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Nov. 19, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of Nov. 17

There’s only a week left in the regular season, with only the three Connecticut public-school titles to be won. However, our Top 10 is pretty well done and dusted for the year, with Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) solidifying its hold on the No. 1 slot. And, by the same token, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) solidified its hold on the No. 2 spot, having played splendid hockey all season and only losing twice to Oak Knoll, the one team with the verve and motivation to beat them.

This week’s RightToRightIsRight.com No. 11 Team of the Week is the University of Victoria, which won the Canadian Interuniversit Sport field hockey championship with a two-game sweep of Guelph in a best-of-three series.

1. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 26-0
Season complete: Royals won NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final with a 4-1 win over Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

2. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 23-2
Season complete: The Vikings dropped the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions final as Oak Knoll won 4-1

3. Delmar (Del.) 19-0
Season complete: In a rematch of their Turf Bowl confrontation, the Wildcats bested Dagsboro Indian River (Del.) 6-3 in the DIAA Division II final; win streak now at 64 games

4. Somerset-Berkley (Mass.) 24-0
Season complete: Raiders won their 42nd game in a row with a 4-1 win over Longmeadow (Mass.) in the MIAA Division 1 final; Lucas Crook becomes the first male varsity field hockey player to record 50 goals in a season

5. West Lawn Wilson (Pa.) 25-3
Season complete: Wilson scored a late equalizer in the PIAA Class AAA final against Hummelstown Lower Dauphin, and took the penalty shootoout 3-2

6. Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) 18-1
Season complete: Won VHSL Class 5A title with a 4-1 win over Stafford Mountain View (Va.); the four goals came in the first 22 minutes of the match

7. Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.) 19-0
Season complete: The Titans got a 54th-minute goal to beat Richmond St. Catherine’s (Va.) to win the VISAA championship; current win streak now at 42 games

8. Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 23-2
Season complete: The Blue Knights played stellar defense against an all-time great in Sophia Gladieux, allowing the attack to get a rebound goal in extra time to win the PIAA Class A final 1-0 over Oley (Pa.) Valley

9. Greenwich (Conn.) Sacred Heart 21-2
Season complete: Defeated Marion Tabor Academy (Mass.) to win the NEPSAC Class A Tournament

10. Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) 16-3-1
Season complete: Spartans were able to get the late goal to beat Palmyra (Pa.) in the PIAA Class AA final

11. University of Victoria 6-0-4
Vikings only averaged 1.25 goals per game during the regular season, but their goals-against average was a sparkling 0.25

Who’s out? Emmaus (Pa.) 1-0 loss to West Lawn Wilson (Pa.); Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 2-1 SO loss to West Lawn Wilson (Pa.); Palmyra (Pa.) 2-1 loss to Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.); Greenwich (Conn.) Academy 1-0 loss to Lakeville Hotchkiss School (Conn.)

And bear in mind:  San Diego Scripps Ranch (Calif.) 22-2-1, San Diego Serra (Calif.) 22-3, Darien (Conn.) 19-1-1, Westport Staples (Conn.) 19-1-1; Winnetka New Trier (Ill.) 26-2-1, Assumption (Ky.) 17-10-1, St. Louis Mary Institute-Country Day School (Mo.) 17-3-1, Oley (Pa.) Valley 25-2, Palmyra (Pa.) 22-3, Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 19-1-1, Langley (Va.) 20-1-1

Nov. 17, 2019 — The Final Third, The Quarterfinal Edition

Please join us on our Facebook Live presence this afternoon shortly before 1 p.m. Eastern Time as quarterfinal matches in the NCAA Division I and III tournaments take place.

Sixteen teams become eight — on The Final Third!

Nov. 16, 2019 — West Lawn Wilson (Pa.) 1, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 1, (Wilson wins penalty shootout 3-2)

WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. — The PIAA has been holding a state field hockey championship since 1974. And, for just as long, they’ve been finding different ways to break ties in the championship final. In 1974, Elizabetown (Pa.) beat Emmaus (Pa.) after a goalless draw, thanks to a 19-4 edge in penalty corners. Two years later, Manheim (Pa.) Central beat Springfield (Pa.) Township after a 1-1 tie because of circle-penetration time; the umpires kept the time on two clocks at the scorer’s table.

