex.) and Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) at the NHSI

8. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 1-0
Vikings are a wildcard here; how do you keep the same level of play having graduated such a talented senior class? We’ll know more after NHSI games against Mechanicsburg (Pa.) and Ann Arbor Skyline (Mich.)

9. San Diego Canyon Hills (Calif.) 9-0
New head coach Kat Keivens is keeping the winning tradition, and will have three games next Saturday to try to win the Canyon Hills Invitational Tournament

10. Northport (N.Y.) 6-0
The Tigers have followed on from their sectional and state championships the last couple of years with some dominating results thus far

11. Bates College 4-1
Over the weekend, beat Williams 1-0; Bobcats have their best NESCAC start since the conference formed in 1999

And bear in mind: Greenwood Village Cherry Creek (Colo.) 6-0, Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.) 3-0, Watertown (Mass.) 3-0, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 3-1, Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 6-0-1, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 5-1, Hershey (Pa.) 3-1, Norfolk Academy (Va.) 5-1

Sept. 18, 2022 — Uneasy for the players from last year’s Division I final

This afternoon, the two participants in last year’s Division I championship — Liberty and Northwestern — found themselves in adverse situations in their respective road games. But this is to be expected: make a national championship final, and everyone on next year’s schedule will bring their best game and work every possible tactic in order to win.

Northwestern traveled to Princeton, a team which had a pair of immense results last week, They beat a good Syracuse team 5-1, then knocked off a Rutgers team which had been the No. 1 seed in last year’s tournament by a 4-1 score.

Princeton was able to get a Beth Yeager dragflick goal in the 31st minute, and held onto the lead deep into regulation before a Peyton Halsey deflection on the doorstep tied the game.

The teams headed into overtime and the game ended on an innocuous play. In the 67th minute, Alia Marshall carried the ball up the left wing and sought a scoring opportunity. She flipped the ball off the stick of Princeton back Gabby Andretta and the ball somehow found its way over the shoulder of goalie Robyn Thompson from that tight angle, ending the game.

A few hundred miles south in Harrisonburg, Va., Liberty was playing a non-conference game against in-state foe James Madison. The Flames raced out to a 2-0 lead and were seemingly bossing the game.

But Emily Harrison answered twice for the host Dukes, setting up the game-winner from import Eveline Zwager shortly before the interval.

James Madison, a school which needs as many Ratings Percentage Index points as it can get in order to make it into the NCAA Tournament, was able to hold on for the balance of the second half, even as Liberty pulled its goalie for an 11th field player for the last seven minutes of the contest, winning 3-2.

These sets of results reinforce the notion that not only is nothing easy in NCAA field hockey, but it seems to me as though it is going to take a special effort in order to make the Division I championship game this year.

BULLETIN: Sept. 17, 2022 — An exclusive club grows by one

This afternoon, with a five-goal, three assist effort in a 13-0 win over East Stroudsburg (Pa.) South, Rachel Herbine not only takes the lead nationally in both categories (according to MaxPreps), but has also joined a special group of field hockey players to have scored more than 100 goals and 100 assists in a scholastic field hockey career.

She’s the 13th known field hockey player ever to reach triple digits in goals and assists. Oddly enough, she’s the third player in the history of Emmaus (Pa.) to achieve this feat, alongside alumnae Annika Herbine and Meredith Sholder.

She’s also the second player in her own family, following on with her sister. just like what happened a few years ago with Cami Crook and her brother Lucas hitting the 100-100 mark with Somerset-Berkeley Regional (Mass.).

G-ANameSchoolSTYR
149-135*Chantae MillerWilliamsville NorthNY2003-2008
126-117Chantae MillerWilliamsville NorthNY2005-2008
114-108Alyssa ParkerGlenelgMD2008-2011
200-201Haley SchleicherVirginia Beach First ColonialVA2012-2015
217-134Meredith SholderEmmausPA2013-2016
104-104Leah CrouseVirginia Beach Frank W. CoxVA2014-2017
106-107Gabby AndrettaSummit Oak KnollNJ2014-2017
351-136Mackenzie AllessieMount Joy DonegalPA2015-2018
141-103Emma DeberdineMillersville Penn ManorPA2015-2018
142-122Lucas CrookSomerset-Berkley RegionalMA2016-2019
141-110Annika HerbineEmmausPA2017-2020
124-153Cami CrookSomerset-Berkley RegionalMA2017-2021
140-126Natali FosterElverson Twin ValleyPA2018-2021
150-103Rachel HerbineEmmausPA2019-present
* six-year varsity career

Sept. 17, 2022 — Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) 3, Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.) 1

WOOLWICH TWP, N.J. — The 2022 field hockey season is the first that the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association will not have a postseason Tournament of Champions.

