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Oct. 13, 2019 — Top of another leaderboard

With a hat trick in today’s 3-1 win over Ohio State, Corinne Zanolli, the junior forward for Stanford University, has taken over the lead in goals scored in NCAA Division I field hockey with 21.

It’s a total which is one ahead of Erin Matson of the University of North Carolina, who ended today’s action with 20.

Despite the nature of field hockey as undergoing a Score-O decade at the youth level, the accumulation of goals in NCAA Division I is a difficult undertaking. Indeed, in the last five years, the largest goal-scoring total by any U.S. college player is the 39 scored by Charlotte Veitner of the University of Connecticut in 2015.

Indeed, rare is the time when any goal-scorer in Division I gets above 30; one year ago, the national leader in goals scored got just 27.

I’ve always used the caveat that many investment firms use in advertising: “Past performance no indication of future performance.” But it’s telling that a pair of Americans lead the nation in college field hockey scoring. Perhaps this is a good open for Tokyo and beyond.

Oct. 12, 2019 — No. 6 Delmar (Del.) 4, Selbyville Indian River (Del.) 1

NEWARK, Del. — The 21st Annual Turf Bowl, the multi-day field hockey festival held at the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium, had an unusual interstate matchup this go-round. But with all due respect to the supporters of Kennett Square Unionville (Pa.) and Georgetown Sussex Tech (Del.), there was one game that First State field hockey fans wanted to see.

That was the Henlopen Counference South Division matchup between current DIAA Division 2 champion Delmar (Del.) and Selbyville Indian River (Del.). Both teams were 10-0 coming into Turf Bowl, and it was Delmar running out 4-1 winners in the end.

Though Delmar is currently on a 51-game winning streak and the No. 6 team in the TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10, head coach Jodi Hollamon kept it real at the postgame team talk.

“I’m feeling super-negative right now, but we still won the game 4-1 against a 10-0 team,” Hollamon said. “The bottom line is, we need to get better and complete those passes. We didn’t get the flow like we usually do.”

Delmar’s skills are such that some of their chances were more memorable than their goals. There was one first-half sequence borne of four one-touch passes that sprung one a player at the left post, who couldn’t get the ball over the goal line.

Hollamon is blessed with a number of players on her roster who played on varsity in eighth grade, which is allowed under DIAA rules. This includes her starting goalie, sophomore Kelly Davis, and her freshman daughter, Josie, who had a pair of goals in the game.

“I’ve wanted to put on a Delmar uniform my whole life,” Josie Hollamon said. “It’s been a lot of fun doing this, and it’s amazing.”

Josie Hollamon had herself a game. She pinged a second-half penalty stroke, detonated a penalty corner in the 12th minute, and had one 40-yard pass in the first half that sprung three of her teammates at the doorstep, but the ball somehow evaded all three teammates and squirted over the end line.

“We’ve had some players who have been around the game a very long time,” Jodi Hollamon said. “They put the time in, and having the stick in their hands is important. Having that skill and intensity is important.”

In addition, senior defensive midfielder Morgan Fletcher exhibited an array of skills which are the hallmark of a more mature player, and will take her talents to Duke next fall.

“I owe a lot of my skills to Jodi and to her sister Juli Bradford: they’re like my second moms,” Fletcher said. “And playing with the girls the way we do, it makes me better every day.”

Delmar’s team is a product of a lot of expectation as well as lot of preparation, and the latter won out in the Turf Bowl this afternoon.

“We need this kind of game, becuase were not presured day in and day out,” Jodi Hollamon said. “They are the best team we’ve played this year, and we just might see them here again (in the state final).”

DELMAR (11-0) 3 1 — 4
INDIAN RIVER (10-1) 0 1 — 1
D: Logan Walls, fg, 7th minute
D: Josie Hollamon (Morgan Bradford), pc, 12th
IR: Rylie Cordrey, pc, 24th
D: Ella Shockley, fg, 28th
D: Hollamon, ps, 45th
Shots — D: 17; IR. 6. Saves — D: Kelly Davis 5; IR: Allyson Clark 13.


FULL TIME That’s the end of the game with Delmar winning 4-1

58:47 DEL PS Morgan Fletcher’s flick is saved by Clark! Despite the scoreboard, she is having an excellent game

58:35 DEL PC Hollamon’s sweep is stopped but trapped under the goalie; a stroke is duly called

58:15 DEL PC False start on IR; they’ll have to defend with three players

56:05 IR PC Shot dribbles off the IR stick and cleared

56:00 DEL GREEN Logan Dean is off and the teams are 9-v-9

53:58 IR YELLOW Kayler Townsend is off for five minutes at a crucial point of this match

53:30 DEL PC Hollamon’s sweep is saved by Clark again!