By the end of the 70s, penalty strokes were the preferred method. That is, until it was determined, after several publicized soccer games in both the college and scholastic level went to ridiculous lengths to play out a tie without a tiebreaker, that co-champions would be declared after a final.

Today saw the revival of the post-overtime tiebreaker in the PIAA for the first time in 29 years. And it was the modified FIH penalty shootout, with players getting 10 seconds to shoot instead of the normal eight.

After a 1-1 draw after overtime, West Lawn Wilson (Pa.) got goals from Reagen Underwood, Morgan Kauffman, and Emily Horace in the shootout to beat Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 3-2.

For Wilson, the effort was about harnessing the resources of field hockey families. Reagan Underwood, who carried the play in the midfield, and her sister Bryn, the team’s goalkeeper during the shootout, are both daughters of head coach Kim Underwood.

And 11 years ago, Kim Underwood started a youth field hockey program that paid off with the senior class that helped win the contest.

“We’ve been working hard, and we decided to leave it out there,” said the former Kim Schroll, who won a national championship with North Carolina in 1995 with a four-assist effort in the final. “A team is a group of players who come together for a purpose, and this group has been together since second grade.”

The result was in contrast to the PIAA District 3-AAA final a scant two weeks ago which saw Lower Dauphin come out with a 2-0 win. Lower Dauphin got an early edge on the final thanks to senior Emma O’Neill, who smacked in an absolute golazo from the edge of the striking circle.

But that was the only goal that Bryn Underwood would yield, allowing Wilson to engineer its second-half comeback. It took a tip-in from Kauffman to level the sides just three minutes from the end of regulation.

“They came out with the attitude that they were going to win,” said Lower Dauphin head coach Linda Kreiser, “and I think we did, too. That’s why everyone here was treated to such a great game.”

It was an historic win, to be sure, but there was also a personal history between the coaches.

“When I got started at Wilson, Linda Kreiser was the first person I called for advice,” Underwood said. “She’s been great as a role model.”

WILSON (25-3) 0 1 0 0 — 11001 – 2
LOWER DAUPHIN (23-1-3) 1 0 0 0 — 10100 – 1
LD: Emma O’Neill, fg, 5th
W: Morgan Kauffman (Reagan Underwood), pc, 58th
Shootout goals — LD: Lauren Hunter, Kate Sparks; W: Reagan Underwood, Morgan Kauffman, Emily Horace
Shots — LD: 3; W: 8 Saves — LD: Brandelynn Heimbaugh 7; W: Bryn Underwood 2


POSTGAME And with that, Wilson wins the penalty shootout with a 3-2 count

RD5: Sofia Pendolino TIME; Emily Horace GOAL

RD4: Paige Bitting SAVE; Kallie Connor TIME

RD3: Kate Sparks GOAL; Madison Herb MISS

RD2: Sienna Pegram SAVE; Morgan Kauffman GOAL

RD1: Lauren Hunter GOAL; Reagan Underwood GOAL

Goalies as before; Heimbaugh for Lower Dauphin, Bryn Underwood for Wilson. In each round, Lower Dauphin will shoot first

FULL TIME This is the FIH breakaway shootout, but with a 10-second clock instead of eight seconds

FULL TIME And for the first time in PIAA history, a penalty shootout will determine the outcome!

90:00 WHS PC Option left saved by Heimbaugh!

88:00 A breakaway by Alexa Sheaffer goes just wide!

85:30 Regan Underwood with an open backhander in the circle and it is way high and wide

80:00 Half-chances at both ends but nothing in the way of goal shots

75:00 We play on with double OT; who wants it more?

END 1ST OT We will head now to double overtime!

74:15 WHS PC Heimbaugh with another 10-bell save!

73:40 WHS PC is blocked by a torso; will rerack

71:00 LD GREEN O’Neill off for two minutes! Are we seeing history repeat itself?

69:45 WHS PC Save by Heimbaugh; was there a defensive foot?

65:15 WHS PC Save by Heimbaugh!

60:30 O’Neill lances a backhander wide!

60:00 And we are on with extra time!

END REGULATION The sides are level heading into overtime!

