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NFHCA Office Accepting Nominations for President
The NFHCA Office is currently accepting nominations for the position of NFHCA President. The first term of service of the incoming President will begin in February of 2018 and will run through the conclusion of the 2020 NFHCA Annual Convention.
Nominations will be accepted until October 15, 2017. All candidates will be expected to deliver a speech to the NFHCA Membership at the 2018 NFHCA Annual Convention outlining their reasons for pursuing the position.
A vote of the NFHCA Membership will begin upon the conclusion of these speeches and will continue until January 31, 2018.
Election results will be released by the NFHCA Office in early February. Questions regarding the position of NFHCA President may be directed to Jenn Goodrich, NFHCA Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Andy Whitcomb, NFHCA President, at email@example.com.
Thursday, August 3
Lykens Leads New Haven into New Era
By Matt Dougherty, NFHCA Director of Communications
From the July NFHCA Newsletter - PDF Release
2017 will end up as quite the calendar year for New Haven Head Coach Kelsi Lykens. After being hired in January, she has put together a roster to compete in the school’s inaugural season in the fall while also looking towards future classes to build the program for the Chargers. “
This is definitely a challenging process,” Lykens said. “I found out on my interview that we were expected to compete in 2017. It’s been very challenging in finding recruits especially with this senior class. I had a base of a club team to start with here, but only four people ended up coming from the club. That’s been my biggest challenge, but now we’re up to about 16 with the hopes of two more.”
She added, “I ended up reaching out to students who had already been on campus, some seniors who checked off field hockey as an interest in their application and was able to get a few off my first clinic on April 29.”
Of the 16 student-athletes set to compete for the Chargers in 2017, seven are incoming freshmen, four are from the club squad and a few are from other teams at the school, including one from both softball and lacrosse. Others on the team were already at or decided to come to the university. “
A lot of the freshmen I had to seek out,” Lykens said. “A few of them came from high school and club coach recommendations. Two or three did not have New Haven on their radar, but once I got them on campus I was able to get them to commit. The other half had already decided to come to New Haven and had played in high school. I have some experience coming, and there are others who I haven’t seen play beside my clinic and a couple I have not seen play at all.”
While the roster for the inaugural season has taken shape, Lykens already has an eye on building and solidifying the program for future years.
“I already have one 2018 commit and a lot of potential recruits for that class,” she said. “The biggest challenge with recruiting moving forward is a lot of people don’t know that the program exists, even though we’ve done a great job promoting it through our sports information staff. By the end of the summer I want to be able to get a hold on my 2018 class commits and then we can begin focusing on subsequent classes.”
Once her team assembles for the first time in August, Lykens looks forward to getting her program in place and seeing her squad on the field.
“Initially one of the biggest challenges will be to get everyone on the same page in physical fitness,” she said. “I hope that the people coming from the club program will understand the difference in endurance and strength that it will take to play at this level. After that it’s building the skills and what I am looking for going forward. I want to get them to the same skill foundation."
She added, “One thing I want to focus on is not taking anything from a program and taking it to this group. I’m not going to be able to do the same formations I am familiar with, so I need to find out strengths and weaknesses and tailor game plans accordingly.”
Whatever the on-the-field success ends up being, Lykens has a goal in mind of where she wants her team to be in its first season.
“Honestly I just want to see my culture into place,” she said. “We’re starting brand-new, so establishing that culture and then growing with it will be key. I want to have good student-athletes and find the small wins within everything so that we are literally getting better every game and every day at practice with an effort and mindset always at 100%.”
Lykens certainly has a great foundation to look upon as she aims to build a winning culture. A 2014 graduate of West Chester University, Lykens was an NFHCA first-team All-American in both 2012 and 2013 and led the Golden Rams to the NCAA championship in consecutive seasons in 2011 and 2012. Lykens also excelled in the classroom and was the field hockey nominee for the Division II Honda Sports Award as a senior. She closed out her career with 33 goals and 29 assists, and spent her first season following graduation as an assistant at West Chester before moving on to Sacred Heart University over the past two years.
Lykens spent her last three seasons as a student-athlete and her first as an assistant under West Chester Head Coach Amy Cohen, who has been a trusted mentor in a crazed time as New Haven prepares to play its first season.