51:21 Timeout, Indian River

49:30 IR PC Defensed by Logan Dean

48:00 IR PC Indians go Brooklyn; first shot on goal off the pass play is too high

45:55 IR PC Indians run the shotgun but cannot free a teammate

45:50 IR PC Delmar false-starts! This is the chance with only three outfielders on defense

44:08 DEL PS Hollamon converts with ease and the Wildcats are up 4-1

44:08 Maci Bradford withstands a hard foul in the second-goal area; a stroke is the result

41:40 Timeout, Delmar

41:00 IR is doing a decent job at occupying the center of the pitch and is preventing Delmar from building up attacks

34:00 Some neat Delmar passing inside the IR circle leads to a shot that goes wide!

30:00 The second half is under way

HALFTIME Clark has done an excellent job at stopping Delmar; her anticipation is so spot-on that it sometimes looks like she’s taken the Wildcats’ playbook

HALFTIME Though the Wildcats found net three times, some of the unsuccessful chances they created were stylish and skillful, something which is the mark of an excellent team

HALFTIME The horn sounds with Delmar leading 3-1

27:58 DEL GOAL But just as the IR defense takes a breath, the ball winds up in the back of the net through Ella Shockley! Delmar leads 3-1

27:30 DEL PC A swept shot by Maci Bradford is saved by Allyson Clark!

25:00 A 40-yard laser by Hollamon finds three teammates on the doorstep but the ball evades their control; 16y for Indian River

23:00 That’s only the third goal the Wildcats have conceded this season

23:00 IR PC and GOAL Rylie Cordrey with a backhander that bounces past Davis! Delmar still leads 2-1

20:30 Delmar, through four one-touch passes, gets a shot from five yards that is saved by the IR goalie; that buildup is straight out of the FC Barcelona playbook

11:24 Time out, Indian River. The Indians have been using an aerial attack to try to change fields, but it hasn’t worked as well as the simple pass that sprung Emma Ruley four minutes ago

11:24 DEL PC and GOAL Josie Hollamon detonates a 1-up and the lead is doubled! 2-0 Delmar

7:15 Indian River springs numbers and runs a 3-on-1 which is saved by Delmar goalie Kelly Davis

6:38 DEL GOAL A ball meets up with Logan Walls just above the stroke mark and makes no mistake; Delmar leads 1-0

5:00 Enterprising play by Maci Bradford leads to a shovel shot off IR goalie Allyson Clark; 23m the result

0:00 The game is on

PREGAME Delmar is in the all-orange kit; Indian River is wearing white tops with green kilts and Vegas gold trim

PREGAME The teams have already warmed up on the side turf at Rullo Stadium; we have partly cloudy skies and the temperature is at 66

PREGAME Many of them played varsity in eighth grade. Head coach Jodi Hollamon’s daughter Josie, and her cousin Maci Bradford, are among them. Their mothers both played at the University of Delaware

PREGAME Delmar is going for its fourth consecutive state championship with a roster that includes five ninth-graders

PREGAME Both teams arrived at their unbeaten records through different paths. Indian River has stayed in-state for its regular season, but Delmar has played Towson Notre Dame Prep, Kent Island, and Edgewater South River, all of Maryland

PREGAME Delmar, the No. 6 team in the TopOfTheCircle.com Top 10, is 10-0 this season; Indian River is also 10-0

PREGAME Hello, and welcome to Rullo Stadium at the University of Delaware for this Turf Bowl match between Delmar (Del.) and Selbyville Indian River (Md.)

Oct. 11, 2019 — Friday Statwatch through games played Oct. 9

Hi, everyone.

I’ve been reflecting on last year’s all-out assault on the Top 10 career goal-scoring list, when a number of players wound up surpassing the old national standard of 171.

This year, only one player is currently rising up the list kept to the right of this column; Penn State-bound Sophia Gladieux of Oley (Pa.) Valley, who scored her 180th goal this week. That’s enough for seventh on the all-time scoring list.

After her, the highest total for an active player that we know of is Shore Regional’s Lily Santi, who is at 127.