59:30 LD PC ends on an uncontrolled stick

58:46 LD PC Hi-lo to the corner is stopped; will rerack

58:46 Timeout, Lower Dauphin

57:15 WHS PC and GOAL Shot by Morgan Kauffman dribbles over the goal line and we are all tied up!

56:40 WHS PC Passing play leads to a stop by the keeper

56:09 WHS PC Passing play is tackled; will rerack

56:09 Timeout, Wilson

54:00 LD PC Shot blocked over the cage; 23M the result

53:00 WHS PC Ends with a mistrap of the insert!

49:00 WHS with a free hit in a promising position

46:20 WHS PC Blast is well wide of the cage

44:22 Timeout, Wilson

41:00 LD PC O’Neill slides an insert that somehow evades everyone and Wilson controls

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME To be sure, the cold has been chilling players, supporters, and writers alike. But O’Neill heated it up with her fifth-minute lightning bolt

HALFTIME The siren goes with Lower. Dauphin leading Wilson 1-0

21:30 LD GREEN Two-minute penalty on Alex Taczynski

16:20 LD PC Shot goes wide!

15:20 Timeout, Lower Dauphin

14:50 WHS PC Underwood’s flip is cleared by Brandelynn Heimbaugh

10:24 WHS PC Shot is defensed and cleared

9:50 WHS PC Shot is defensed but will rerack for the push

4:05 LD GOAL A long-range blast from Emma O’Neill gives the Falcons a dream start! LD up 1-0

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Lower Dauphin is in the all-white with blue numbers; Wilson is in the all-red

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the turf, with temperatures at around 39 degrees

PREGAME These teams have met before in the PIAA tournament; one year ago, Lower Dauphin beat Wilson 1-0. But the teams also met just two weeks ago in the District 3-AAA final, with the Falcons winning 2-0

PREGAME Lower Dauphin’s memories are all about their loss to Hershey in last year’s PIAA AAA final, but the Falcons, with much the same team, are back in it and trying to win another title for legendary head coach Linda Kreiser. Emma O’Neill is a fine striker and the team’s first option on corners; keep an eye on fullback Lauren Hunter

PREGAME This is Wilson’s first trip to the state championship game, but this team has had its share of good players over the years including Katie Kauffman Beach, who was on the U.S. women’s national team at the turn of the century

PREGAME Lower Dauphin is 23-0-3 this season; Wilson is 24-3

PREGAME Back now at Whitehall for the third and final game of our tripleheader featuring Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) and West Lawn Wilson (Pa.)

Nov. 16, 2019 — Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) 2, Palmyra (Pa.) 1

WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Field hockey is a team sport, but one in which a single act of brilliance by a skilled individual can make the difference.

For the second year running, and the fifth time in the last six years, Palmyra (Pa.) made it all the way to the state final in Class AA, only to bear witness to the kind of quality play you often don’t find in the manuals of how to teach the game.

The Cougars once hung with Emmaus (Pa.) for the entirety of regulation in the 2015 final, only see Meredith Sholder finish off a simple shot in overtime after a well-worked indoor field hockey play. A year ago, it was Mackenzie Allessie with her 70-yard run a year ago in overtime.

This year, the gilt-edged piece of play was on the part of Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.) senior Rina Tsioles, the shortest player on the pitch.

In the 52nd minute of play, she burned up the right side of the pitch, eliminating three players on the way to the second-goal area on the right wing. Her initial shot found Palmyra goalkeeper Katie Knol’s pad, but the rebound was jammed in by Cameryn Forgash, and it was the difference in a 2-1 win for Wyoming Valley West.

“On that play, there was no forward, so I just decided to take it forward,” said the Old Dominion-bound senior. “Cameryn, being fast, came right with me and she found the open space.”

It was only the second time the Spartans had won the PIAA title.

“The great thing about this team is that they are kind,” said WVW head coach Linda Fithian. “They are uplifting and positive, and they love each other.”

The result left the Palmyra team, and its senior class, wondering what they had to do to win the state title for the first time since a draw with Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) in 2014.

Lauren Wadas, the Northwestern-bound senior attacking midfielder, was her usual excellent self, opening the team’s account shortly after the interval, pounding in a rocket from the edge of the D.

“We had talked about not wanting to settle for just making the state final,” she said. “We wanted to win it. Their defense was really strong; credit to them.”

