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Archive for Field hockey

Feb. 13, 2019 — Fighting cancer as well as for a place on the team

Good story today in the Shippensburg University student newspaper, The Slate about field hockey player Megan Hart, who has been battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia the last couple of years. It’s worth a read.

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Feb. 12, 2019 — The Gentle-ladies of Verona

This week, it was reported that the town of Verona, N.J. would be having varsity field hockey for the first time in some 40 years.

When you look at Verona (pop. 13,332) on a map, you understand the challenges set before it. Within a stone’s throw of its borders are Montclair (N.J.), Montclair-Kimberley Academy, and North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.), three very successful field hockey programs of late.

Here’s the story from the Bergen Record.

BULLETIN: Feb. 2, 2019 — USA 2, Argentina 2 (Argentina wins 3-1 in penalty shootout)

If you had to make “keys to the game,” for the United States’ FIH Pro League opener against Argentina, the list would have looked something like this:

  1. Let the young players create and make plays;
  2. First tackle, first foul, first goal;
  3. Get a point.

Consider all of them done.

The U.S. women’s national team, having been rebuilt after a 13th-place finish at last summer’s World Cup, went down to Cordoba, Argentina — during South American summertime, mind you — and came out with a point.

And there were opportunities for the points haul to have been two, as the States took a 2-0 lead into the interval with scores by Mackenzie Allessie (her second goal in three international caps) and Lauren Moyer.

The game also saw Kealsie Robles, late of Old Dominion, play splendidly in what was only her fourth international appearance at the senior level.

The road point keeps the United States off the bottom of the league table, albeit China, Team GB, and Germany have not yet played a match. But as crucial as the opener is for this new format for world play, the Americans may look at this match as the most noteworthy shootout loss in 99 years of international play, if this road point gets the States into the Pro League’s top four.

Jan. 31, 2019 — A long-time coach hangs up her whistle

One of the nation’s longest-tenured field hockey coaches, Kathy DeAngelis, has resigned from her position as coach at Hofstra University.

As a player, DeAngelis prepped under the legendary Sandy Curt at Lexington (Mass.,) and was a standout on some of the mid-80s Massachusetts sides, including the 1987 Final Four team. She was in the U.S. high-performance pool, playing in the 1989 U.S. Olympic Festival, a precursor to the current USFHA Women’s National Championship.

As a coach, she steered Hofstra to 200 wins and 210 defeats in 21 seasons in a New York metropolitan area which has seen numerous changes in the collegiate field hockey landscape since she started.

Back in 1992, DeAngelis pretty much had the New York City area to herself. But with the start of field hockey programs at Columbia in 1996, Adelphi in 2008, Pace in 2015, LIU-Brooklyn in 2016, Wagner in 2019, and the planned megamerger of the LIU-Brooklyn and LIU-Post campuses scheduled for 2020, the recruiting game has changed, even as many of the better athletes in the region are choosing lacrosse.

DeAngelis had, towards the end of her Hofstra tenure, become one of a growing number of U.S. college coaches to start a USFHA-affiliated youth club, called Long Island United.

I, for one, hope the club continues.

Jan. 30, 2019 — An immediate dividend

Mackenzie Allessie knows a thing or two about being able to propel a plastic ball into a goal frame that is seven feet high and four yards wide.

It took a scrimmage, plus a game and a half for the graduate of Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) to get on the scoreboard for the United States of America.

Allessie punched in a goal in the 34th minute of the second of two Tests against Chile this week, which wound up being a 3-3 regulation draw, but with Chile winning the post-overtime penalty shootout.

The American side, for the second straight Test, yielded three goals to the Chileans, which is of definite concern with Saturday’s looming FIH Pro League opener against Argentina.

But the United States’ attack seems to be gaining in strength and confidence. The Americans, through Allessie, Jill Funk, and Mary Beth Barham, staked themselves to a 3-1 lead by the 47th minute, only to see the Red Devils level the match late.

It will be interesting to see if the States learn lessons from this match against Argentina; I think a point in this game would be enormous, as any road point in tournament qualificatioon is a good point, and this is the first time that an U.S. national field hockey team will have to do extensive travel and play both home and road matches in order to qualify for a major tournament.

Jan. 29, 2019 — Moving on

Yesterday, USA Field Hockey released its 2019 Women’s Developmental Squad, the pool of players who, presumably, would be plumbed and mined for talent in case of injury or illness befalling the senior women’s national team as the FIH Pro League continues on through the summer.

I was hoping this team would be retaining a number of players from past women’s national teams, people like Erin McCrudden, who had 13 caps last year and was on the roster of the U.S. team that made the 2017 FIH World League Final.

But aside from the Louisville star, there aren’t a lot of players with international caps on this year’s developmental side, which will be making an international tour in April.

That tour is likely to be a high-stakes audition for the second half of the Pro League, especially if, as expected, the United States is at the bottom of the table because of the front-loaded schedule of road games.

In case of a callup, we’ll see how ready the individuals on this reserve team are.

Jan. 28, 2019 — Seeking growth

Yesterday saw the first official match for the new-look U.S. women’s field hockey team as part of the lead-up to the States’ debut against Argentina in the FIH Pro League, a competition which can make or break the Americans’ chances of qualification for Tokyo 2020.

As if to belie the uncertainty surrounding the Olympic qualification cycle, the United States lost 3-2 to Chile in a game in which they fell 3-0 adrift within 20 minutes, but had a good second half to draw within one.

Without streaming, it is not possible for American fans (or Argentina’s coaches) to gauge the pace and rhythm of the contest or the degree to which the Americans carried the play in the second term.

What is known, however, is that this game is the first step in a marathon which will almost certainly lead into a two-game winner-take-all series for one of the final seven Olympic berths.

For the young U.S. side, there’s a lot of personal and team growth ahead, and how well they are coached will determine their ultimate fate.