I guess, after a generation of gifted goal-scorers, it was about time that field hockey got its equilibrium back, allowing defense and goalkeeping to stop good creative attacking players.

Or so we thought. Look at the top goal-scorers for just this year: Talia Schenck is a sophomore, Rachel Herbine is a freshman, and Ava Borkowski is a junior. Youth shall, it seems, be served.

What we have below here is our usual collection of American scholastic field hockey statistics, culled from, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, PhilaFieldHockey.com, The Washington Post, 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
45 Talia Schenck, Lawrence (N.J.)
44 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
43 Ava Borkowski, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Pa.)
40 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
40 Jordan Carr, Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.)
39 Ryleigh Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
37 Elizabeth Agatucci, East Chapel Hill (N.C.)

36 Taryn Tkachuk, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
36 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
36 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
35 Molly Reed, East Chapel Hill (N.C.)
34 Lauren Wassell, Lancaster (Pa.) Country Day School
32 Lilly Smith, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
30 Jacey Wittel, Swiftwater Pocono Mountain East (Pa.)
30 Taryn Mayer, Lower Moreland (Pa.)
30 Bridget Murphy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
29 Taryn Ringer, Johnstown (N.Y.)
29 Liz Mazzella, Emmaus (Pa.)
29 Kate Herlihy, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)
29 Anna Crump, South Oldham (Ky.)

ASSISTS
28 Abby Periard, South Oldham (Ky.)
24 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
23 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
20 Lilly Smith, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
20 Karen Csensits, Emmaus (Pa.)
18 Reagan Underwood, West Lawn Wilson (Pa.)
18 Mia Simpson, St. Louis Lafayette (Mo.)
18 Malayna Kahl, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)
17 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
17 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
17 Izzy Zaleski, Lewisburg (Pa.)

CAREER GOALS
180 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
156* Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
127 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
116 Jordan Carr, Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.)
115 Bridget Murphy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
104 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
103 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
103 Lauren Parente, Wyoming (Pa.) Area
103 Hannah Maxwell, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.)
*–injured

CAREER ASSISTS
117 Cami Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
100 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)

GAMES UNDEFEATED
119 Los Gatos (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
52 Delmar (Del.)
48 North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)

We’re pretty sure we are missing some folks here. If you see something not here, 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 see you in seven days.

Oct. 9, 2019 — Helping out a struggling team

This year, in the Peninsula District for field hockey, is a story of the haves and the have-nots.

The one “have” is Gloucester (Va.), one of the best field hockey teams in the country, a team that passes the ball well, executes, and has already scored 120 goals, conceding zero.

The rest of the teams, scattered across the western reaches of Hampton Roads, are a random collection of young women and their coaches, all trying to keep up with the leader.

One such team is Hampton Bethel (Va.), which lost its coach two games after its season began. The varsity team is now coached by what is likely the youngest coaching staff in the country: Carly Trevathan and Kaitlyn Wolkowich, a pair of recent graduates from nearby Hampton Kecoughtan (Va.).

Trevathan is a student in interdisciplinary studies at two-year Tidewater College, while Wolkowich is studying dental hygiene at two-year Thomas Nelson College. Both had played field hockey at Kecoughtan, and, having seen a Twitter posting about the job opportunity, jumped at the chance to make a difference.

Here’s a link to a good story (it’s paywalled, but worth if it you can get hold of it).

Oct. 8, 2019 — Top 10 for the week of Oct. 6

There are only about two weeks remaining in the regular season for much of the country, and with a lot of interstate matches already having taken place, there’s not likely to be much movement in our Top 10, but we’ve seen interesting things take place when it comes to late rivalry matches.

This week, we have not one, but two honorary RightToRightIsRight.com No. 11 Teams of the Week. South Hadley Smith Academy (Mass.) and New Bedford (Mass.). are a pair of long-time Massachusetts public-school teams which have qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2015. As the commonwealth uses a minimum-points system in order to qualify, rather than to be at a certain record by a calendar cutoff date, it’s apparent pretty early in the run-in to the state tournament what a Massachusetts team needs in order to make their regional brackets.

1. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 14-0
The Royals beat North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.) 4-1 and Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 6-2 last week

2. Oley (Pa.) Valley 14-0
The Lynx took down Mountain Top Crestwood (Pa.) 6-0 and held down a high-powered Reading Berks Catholic (Pa.) team by an 8-0 score

3. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 12-1
After a tougher-than-expected 4-1 win over Medford Lenape (N.J.), the team eased by Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 9-0 and outlasted Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 7-4 with a late offensive burst

4. Emmaus (Pa.) 17-0
The Hornets close the regular season today against Allentown Parkland (Pa.)

5. Gloucester (Va.) 9-0
Dukes have not allowed a goal this season and have scored 109 thus far this season; should be tested this Friday against Stafford Brooke Point (Va.)