WYOMING VALLEY WEST (16-3-1) 0 2 — 2
PALMYRA (22-3) 0 1 — 1
P: Lauren Wadas, fg, 35th
WVW: Paige Williams, fg, 39th
WVW: Cameryn Forgash (Rina Tsoles), fg, 52nd
Shots — WVW: 3; P: 3. Saves — WVW: Sydney Rusnock 2; P: Katie Knol 1


POSTGAME Spare a thought for Palmyra, who made its fifth state final in six years, a great achievement. But the Cougars’ team strategy was done in — again — by some individual brilliance

POSTGAME Wyoming Valley West withstood Palmyra’s punch and answered with some brilliance

FULL TIME The siren goes with Wyoming Valley West winning 2-1

59:15 Timeout, WVW

58:50 WVW PC Shot is tipped over the top of the cage

56:20 PHS GREEN And now Wadas off for an elbow

54:55 WVW GREEN Forgash off for a push

51:05 WVW GOAL Rina Tsioles eliminates three people on an absolutely sumptuous run up the right sideline and into the second goal area, getting off a shot that falls to an open Cameryn Forgash, who cashes it in! Spartans lead 2-1

50:11 PHS PC Defensed and sent out

50:11 Timeout, Palmyra

46:33 WVW YELLOW Paige Williams is in the sin bin for five minutes

44:25 PHS PC Shot is saved by Sydney Rusnock

38:10 WVW GOAL Ariane Rupkin slides the ball in from the tightest of angles! Game tied 1-1

37:28 Timeout, Wyoming Valley West

37:19 PHS PC Wadas looks for a teammate but the ball misses everyone

36:30 PHS PC Wadas eliminates but a corner called

34:20 PHS PC Option left takes too long and it’s 16Y for the Spartans

34:30 PHS GOAL Lauren Wadas takes advantage of a sliver of space and knocks in her 49th of the season! Golazo! Palmyra leads 1-0

33:10 WVW PC Shot goes wide!

31:30 WVW PC Shot hits a teammate in front and cleared harmlessly

HALFTIME Wyoming Valley West has not been in this scenario for a decade and a half, but isn’t showing any signs of nervousness

HALFTIME The siren goes with the sides goalless

22:00 PHS PC Cleared by WVW!

13:50 Rina Tsioles with a fantastic bit of play to find a teammate, but the ball skiffs wide!

12:39 WVW PC Palmyra defenses the corner play; follow-up dealt wide!

11:00 WVW PC Off a foot; 16Y for Palmyra

9:00 WVW playing bend-but-don’t break defense

0:00 After a 40-minute delay because of the double overtime in the Class A final, the game is on

PREGAME WVW is in the maroon with gold numbers, Palmyra in the white with black kilts

PREGAME The teams are warming up with temperatures hovering around 35 degrees

PREGAME Palmyra and WVW have met up before; they were matched in the first round of last year’s PIAA Class AA bracket

PREGAME Wyoming Valley West’s Rina Tsioles is an impressive talent with a lot of skill, and she is definitely a player to watch

PREGAME Palmyra has been on a tremendous run of form in recent years, but the team’s main focus has been getting back to the Class AA title match after yielding The Greatest Walkoff Goal Ever Scored in overtime of last year’s game. To their credit, the Cougars are back

PREGAME Palmyra is 22-3 this season, Wyoming Valley West is 15-3-1

PREGAME Back now at Whitehall for this Class AA title match between Palmyra (Pa.) and Plymouth Wyoming Valley West (Pa.)

Nov. 16, 2019 — Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 1, Oley (Pa.) Valley 0 (2 OT)

WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Pa.  — Over the course of a half-century of service to scholastic field hockey as head coach of Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), head coach Karen Klassner has experienced just about every conceivable to win or lose a field hockey game.

So, how do you game-plan for Sophia Gladieux, one of only five scholastic players ever to score 200 goals in a career?

“We had decided to not man-up against her, but then we decided to try to have Alex (Wesneski) against her,” Klassner said. “We didn’t do anything special, but we just wanted to play good defense.”

