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Archive for Field hockey

Oct. 12, 2018 — Friday Statwatch through games played through Oct. 10

Hi, all.

Given the fluidity of the current situation regarding the top of the career and single-season scoring recordbooks, we’re taking this week off from our usual statistical package, and it will be back next week.

That being said, I’d like to make one dive into the statistics when it comes to the newest member of the 200-goal (and 300-goal, mind) club. Mackenzie Allessie, as of this morning, has accounted for 456 goals in her four-year varsity career, whether as a finisher or as a provider.

(Note: this site chooses to count goals and assists separately for the purposes of recordkeeping.) When you combine these two numbers, Allessie has already rocketed to the top of the list for the most goals accounted for by a single player:

Name School G A Comb
Mackenzie Allessie Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 326 130 456
Austyn Cuneo Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 327 94 421
Haley Schleicher Virginia Beach First Colonial (Va.) 201 200 401
Meredith Sholder Emmaus (Pa.) 217 134 351
Chantae Miller Williamsville (N.Y.) North 142 135 267*

*Six-year varsity career

So, what does all of this tell us? Well, aside from this being “The Score-O Decade” in scholastic field hockey, it also shows the potential influence of one highly-trained and motivated athlete in bringing along a team to success.

How successful? Each of these five players has won at least one state field hockey championship.

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BULLETIN: Oct. 11, 2018 — The single-season goals record has fallen

Today, in a 13-0 win over Elizabethtown (Pa.), Mackenzie Allessie of Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) became the all-time single-season goal-scoring champion surpassing former Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) forward Austyn Cuneo.

Allessie now needs just three more goals during the balance of the season to eclipse Cuneo’s all-time career goals mark of 327, but her next goal will put her in a singular category: the only scholastic field hockey player to score 100 goals in a season.

That next game is in the quarterfinal round of the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament, a game scheduled for early next week at Donegal.

Oct. 10, 2018 — The backhand generation

There’s a photograph of senior attacker Charlotte de Vries accompanying this past week’s aggregation of field hockey statistics on the website PhilaFieldHockey.com.

She is on the dead run, and winding up to chop a backhand, presumably on the opposing goal cage; the photo doesn’t have perspective, but you could guess that there is a very worried goalkeeper observing the ball out of frame.

If there’s one thing that I’m noticing about today’s crop of skilled forwards and attacking midfielders these days, it’s that few of them have any qualms whatsoever about turning over the stick, unwinding their bodies, and cranking a difficult-to-read backhand shot, frequently for goals.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw the InterAc derby match between Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.) and Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.), and both teams had players who were fearless in using both forehand and backhand for shooting and passing. Some of these players were ninth-graders, and their confidence and daring are off the charts.

I’ve also seen players like Erin Matson score from the top of the circle with not just any backhand, but a purposeful, forceful drive aimed for a particular spot in the lower corner, even against the strong side of the corner flyer’s rush.

Time was, coaches — even U.S. college coaches — would try to coach out that skill from players who may have learned from Europeans at their summer camps. As one coach told me about 25 years ago, “It’s an individual skill, but we need her to play a team game.”

What that coach didn’t tell me is how many times that player had a successful disposal (a goal shot or successful pass) and how many times that player turned the ball over to the other team on a backhand, either from raising the ball dangerously or from giving the ball away.

There are very few coaches who have that kind of data at their disposal; indeed, about the only time I’ve ever seen this kind of possession data at a micro level was on a broadcast of an FIH event four years ago. During the broadcast, there were metrics about successful passes, interceptions, how many kilometers a player traveled, and, of course shots and saves.

It’s something that needs to come to the U.S., especially given how much we’ve become a data-driven country.

Oct. 5, 2018 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Oct. 3

Friday Statwatch’s weekly statistical milestone can be defined in a single image:

DonegalThe above photo shows a unique scenario: two field hockey players for Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) crossing into milestone territory during the same contest. In a 14-1 win over Quarryville Solanco (Pa.), senior Lily Saunders scored her 100th career goal. And not to be outdone, fellow senior Mackenzie Allessie became only the second field hockey player in National Federation history to reach the 300-goal plateau.