“I had a lot of questions for Amy and she had a lot of insight for me,” Lykens said. “I’ve tried to speak to people who have started their own program. She’s been helpful in how to start a program and the challenges you are going to see. I’ve also spoken with Julie Munson of Southern New Hampshire since she had experience with it.”
Lykens’ squad will play at the Division II level in the Northeast-10 Conference, which consistently places multiple teams into the NCAA postseason and in the rankings of the NFHCA Coaches Poll. Still, that competition does not deter Lykens’ belief that her team will be able to challenge anyone soon.
“I really want us to compete for the NE-10 championship,” Lykens said. “I’m not sure if in the next four or five years we’ll be at the national level, but I really think it’s possible to establish a championship team. If I can focus on my 2018 team and then turn to my 2019 and 2020 group, I think we can really get to that level of competing for an NE-10 title. The five or 10-year plan is obviously competing for a national title.”
But before her long-term goals can be achieved, Lykens just wants to focus on growing the program and building her culture at New Haven.
“I hope I can be the rock for our student-athletes so they can see the program grow,” Lykens said. “I want people to be proud of where they played and know they can build something special here and look back and know that they were the ones who got it started.”
Wednesday, August 2
Converse Joins Growing List of Southern Squads
By Matt Dougherty, NFHCA Director of Communications
From the July NFHCA Newsletter - PDF Release
On November 15, when all but 12 collegiate field hockey teamshad wrapped up their 2016 seasons and started to point towards 2017, Kelsey Lovelace was about to embark on a daunting task: build the Converse field hockey program from the ground up to be able to compete this fall.
Lovelace was hired that day as the head coach at Converse, which had announced just over a month earlier that it was adding field hockey as the 13th sport at the all-women’s college. The Valkyries will compete in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) at the Division II level as the school in Spartanburg, South Carolina joins a growing group of field hockey programs in the south.
“We wanted to add field hockey because a lot of our board of trustees members were pushing to bring the sport back,” Lovelace said of a program that first began in 1973 before being discontinued in 1983. “Since Limestone, Newberry, Belmont Abbey and Queens had added field hockey, we wanted to get on board and make it happen. We are an all-women’s college and the sport promotes the school’s message of empowerment and fits right along with our whole mission.”
Lovelace’s sentiments were similar to those expressed by Athletic Director Joy Couch, who stated the following when Converse announced the addition of field hockey on Oct. 5: “Field Hockey will certainly bolster our continued growth as an Athletic Department and College, as we provide educational opportunities to our current and future student-athletes in which they have the ability to excel.”
It took Converse just six weeks to hire Lovelace, who had to get to work right away to be able to field a squad that could compete in the fall.
“When I got here there was nothing in place,” Lovelace said. “I’m basically building from the ground up and I had to start right away to get a team ready by the fall. I walked into a completely empty office and was tasked with finding a team. We have been recruiting heavily because nobody knew we had field hockey this year. So our first goal was reaching out to clubs and coaches to let them know we had a program, and we had to focus on getting equipment and more to get ready for the first season and worked on that in partnering with Longstreth and USA Field Hockey.”
Getting ready for the 2017 season was a challenging task, but one that Lovelace pulled off despite some trying moments.
“I’m definitely not going to lie, it’s been a very stressful process,” Lovelace said. “I think everything is going to pay off and we just need to see it through. We talked to other programs and my experience at Limestone (as an assistant coach) helped in knowing how to build the program. A lot of the student-athletes in our first class will be international because they are wanting to come and play here and are more prone to coming to an all-women’s college. Getting started so late, in December and January a lot of the 2017s were already committed so there weren’t a lot of people available. We did get a couple of good players late and are still recruiting 2017s, but we have a full team for next year and are looking to build towards our 2018 season.”
She added, “It was tricky when I started because I had to look at 2018s as well as 2017s. My pool of 2018 was a lot bigger, but I think our first class is going to be great and we are just developing it. I do get to look at 2018s now and we are in the process of bringing them in, but at first I was only able to focus on 2017s and in about February I realized we had to focus on 2018s as well.”
Lovelace spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Limestone College, a program that had its origins in the same manner as Converse. Limestone announced that it was adding field hockey on Nov. 4, 2008, and three weeks later hired Lindsay Jackson as the first head coach. After going through a winless campaign in her first season in 2009, Jackson led the Saints’ program to consistent growth that featured a winning record by season three and consecutive ECAC titles in 2013 and 2014, reaching the top ten in the national NFHCA Coaches Poll each season.