It was just enough, as the Sem defense held on long enough to allow Grace Parsons to ping in a rebound of her tip-drill shot in the 21st minute of overtime to allow the Blue Knights to win the PIAA Class A championship, a fitting end to the school’s 100th season of field hockey.

The game had its chances on both ends, but Sem had the answers against Gladieux, and Oley Valley had the answers for 100-goal scorers Wesneski and Hannah Maxwell.

In addition, Oley Valley had two phases of play, one in each half, which could have resulted in goals had the umpiring crew not whistled a penalty corner in the midst of the buildup. One was a shot by Gladieux which was tipped into the goal cage by the Sem defense, and the other was a Sarah Beers lift on a breakaway.

Gladieux had her chances to add to her 206 career goals, but Wesneski, freshman Ella Barbacci, or goalie Mia Magnotta were in the way all day. She had a number of elimination runs which grew audible roars from the crowd at the Zephyr-Coplay Complex.

“It was frustrating not getting the result we wanted after all the work we put in,” said Gladieux, who will be taking her talents to Penn State next year. “But this is an experience of a lifetime, and you can’t take it for granted.”

“Back in August, we started with 6 a.m. practices, and they didn’t complain,” said OV head coach Tiffany Cappellano. “This team wanted to keep learning all season long.”

WYOMING SEMINARY (23-2) 0 0 0 1 — 1
OLEY VALLEY (25-2) 0 0 0 0 — 1
WS: Grace Parsons, pc, 81st
Shots — WS: 8; OV 9. Saves — WS: Mia Magnotta 9; OV: Grace Drobek 7


80:10 WS PC and GOAL Wesneski’s shot is tipped by Grace Parsons; Drobek with the save but shoveled in by Parsons! Sem wins 1-0! What a game!

79:44 Gladieux with a breakaway but a sweep tackle by Magnotta!

78:50 WS PC Wesneski shoots; Drobek says no

77:30 WS PC Defensed and cleared

75:00 We are on with double overtime!

END 1ST OT We will have a second overtime now

74:59 OV PC Option right to Gladieux misses the cage!

74:20 OV PC Gladieux defensed; will rerack

71:50 WS PC Barbacci blasts it wide!

71:19 WS PC Wesneski shoots; Drobek says no

69:30 OV PC Sarah Beers is stopped by Magnotta!

68:30 OV PC Gladieux backhand tipped over the top

67:28 WS PC Wesneski’s 1-up is wide!

65:00 Sophia Gladieux is not on the pitch after that opening few minutes; a calculated risk to sub her in and out during OT

63:00 A singeing cross finds Hannah Maxwell and the ball rolls wide!

61:10 OV PC Magnotta with the save off the Gladieux forehand

60:00 We are on with extra time

FULL TIME We now play up to two 15-minute reduced-side periods; next goal wins

59:56 WS PC Gladieux clears and we go to overtime!

59:56 Timeout, Wyoming Seminary

57:20 OV PC Gladieux shot saved; rebound tipped over the goal

56:30 OV PC Magnotti with a clear, will rerack

56:15 Beers rounds the goalie and lifts it into the mesh but a corner was called for Oley; that’s the second time an unheld whistle could have changed the outcome of a Lynx attack

54:30 Barbacci is doing a heck of a job marking Gladieux today

53:00 Free hit in a promising position for OV

51:20 WS PC Kicked away by Cassidy Drobek!

46:30 Sem goalie Mia Magnotta charged off her line and denies Paige Graber’s breakaway chance!

42:45 OV YELLOW Gladieux now off for five for the barge

34:30 WS GREEN Ella Barbacci is off for two minutes

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME But let’s see if the late penalty card changes the tone

HALFTIME The teams are very even in terms of chances but Oley seems to be generating its possessions at will with Gladieux’s flash-and-dash. She drew audible gasps from the crowd twice because of her elimination skil

HALFTIME The siren goes with the sides goalless

29:30 OV YELLOW Jordan Wilkinson is off for five minutes

29:00 OV PC Sticked wide by the poster, Bari Lefkowitz

27:15 WS PC Insert duffed and OV has the turnover

26:00 OV free hit in a promising position

19:30 OV PC Option right and no shot; Sem’s defense is playing really well

16:15 WS PC Shot blocked!

15:30 WS PC Maxwell’s blast saved!