Allessie, the Ohio State-bound attacking midfielder with lyrical stick skills, is a mere 26 goals away from tying Austyn Cuneo’s record for the most field hockey goals ever scored in a career.

I say “mere” because Allessie has been running rampant through the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s Division II regular season. The team has four league games remaining, all reverse fixtures from earlier this season. The first time that Donegal met these four teams, the Indians outscored them by a combined score of 50-0, with Allessie getting 23 of these goals. If she matches that effort, she could break the record the first game of the postseason in the Lancaster-Lebanon League, which begins Oct. 16th at either Penn Manor or Donegal.

Below, in red, are statistics as of the close of play on Wednesday, meaning that they are going to be somewhat different from the Daily Statwatch numbers to the right of this column, which we try to update in, more or less, real time.

I encourage the use of the easy-to-use MaxPreps.com website to report statistics. It is easy for the average coach, athletic director, or student managers 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.

So, here’s what we have thus far, thanks to, amongst others, MaxPreps, Advance Media, PennLive.com, The LNP Media Group, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, PhilaFieldHockey.com, and the Washington Post:

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, SEASON
74 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
40 Peyton Halsey, Reading Exeter (Pa.)
36 Lucy Poindexter, Louisville Kentucky Country Day (Ky.)
35 Riley Baughman, Emmaus (Pa.)
35 Hope Rose, Harrisburg Central Dauphin (Pa.)
34 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)

33 Taryn Ringer, Johnstown (N.Y.)
33 Jaiden Wittel, Swiftwater Pocono Mountain East (Pa.)
32 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
30 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
30 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, SEASON
31 Riley Baughman, Emmaus (Pa.)
25 Julianna Kratz, Flourtown Mount St. Joseph Academy (Pa.)
23 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
22 India Reed, Louisville duPont Manual (Ky.)
21 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
20 Paige Cote, Auburn St. Dominic (Maine)

19 Peyton Halsey, Reading Exeter (Pa.)
19 Kacie Patton, Emmaus (Pa.)
18 Mia Julian, Palmyra (Pa.)

17 Madeleine McGaughey, Langley (Va.)
17 Peyton Mann, Nazareth (Pa.)
17 Ellie Decker, North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.)
17 Hannah Hartwell, Delsea (N.J.)

INDIVIDUAL GOALS, CAREER
301 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
162 Charlotte de Vries, Virginia Beach Cape Henry Academy (Va.) and Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)*
154 Paityn Wirth, Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.)
147 Charlotte de Vries, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)**
144 Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
142 Sammy Popper, Fort Washington Germantown Academy (Pa.)
127 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
117 Gabby Bitts, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
114 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
114 Raegan Hickey, Greenfield (Mass.)

100 Lily Saunders, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
98 Peyton Halsey, Reading Exeter (Pa.)
* — five-year varsity career
** — four-year varsity career

INDIVIDUAL ASSISTS, CAREER
124 Mackenzie Allessie, Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.)
93 Emma DeBerdine, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)

GAMES UNDEFEATED
125 Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.)
104 Los Gatos (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
48 Westminster Bellows Falls Union (Vt.)

So, this is where you can help us out immensely. If you see a statistics that is missing or wrong, 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 a lot for reading, and we’ll try it again next week.

Oct. 4, 2018 — The Thursday Takeaway

Note: This week’s Thursday Takeaway doesn’t just cover weekend action, but extends a bit into early next week, and for good reason.

LOUISVILLE SACRED HEART (Ky.) vs. VOORHEES EASTERN (N.J.)

Where and when: Klassner Field at Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.), 6 p.m. Friday

Records (as of Oct. 3): Sacred Heart 16-0, Eastern 13-0

Key early wins: Sacred Heart def. Winnetka New Trier (Ill.) 4-3; Eastern def. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 5-3

Key players: Sacred Heart: Tori Hill (sr., f), Mattie Tabor (sr., f), Kennedy Vinson (so., m). Eastern: Kara Heck (jr., f), Ryleigh Heck (fr., f), Amanda Middleman (jr., m), Sydney Woolston (sr., d)

The skinny: The last time Eastern went up to Klassner Field for its traditional double with Sacred Heart and Wyoming Seminary, the Vikings lost both games. The team doesn’t want that to happen again.