That being said, the array of teams contending for the five available state titles are a diverse lot. Two such teams met this afternoon, as Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.) defeated Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.) 3-1.

Kingsway is a South Jersey field hockey team, but does not have the same kind of Constance Applebee-tinged history as some of its neighbor teams, as the school opened in the early 1960s. But the Dragons have pulled themselves into the upper echelon of teams from the eight-county region. Part of it was because of progress made when Dana Ramsden was a two-time Gloucester County Player of the Year. One of the measures of that progress came in 2005, when Kingsway tied Voorhees Eastern (N.J.).

Now Dana Ott, the Kingsway head coach is not only looking to match that level of greatness, but to exceed it. In her fifth year at the helm, she has assembled a Murderers’ Row of opponents, and has added today’s win over state Group III champion North Hunterdon to last week’s win at Non-Public champion Summit Oak Knoll.

“Anything to strengthen our program is what our goal was coming in,” Ott said. “In everything that we do, we are out to win a state championship. This has been brewing for a while, and this year is the first time we can say that every player is a threat.”

Kingsway won yesterday’s game on sheer discipline. The team’s press was outstanding, with great spacing and defense by all three lines of the Dragons’ formation, cutting off space and passing angles. On the day, they held North Hunterdon to precious little in the way of attack chances. The Lions only had two shots on goal.

“Every layer is a strength,” Ott says. “If it wasn’t for our forwards doing what they needed to do, then our mids wouldn’t be as successful. And the same can be said of our backs.”

North, despite losing its second game of the week, is taking its opportunity to look forward. The Lions, like their opponents, will take part in next weekend’s National High School Invitational in Conshohocken, Pa.

“Part of our culture is that we don’t hang our heads, and we don’t complain,” said NH head coach Geoffrey Chrisman. “We just deal what we have to deal with; we talk about ‘the next three minutes’ all the time. We can’t go back; we just have to get ready for the next three minutes.”

North Hunterdon has a superb attacking midfielder in Lauren Masters, who was one of a baker’s dozen of players to score more than 50 goals last year. But this game featured the Lions’ defense, led by fullback Sarah Bisson and defensive midfielder Sara Roberts. They along with Molly Claus, Brooke Cahill, and Caroline Mueller, were strong all day with a number of remarkable takeaways and defensive plays on the day. Bisson, who had a key defensive save in last year’s state final against Moorestown, had two more stops on the goal line against Kingsway.

“They are a solid group that trusts each other,” Chrisman said. “That helps our goalies, who are all sophomores. We only gave up goals on strokes and corners, so we played a good defensive game. That was some of the best defensive I’ve seen in the past few years, and it will provide a springboard for us going forward.”

North Hunterdon (3-2) 0 0 0 1 — 1
Kingsway (4-0) 0 1 1 1 — 3

K: Sabrina McGroarty, ps, 23rd minute
K: Ella Stephenson (Isabella Sanchez), pc, 32nd
K: Stephenson, ps, 52nd
NH: Kendall Varty (Lauren Masters), fg, 55th
Shots — NH: 2; K: 11. Saves — NH: Zoey Zahorchak 6, defensive 2; K: Soren Kipphut 1.

FULL TIME That’s all for today; good night, good hockey

FULL TIME Next week, both teams will be participating in the National High School Invitational. North Hunterdon takes on San Marcos (Calif.) on Friday at 3 p.m., and Glenelg (Md.) Saturday at 3 p.m. Kingsway’s opponents are Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) Friday at 5 p.m., and Norfolk (Va.) Academy Sunday at 11 a.m.

FULL TIME The final whistle sounds with Kingsway winning 3-1. Interesting bit here: it is Kingsway’s second win over a sitting NJ state champion this week

58:10 NHHS PC Long shot hits the tire on the outside of the cage

54:46 NHHS GOAL The Lions pull one back through the efforts of Kendall Varty, but Kingsway still leads 3-1

51:52 KHS PS Stephenson pings the inner back post; fine stroke! Kingsway leads 3-0

51:30 KHS PC A long shot hits a North defender behind the goalie and a stroke is duly called

48:20 NHHS GREEN Lions penalized for a 5-yard encroachment

47:50 Kingsway forward Karlie Mertz attacks a wedge of space on the right wing but runs out of room

45:00 The fourth quarter is on

END 3rd The siren ends the third term with Kingsway leading 2-0

41:00 Masters comes in from the left wing, aims a backhander that just misses the top corner

37:30 KHS PC Masters interposed herself in a three-way passing play; 16y free-out is the result

36:56 KHS PC Long angled shot put on cage but saved off the line by senior Sarah Bisson!