5:30 WS PC Shot is saved

3:30 OV PC Gladieux called for an uncontrolled stick

3:00 OV PC Gladieux’s second shot on the corner finds its way in; how is that not a goal?

1:30 WS PC Shot defensed; rebound sent into the cage but whistled out

0:50 WS PC Shot blocked; rerack for a foul

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary in the navy tops and powder-blue kilts; Oley in the white tops and royal kilts

PREGAME The teams are warming up on the turf here at Whitehall High School, temperatures around 33 degrees

PREGAME I think the key to this game is going to be the matchups. I’ll be interested to see how a team with a 200-goal scorer competes against another with two 100-goal scorers

PREGAME The Blue Knights are led by 100-goal scorers Alex Wesneski and Hannah Maxwell

PREGAME Wyoming Seminary, despite losing consecutive games against Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) and Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) six weeks ago, is no slouch. The Knights have won eight PIAA titles, has made the final three straight seasons, and are the defending Class A champions

PREGAME The Lynx will put their offensive faith in 206 goal-scorer Sophia Gladieux, but the side also has Sarah Beers and Sophia Mackrella

PREGAME Oley Valley is back in the title match for the first time in four years, and were perhaps six inches from sending that game against Bethlehem Moravian Academy (Pa.) into extra time

PREGAME Oley Valley is 25-1 this season; Wyoming Seminary is 22-2

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to the Zephyr-Coplay complex in Whitehall Township, Pa. for the PIAA Class A title match featuring Oley (Pa.) Valley and Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)

Nov. 15, 2019 — No. 1 Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 4, No. 2 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 1

UNION CITY, N.J. — Bridget Murphy had trouble concentrating today in school.

“I was taking a test today, and I wrote at the bottom a note to the teacher,” said the senior for the Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) field hockey team. “It said, ‘Sorry I was not able to concentrate today; it’s the T of C final this evening.”

And then she finished the note with the three words which have adorned the backs of the team warmup shirts since August:

WHATEVER IT TAKES.

Murphy opened the Royals’ account five minutes before the interval, then set up teammate Lily Ramsey with an exquisite through pass for a goal five minutes after the interval, bracketing a four-goal barrage that saw Oak Knoll, champions of the NJSIAA Non-Public Tournament, beating Eastern, champions of Group IV, by a 4-1 score.

The score was identical to the regular-season meeting between the two sides back on Sept. 14th. But this game had a much more clinical edge for Oak Knoll.

But what set up the Royals’ four-goal barrage was a tremendous 15-minute defensive effort on the part of Megan Joel, Keely Comizio, Jodi Porto, and Emily Antunes in front of goalkeeper Colleen Quinn.

“Our goalie had an amazing game, one of the best I’ve ever seen her play,” said OK captain Avery Donahue.

Eastern ratcheted up its offensive pressure, possessing the ball for large segments of the first half. The Royal defenders, however, interposed, intercepted, and otherwise thwarted the Eastern attack at ever turn. They block-tackled passing lanes, scythed in for tough tackles, and gave Eastern very little in terms of good looks on goal.

“All of our defenders are so strong and clean,” Donahue said. “The get the job done and get the ball away. That’s exactly what we needed them to do.”

Oak Knoll’s offensive barrage all came within five minutes of the end the first half and the opening five minutes of the second — all goals which sometimes count more than just the one point on the scoreboard because of psychological advantage and forcing the opposition into altering the coaches’ team talk.

After Oak Knoll’s four-goal uprising, Eastern did pull one back — its 200th of the season. Tellingly, it was only the ninth goal conceded this season by the Oak Knoll defense and the first one that the Royals had conceded since Oct. 7.

“We’ve challenged them from Day One, and we knew we had something special in this team,” said 20-year Oak Knoll head coach Ali Good. “When we had a couple of openings in our schedule, we scheduled Greenwich (Conn.) Academy and The Hill School (Pottstown, Pa.). Instead of taking the week off, we scheduled these two teams. And these girls felt they needed it to prepare for the state tournament.”

Oak Knoll’s 2019 season was all about fear and risk. The team faced six out-of-state opponents, even coming to McAleer Stadium in October to play Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.). The Royals also swept two games at the National High School Invitational.