LOUISVILLE ASSUMPTION (Ky.) vs. VIRGINIA BEACH FIRST COLONIAL (Va.) 

Where and when: Virginia Beach Sportsplex, noon Saturday

Records (as of Oct. 3): Assumption 13-4-2, First Colonial 7-0

Key early wins: Assumption def. St. Louis Villa Duchesne, 2-0; First Colonial def. Norfolk Cape Henry Collegiate (Va.) 4-0

Key players: Assumption: Lee Ann Gordon (so., m), Lauren Zanetti (sr., g); First Colonial: Evelyn Murray (sr., d), Reagan Bonniwell (sr., f), Anna Brunick (sr., f)

The skinny: Assumption has traveled pretty well this year, going 6-1-1 against out-of-state competition. This game, however, is the third of the weekend after having faced Virginia Beach Frank W. Cox (Va.) and Norfolk (Va.) Academy.

MOUNTAIN TOP CRESTWOOD (Pa.) vs. KINGSTON WYOMING SEMINARY (Pa.)

Where and when: Klassner Field, 7 p.m., Tuesday

Records (as of Oct. 3): Crestwood 3-5, Wyoming Seminary 11-0

Key early wins: Crestwood def. Hawley Wallenpaupack (Pa.) 7-2; Wyoming Semunary def. Milford Delaware Valley (Pa.) 1-0

Key players: Crestwood: Sarah Richards (jr., m), Chloe Greene (sr., f); Wyoming Seminary: Aubrey Mytych (sr., f), Hannah Maxwell (jr., f), Alex Wesnesky (jr., f)

The skinny: Look, I know what you’re thinking. Sem vs. Eastern on Saturday morning might be a better game than this one.

But this is the Back Mountain Derby. Throw out the records, nothing more need be said. After Sem’s weekend of games (which also involved Crestwood taking on Sacred Heart), will the Blue Knights be able to regroup to play their ancient foes?

BULLETIN: Oct. 3, 2018 — Major merger of athletic programs afoot in New York

New York, as a world financial center and prime real estate market, is used to the concepts of mergers and acquisitions.

Today, there was an announcement that has the potential, if the merger is done right, of making an enormous impact in college sport. It was announced that the athletic programs of Long Island University-Brooklyn and the LIU-C. W. Post campus in Brookville would be merging into a single Division I entity moving forward.

The combined athletics department, with its dual physical plant and combined resources, could represent a significant challenge in some sports for their league and regional rivals.

The LIU-Post women’s lacrosse team has been a force in NCAA Division II in recent years, winning the inaugural championship in 2001 and winning three more titles, and always remaining in the headwaters of championship contention under head coach Meghan McNamara, the former Maryland product.

LIU’s field hockey program, led by Raenee Savin, has been perhaps the hard-luck story of NCAA field hockey across all divisions during the 2010s. Post has made the NCAA Division II final four out of the last five seasons, but has never won.

Now, the Division I programs for field hockey and women’s lacrosse out of LIU-Brooklyn have never finished with greater than a .500 record. But I project that will change with the merger and the move to the Northeast Conference in Division I.

I think, with the resources of two campuses and the draw to the vibrancy of Brooklyn and Manhattan, that could very well lead to a “Why not us?” attitude amongst the people running the athletics program at the school, an attitude that tends to be contagious.

We’ll know starting in September 2019.

Oct. 3, 2018 — The longest current win streak is no longer current

You may have noticed subtle changes in Daily Statwatch over the last few weeks (some in real-time, others after a lapse of a couple of days) as players, coaches, and teams are setting record after record.

Last night, one of our numbers went from orange (current) to black (final), and that’s the 92-game winning streak for San Diego Serra (Calif.), thanks to a 1-0 win on the part of Escondido San Pasqual (Calif.) yesterday.

The win comes less than two weeks after Serra beat the Eagles twice in the span of three days; once in a regular-season game, and the other in the semifinal round of the Serra Invitational.

Yesterday’s win means that it’s all to play for when it comes to the CIF San Diego Section’s Open Division championship. Who’s going to win it? We have another couple of months of play to see the result.