36:30 KHS PC Masters sniffs out the corner but a foot committed by North; will re-rack

33:59 Timeout, North Hunterdon

31:30 KHS PC A deflected shot finds its way over the goal line! Ella Stephenson is credited with the goal that stakes Kingsway to a 2-0 lead

30:00 The third quarter is under way

HALFTIME The Lion defenders have been resilient and smart in cutting out Dragon offensive chances; can this continue in the second half?

HALFTIME The stars are out to play today on the offensive end, as Sanchez and Masters have each threatened the goal. But give a call to North Hunterdon’s backliners, who have been outstanding thus far

END HALF Going to the break, Kingsway has a 1-0 lead

26:30 Masters with a free hit in a promising position; the angled pass somehow eludes two open teammates and goes over the end line for a 16y free-out

22:35 KHS GOAL Sabrina McGroarty pings the stroke and Kingsway leads 1-0

22:35 Kingsway runs a 2-on-1 and beats the goalie; a defender falls on the ball and a stroke is called

22:00 Bella Sanchez breaks in on the left wing for Kingway. She aims a shot but the goalie is equal

17:00 KHS PC Hi-lo to the left wing is read and cleared by the North Hunterdon defense, who has been playing very well today

15:00 The second term is under way

END 1ST The sides are scoreless at the siren

12:30 Kingsway works it to the second-goal area for a pass to the stroke mark but the North Hunterdon defense sniffs out the play and clears

9:30 KHS PC Option-right whistled down for danger

8:30 KHS PC Option-right is whiffed

7:30 KHS PC Option-left is blocked over the end line for a 23m free-in

5:06 Masters thunders into the circle and blasts her shot attempt wide of the cage

0:45 KHS PC Shot too high coming in

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME North Hunterdon is in the all-green with gold trim and numbers; Kingsway is in the white with black kilts and red numerals

PREGAME The teams are warming up under bright blue skies, temperatures around 75 degrees

PREGAME A common opponent for these two sides is The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School. Kingsway beat Lawrenceville 5-0 and North came out a 1-0 victor

PREGAME A huge key for both these teams is their ability to focus on the here and now. Both teams would not be blamed for looking forward to their participation in next weekend’s National High School Invitational, but their coaches will have them focus on the task at hand

PREGAME There have been some significant results on both sides of the ledger, ones which jumble up the rankings like a game of Boggle. This week, the Lions lost to Basking Ridge Ridge (N.J.). Also in the last week, Kingsway went up north and beat Non-Public champion Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)

PREGAME Kingsway, coached by Dana Ott, could be the Group IV team that unseats Eastern in the South Jersey ranks this season. The Dragons are led by forward Isabella Sanchez

PREGAME North is the defending state Group III champions. It is a team that truly found itself last year, winning the treble (county tournament, sectional, and state championship) thanks to Geoffrey Chrisman’s coaching. The Lions are led by senior Lauren Masters, a forward with tremendous skills

PREGAME Kingsway is 3-0 this season; North Hunterdon is 3-1

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Barchuk Field for this intersectional field hockey game between Clinton North Hunterdon (N.J.) and Woolwich Kingsway (N.J.)

Sept. 16, 2022 — Another tournament, with champions

Today at high noon, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), the current PIAA Class A champion, takes on St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.), the current MWAA champion, in a series of intersectional matches being held at Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.).

This is the second weekend in a row that a number of state champions have gotten together for competition, and we are bound to see more great action. Yesterday, Heart managed to hold onto a 1-0 lead that it earned against Villa Duchesne even as the Midwest champs kept hammering at the dam in the second half.

Tomorrow, Sacred Heart takes on Wyoming Seminary at 3 p.m., but that’s not even closing out the weekend of action in Louisville. That’s because Sacred Heart will take on Louisville Assumption (Ky.) at 5 p.m. Sunday evening in a regular-season contest.

This is the first of three weekends on the road for Wyoming Seminary, our preseason No. 1 team. They have the National High School Invitational next week, then travel to Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) for a pair of games two weeks after that.

You have to give it to Sem, Heart, and Villa; they seek out great competition no matter where it is, and they have tremendous hockey tradition and history within these programs dating back through the 20th Century.

BULLETIN: Sept. 15, 2022 — Delmar (Del.) reaches rarefied air

This afternoon, with a 10-0 win over Laurel (Del.), the six-time defending state champion Delmar (Del.) field hockey program has won its 100th consecutive game.