And with two wins over the dominant program from the last two decades, the Royals have cemented their status as the nation’s finest field hockey team.

EASTERN (23-2) 0 1 — 1
OAK KNOLL (26-0) 2 2 — 4
OK: Bridget Murphy (Lily Ramsey), fg, 25th
OK: Clare Brennan (Keely Comizio), pc, 30th
OK: Anabelle Brodeur, fg, 32nd
OK: Ramsey (Murphy), fg, 35th
E: Carlee Thompson (Amanda Middleman), fg, 45th
Shots — E: 5; OK: 18. Saves — E: Nina Santore 14; OK: Colleen Quinn 4


POSTGAME Story coming soon

POSTGAME Oak Knoll played not only superb defense, but the kind of tikki-takka offense you might find at Barcelona FC. The Royals’ fourth goal was a thing of brilliance, with Lily Ramsey crafting Bridget Murphy’s pass into the net

POSTGAME Oak Knoll then scored its four goals in about 10 minutes, putting the Vikings in a four-goal deficit, something which has not happened to this team since a 4-1 defeat to Emmaus (Pa.) in 2005

POSTGAME Eastern tried its best, but found the Oak Knoll defense difficult to solve. Indeed, the Vikings’ chance was a 17-minute phase of the first half when it dominated possession, but did not come up with the goods

FULL TIME The horn sounds and the Royals win the game 4-1

59:32 OK GREEN CARD

59:00 The Oak Knoll supporters sense victory

58:00 Chanting erupts from the Oak Knoll student body; gosh, is the entire upper school (260 students) here tonight?

54:07 Timeout, Oak Knoll

53:30 OK PC Shotgun corner leads to a one-timer that is blocked by the Eastern defense

51:00 OK PC Pettisanti double-teams the shooter and denies!

50:30 OK PC Donahue puts it off an Eastern foot; will re-rack

49:22 GREEN EHS Ryleigh Heck is off for delay of game

48:00 OK PC Hi-lo is saved by Santore and cleared by Tara Somers

45:13 EHS GOAL Heck with some terrific work in the attack end; Carlee Thompson smacks a ball that is deflected in; Oak Knoll still leads 4-1

43:26 Timeout, Eastern. How are the Vikings going to come back from this?

42:40 OK PC Deflected shot falls to Megan Joel who can’t put it by the Eastern defender

41:39 OK PC Shot is whiffed; 16Y for Eastern

38:50 Brodeur attacks from the right and can’t get it on goal

37:30 OK PC Murphy with the ball at the penalty spot, can’t score!

37:00 OK PC Comizio with the shot; Santore denies!

34:08 Timeout, Eastern

34:08 OK GOAL Lily Ramsey with a deft touch of a Bridget Murphy pass! Wow! Oak Knoll leads by four!

31:26 OK GOAL Anabelle Brodeur with a spin move and an excuse-me shot that evades Santore! It’s 3-0 Oak Knoll

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME The possession favors Eastern but the possession was countered by tremendous Oak Knoll man-marking

HALFTIME Oak Knoll scored its goals in the final five minutes of the first half after absorbing several minutes’ worth of Eastern pressure

HALFTIME The clock expires for the first half with Oak Knoll up two

29:16 OK PC and GOAL A pileup in front of goal, and Clare Brennan scoops up the goodies! Oak Knoll leads 2-0

28:45 OK PC Low Comizio shot is tipped, but dangerously

28:00 Superb save by Nina Santore on the backhander!

25:06 OK GOAL Murphy is all by her lonesome in a seam in the Eastern defense and makes no mistake; 1-0 Oak Knoll

22:15 OK PC Comizio shot defensed by Pettisanti; rebound saved by Santore

21:42 Timeout, Oak Knoll

21:30 Izzy Bianco blasts the ball just wide!

17:30 Eastern with the pressure in this phase of play but the Royals defense is on point

13:00 EHS PC Bianca with the shot; Quinn says no

10:40 EHS PC Option left is saved by Quinn

10:00 EHS PC Antunes with a foot

7:00 Eastern free hit in a promising position, but the Vikings play it with a foot

5:10 EPC Heck shoots and Quinn with the save!