6. Delmar (Del.) 6-0
The Wildcats take on Selbyville Indian River (Del.) this Saturday at the Turf Bowl at the University of Delaware

7. Somerset-Berkley (Mass.) 10-0
Junior Cami Crook had eight assists in the Raiders’ 14-0 win over Fairhaven (Mass.)

8. West Lawn Wilson (Pa.) 16-0
Wilson will get a major, major test against Palmyra (Pa.) in its final regular-season game on Thursday

9. Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 13-0-2
Got by Hershey 1-0 in a rematch of the PIAA Class AAA final

10. Newport (Pa.) 11-1-1
Buffaloes’ rematch with Greenwood has been postponed to Oct. 15

11T. South Hadley Smith Academy (Mass.) 9-0-1
Top gun Karlie Guimond was an eighth-grader the last time Smith Academy made the postseason

11T. New Bedford (Mass.) 10-1
Kennedy Franklin paces the Whalers with a dozen goals this season

Who’s out? Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) 1-0 loss to Boiling Springs (Pa.)

And bear in mind:  San Diego Scripps Ranch (Calif.) 10-2, San Diego Torrey Pines (Calif.) 14-2, San Diego Serra (Calif.) 14-1, Darien (Conn.) 8-0, Newtown (Conn.) 9-0, Greenwich (Conn.) Academy 8-1, Louisville DuPont Manual (Ky.) 14-3-4, Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 15-6, Kingston Wyoming Seminary (Pa.) 10-0-2, Hershey (Pa.) 11-4, Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 9-1-1

Oct. 6, 2019 — A reclamation of sorts

Late last week, it was announced that my old high school, Burlington Doane Academy (N.J.) had purchased two lots of land adjacent to the current campus that had been sold to the city back in the 1950s.

As I had learned from some of the older alumnae from Founders’ Day and graduation weekends, the property was, back in the day, used for field hockey. In the days before the Amateur Sports Act, USFHA selectors visited the field on Blue-White field hockey days to scout not only for playing ability, but having the ability to pay their own way overseas. There are stories of at least one St. Mary’s Hall player having made one of Constance Applebee’s touring teams in the early 1920s.

The school kept on playing field hockey intramurally as well as on the varsity level; there is evidence as far back as 1934 of St. Mary’s Hall playing other high schools on the varsity level. The school dropped field hockey in 1985.

The land acquisition comes at an interesting time in the history of the school. In the last couple of years, the school unveiled a new addition to the middle of the school bridging the two main buildings. The three-story building replaces Doane Hall, which had burned in a 1974 fire, and Nelson Corridor and its annex, which had been condemned and razed about a decade ago.

Doane was a very small school when I attended, with just 14 students in my senior class. But shrewd and risk-taking fundraising has led to an amazing sense of school pride amongst current students that was rarely felt in the 1980s because of school management getting rid of numerous popular teachers.

But with the purchase of the properties — including an elementary school building capable of handling about 100 students, which could mean an increase in enrollment of about 30 percent.

It’s all part of a strategy which has forced a number of its contemporaries to change tactics when it comes to marketing and fundraising. One way, oddly, is through sports. Back in the 1970s and 80s, the school used to play a mish-mosh of small private academies in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

This year, Doane Academy is now playing in the well-established Burlington County Scholastic League, and are eligible to play for state championships in the NJSIAA — something that was unthinkable for most of us back in the day. That was something unheard of in my day; we were just thankful to play. And we were the kind of school which would not even blink when I missed a varsity basketball game to travel to North Jersey for our quiz team, a version of the old College Bowl.

Last spring, Doane won the NJISAA Class B title for small New Jersey private schools — a tremendous achievement, especially considering your Founder was on a very poor basketball team in the mid-80s that maybe won four games in two seasons.

I guess, with investment in the school, shrewd fundraising, and land acquisition, our school, which was a well-kept secret for decades, is now in the position of being able to take a risk or two. It’s a formula which has worked very well in other private schools in the mid-Atlantic, and I think it will be interesting to see what happens there.