Here’s how rare this achievement is: only Watertown (Mass.) and Oklahoma City Casady (Okla.) have ever strung together more consecutive victories in the recorded history of scholastic field hockey, dating back to 1909.

Let us take a deep dive into the two streaks longer than Delmar’s. First off, Watertown’s 124-game winning streak was part of a 184-game unbeaten streak that lasted from 2008 to 2017. Casady’s 106-game win streak lasted from 1956 to 1969, which gives you an idea as to the length of seasons that each of these teams had to play.

Delmar, if it keeps its rich seam of form, would get to Watertown’s mark sometime in the middle of the 2023 season. But even with that, Delmar would have to be undefeated another 60 games (roughly four DIAA seasons) to get to Watertown’s unbeaten mark.

The coaches of the other two teams to achieve 100 consecutive win are true national legends. Dorotha Edwards coached Casady from 1956 to 1991, winning 375 games and winning more than 20 Southern Prep Conference championships. Eileen Donahue has coached Watertown for the last 37 years, winning 711 games, eighth all-time.

For Delmar’s part, the Wildcats’ last defeat was Oct. 22, 2016, a 1-0 loss to Lewes Cape Henlopen (Del.). Over the last 15 years, the Delmar-Cape rivalry has been a great happening in Sussex County. Last year, Delmar beat their Henlopen Athletic Conference rival by identical 2-1 scores in league and in conference championship play.

The Wildcats and Vikings teams are scheduled to meet Oct. 6th in league, and, if the two teams finish at the top of their respective HAC divisions, they’ll meet again Nov. 5.

Those games should be a true treat for American field hockey aficionadoes, especially seeing as both sides were in the TopOfTheCircle.com presesaon Top 10.

Sept. 15, 2022 — Interesting goings-on in two of the nation’s best field hockey conferences

In the heart of central Pennsylvania, along Route 422, sit three of the schools in the Mid-Penn Conference’s Keystone Division. Right in a row, you have Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.), Hershey (Pa.), and Palmyra (Pa.), who have engaged in some titanic fixtures over the years.

Across the Delaware River in New Jersey, the 1990s saw the breakaway of several large field hockey schools, including Marlton Cherokee (N.J.), Medford Lenape (N.J.), and Medford Lakes Shawnee (N.J.), to go from the Burlington County Scholastic League to the Olympic Conference. While these three schools have had great traditions in the 20th Century, the story over the last two decades in the Olympic is the ascendancy of Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) and their strings of state and sectional championships.

The 2022 season, however, may see some change and intrigue in these two powerful field hockey conferences.

First off, the Olympic Conference has added a pair of teams with great traditions, Mount Holly Rancocas Valley (N.J.), and the first American scholastic field hockey team, Moorestown (N.J.). This means that Moorestown is guaranteed to meet Shawnee, and both are, in turn, guaranteed to meet Eastern.

Back in Pennsylvania, a lot of preseason talk is about Mechanicsburg (Pa.), a team which not only made the semifinal round of the PIAA Class AA Tournament, but is one of two teams scheduled to meet Eastern at the National High School Invitational next week. It’s a game which raises the profile of this contending team, but the thing is, there are still plenty of AA-sized rivals in District 3 awaiting them in league and District play.

Keep an eye on the teams in these two leagues. I think what happens here will go a long way to determining several state champions this year.

Sept. 14, 2022 — The right group to push the rock?

A few weeks ago, we discussed the 32-player roster for the United States as the women’s national team program embarks not only on its FIH Pro League campaign, but Olympic qualifying and the Pan American Games.

Today, the U.S. men’s national team released its extended roster of players who will be representing the U.S. in competitions leading up to Santiago 2023.

The roster has a number of familiar names including Patrick Harris, Pat Cota, and Ajay Dhadwal. There are some other folks of note who could help the States break a 66-year drought of qualifying for the Olympics when not the host nation.

Start with JaJa Kentwell, a gifted attacker who is from a field hockey family. Goalie Jonathan Klages has proven himself on the national level, winning Goalkeeper of the Tournament in the 2019 Hockey Series Finals. Gerald Cutone, a converted ice hockey player, is from a family of athletes; his father Butch played ice hockey in Germany, and his mother Kelly was a nationally ranked figure skater.

The road is long for these boys in blue, as it has always been for men’s field hockey in the United States. With so little institutional support and few places to play in the United States, just about every player has to self-fund in order to train, get to training camps, and travel for tournaments.

Perhaps this collective will have that kernel of determination, fire, and thirst for excellence which will give them international success.