4:30 EPC Spinorama is tackled; will rerack

3:00 OKPC Option left is driven dangerously by Murphy

0:55 OK free hit in a promising position

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Oak Knoll is in the white tops with blue kilts, Eastern is in the maroon with blue numbers and white trim

PREGAME The teams have been warming up on the Alumni Stadium artificial grass, temperatures are at 42 degrees and falling

PREGAME In truth, I think a lot of today’s result is going to come down to goalkeeping. Nina Santore of Eastern and Colleen Quinn of Oak Knoll face their own teams in training every day, and are well-prepared to face the opposition

PREGAME This site’s Eighth Law of Field Hockey may come into play here: late in the season, defense catches up to the natural advantage that an opposing field hockey offense may have

PREGAME There are so many indicators to each team’s success: how will Oak Knoll deal with Eastern’s penalty corner attack? How will Eastern’s defense choose to mark up against Murphy and Brodeur? How will the play of the goalkeepers affect what the other team does?

PREGAME I’ll refer you to yesterday’s preview of today’s Garden State Firm for more details about this evening’s match

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Alumni Stadium on the campus of Kean University for the championship final of the 13th NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, featuring Group IV champion Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) against Non-Public champion Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)

Nov. 15, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Nov. 13

Hi, everyone. With only a handful of championship games left in the domestic season, the statistical picture is, in spite of itself, rounding into some sort of shape.

Our most significant statistical oddity of the week is something that happened in the 11th minute of a PIAA quarterfinal matchup, when Oley (Pa.) Valley senior Sophia Gladieux pinged a backhand blast from about 15.9 yards into the goal cage being defended by New Hope-Solebury (Pa.). That continued Gladieux’s run over the 200-goal mark, but it also ended a 22-game shutout streak on the part of NHS, and the Lions would give up two more in the next 13 minutes in a 3-1 defeat.

What we have below is our weekly heaping helping of American scholastic field hockey statistics, culled from, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, PhilaFieldHockey.com, The Washington Post, Long Island Newsday, The Boston Globe, the KHSAA, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and The Denver Post.

We really like MaxPreps, because it is easy for the average coach, athletic director, or student manager 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.

GOALS
78 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
76 Katie McLaughlin, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.)
67 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)

66 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
63 Hope Rose, Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.)
56 Jordan Carr, Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.)
56 Ava Borkowski, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Pa.)
52 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
48 Taryn Mayer, Huntingdon Valley Lower Moreland (Pa.)
48 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
48 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
47 Cami Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
45 Talia Schenck, Lawrence (N.J.)

ASSISTS
38 Abby Periard, South Oldham (Ky.)
38 Cami Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
33 Ciana Riccardo, Downingtown (Pa.) West
32 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
30 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
30 Sarah Beers, Oley (Pa.) Valley
29 Amy Griffin, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.)

29 Taryn Tkachuk, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
28 Hannah Berry, Holden Wachusett (Mass.)
28 Lilly Smith, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
28 Annabella Mason, Alexandria West Potomac (Md.)
27 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
26 Kaitlyn Csensits, Emmaus (Pa.)

CAREER GOALS
206 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
157 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
156* Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
135 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
134 Jordan Carr, Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.)
133 Hope Rose, Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.)
131 Bridget Murphy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
117 Annie Grace Louthan, Chesterfield Matoaca (Va.)
116 Hannah Maxwell, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
115 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
114 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
109 Lauren Parente, Wyoming (Pa.) Area
104 Ava Borkowski, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Pa.)
103 Taryn Tkachuk, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
103 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
102 Rachel Bohn, Newport (Pa.)
102 Alex Wesneski, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
100 Katie McLaughlin, Winnetka New Trier (Ill.)
*–injured

CAREER ASSISTS
123 Cami Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
113 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)

GOALS SCORED, TEAM
221 Emmaus (Pa.)
199 Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
188 Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
188 Gloucester (Va.)
163 Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
156 Oley (Pa.) Valley

GAMES UNDEFEATED
128 Los Gatos (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
63 Delmar (Del.)
58 North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)
42 Richmond Trinity Episcopal (Va.)
41 Somerset-Berkley (Calif.)

If you see a wrong number of if you feel we’re missing something, feel free 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 try to clean this up a bit for next week in time for the Connecticut state finals.