Oct. 4, 2019 — Friday Statwatch for games played through Oct. 2

This last month or so has seen at least 11 scholastic field hockey coaches achieve some sort of major coaching milestone, defined as accruing 200 wins or more in multiples of 100.

Here’s what we have thus far, a veritable Who’s Who in field hockey coaching:

Date Coach School ST Num
Sept. 7 Kent Houser Millerstown Greenwood PA 500
Sept. 16 Linda Kreiser Hummelstown Lower Dauphin PA 800
Sept 17 Ann Simons Longmeadow MA 500
Sept. 18 Pete Tonsoline Elma Iroquois NY 400
Sept. 20 Eileen Allan Pompton Lakes NJ 400
Sept. 20 Melissa Bordieri Foxboro MA 200
Sept. 23 Jeannette Ireland Ellicott City Mount Hebron MD 300
Sept. 24 Christina Carroll Falls Church George C. Marshall VA 200
Sept. 25 Neil Bixler York Springs Bermudian Springs PA 300
Sept. 27 Cheryl Poore North Eastham Nauset MA 700
Oct. 1 Theresa Platte Virginia Beach Tallwood VA 200

It got us thinking: what are the chances that there would be that many coaches attaining major milestones in a four-week span?

Well, we have to assume a very imperfect mathematical model, one featuring an assumed 1,950 field hockey coaches, who either win or lose (we’re going to ditch draws for the purpose of this experiment) somewhere around 18 times a season over the course of 12 weeks, or 72 possible matchdays, not including the rare Sunday game.

With 1,950 coaches accomplishing nine wins over 72 days, that means any possible coaching number (first, 20th, 200th) can occur about 244 times on any given day in the 12-week season. Which would mean that, on average, there should be five coaching milestones (with a number ending in 00) every two days.

But that doesn’t happen in a real-world scenario.

That’s because some coaches accrue victories faster than others and leave their peers behind. Also there are a number of coaches who drop out of the coaching profession before reaching any milestone because of family, job, or burnout. Also, it’s hard to build up that number of victories in the first place; if you take all of the assumptions above, it would take a coach an average of 11 seasons to get to 100 wins.

So, what we have below here is our usual collection of American scholastic field hockey statistics, culled from, amongst other sources, MaxPreps, Berks Game Day, PhilaFieldHockey.com, The Washington Post, 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
37 Jordan Carr, Point Pleasant Boro (N.J.)
36 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)

35 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
35 Talia Schenck, Lawrence (N.J.)
35 Ava Borkowski, Plymouth-Whitemarsh (Pa.)
33 Taryn Tkachuk, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
32 Molly Reed, East Chapel Hill (N.C.)

32 Elizabeth Agatucci, East Chapel Hill (N.C.)
30 Lily Santi, West Long Branch Shore Regional (N.J.)
30 Taryn Mayer, Lower Moreland (Pa.)
30 Lilly Smith, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
29 Lauren Wassell, Lancaster (Pa.) Country Day School
28 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
27 Taryn Ringer, Johnstown (N.Y.)

27 Anna Crump, South Oldham (Ky.)
26 Kate Herlihy, Cape May Court House Middle Township (N.J.)

ASSISTS
27 Abby Periard, South Oldham (Ky.)
19 Rachel Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
16 Malayna Kahl, Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.)

16 Natali Foster, Elverson Twin Valley (Pa.)
16 Izzy Zaleski, Lewisburg (Pa.)

16 Callie Hummel, Ballwin Parkway West (Pa.)
16 Lilly Smith, New Hope-Solebury (Pa.)
15 Mia Simpson, St. Louis Lafayette (Mo.)
15 Hope Haynes, Houston Kincaid (Tex.)
14 Annika Herbine, Emmaus (Pa.)
14 Gigi Edwards, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.)
14 Carly Hynd, Tredyffrin Conestoga (Pa.)

CAREER GOALS
168 Sophia Gladieux, Oley (Pa.) Valley
156* Kara Heck, Voorhees Eastern (N.J.)
109 Bridget Murphy, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.)
104 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
100 Lauren Wadas, Palmyra (Pa.)
*–injured

CAREER ASSISTS
106 Cami Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)
100 Lucas Crook, Somerset-Berkley (Mass.)

GAMES UNDEFEATED
116 Los Gatos (Calif.)

CONSECUTIVE WINS
50 Delmar (Del.)
46 North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake (Calif.)

Now, here is where you, gentle reader, come in. I’m pretty sure there’s something missing from what you see here, so 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 give it the old college try next week.