While Jackson departed to take the head coaching position at Holy Cross before Lovelace began her time at Limestone, the similar situations give some direction for the potential growth of the program at Converse.
“Lindsay started the program at Limestone and knows a lot of the stress that I’m under,” Lovelace said. “She’s been a big help with being a voice of reason when things get a little crazy. The athletic director at Limestone, Mike Cerino, has been a big help since he was there when the program started. My athletic director here is great and she will go out of her way to help me. I have amazing support if I do feel overwhelmed and my time and energy can be dedicated to what I need to do to get our program going.”
Lovelace also believes the program at Converse will have growth potential because of the rise of field hockey participation in the area.
“I’ve worked with Jess Mulhern (Limestone assistant coach) and Hannah Dave (Newberry head coach) along with Sally Goggin from USA Field Hockey to help promote the sport in our area. We are inviting high school athletic directors to our games in the hopes that they will sponsor as a high-school sport and that would it would be taught earlier and people could look to play in college. We’ve seen it in the last 10 years in lacrosse with growth into Florida and Georgia, and I think it can happen the same way with field hockey. There is a club director in Charleston who is from Upstate New York and really advocating for the growth of the sport. We’ve seen it in Charlotte with four or five clubs there who have produced some good Division I and Division II players and it will eventually be big on the whole east coast.”
Soon, all the last-minute recruiting and work to get ready for the 2017 season will culminate as the Valkyries step on the field for the first time in August. Lovelace knows there will be obstacles but wants to begin building on the field in year one.
“There’s going to be a lot of hills I haven’t even come to yet,” she said. “All of my girls are already in communication and getting to know each other right now. It will be weird stepping into a new place, so them getting to know each other now will help the transition. The girls are more excited than even I am to get going, and preseason will be really important since it’s our first chance to get things together on the field. Our strength and conditioning staff is working with the girls now so we can focus on field hockey when we get on the field. We are working now and planning out meetings about expectations for us and from our girls. We’re going to be a smaller team in the first year, but I expect these girls to do great things.”
She added, “I feel like a lot of people will see us as a first-year program that would be lucky to win a couple of games, but every day I want to get better and become a team with experience. All of these girls will come in and get experience, so by year three and four they will have played more than most of the other juniuors and seniors they are facing and by then we want to be a force down in the south. The first year we are looking for people to work hard and lay the brick in the program for what is to come and the girls are so excited about it.”
“I put together a full schedule because of all of the teams who are down here now and want to play us because we are close. We are really excited to have the schools close to us and it will make it even easier for schools to add field hockey because it won’t be as big of a concern on the budget.”
Lovelace believes Converse can follow the model of fellow ECAC member Limestone to become a successful program in a short amount of time.
“I think we can be very strong four or five years down the line,” she said. “By year three I want to be competing for a conference title, winning one by year four and then building from there because success breeds success. Limestone did not win any games its first year, but they kept building from there and by the seventh year of the program they almost had a national bid. They started on a grass field, but we’re renting a turf field from a high school to play and practice there. We hope to have our turf field by 2018. There’s always obstacles, but every year you should be better and that’s what we plan to do here. There’s no manual on starting a program. I hope that more schools add it, and I’d love to talk to more schools about adding field hockey especially down in the south and I look forward to having it grow down here.”
Yale Goes Down Under for Field Hockey and Fun
By Jessica Barnett, Yale Assistant Coach
As a coaching staff, it is important to us that our student-athletes have the opportunity to experience field hockey in other parts of the world. To get this more worldly view of our sport, every four years we are fortunate enough to take a team trip abroad. The destination this year was Australia with stops in Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast. We chose Australia for its rich field hockey tradition, and summer weather we’d been lacking in the winter months on the East Coast. This was the first time most of our student-athletes traveled to Australia (and first time on a flight over 10 hours). Despite the long trip over, we’re certain they’d tell you it was worth it.
The level of play was one of the reasons why we chose Australia. Field hockey is second nature to the communities, so clubs are filled with elite players. Children start playing with their parents at a young age and it really becomes a life-long involvement.
The first highlight of the trip’s field hockey aspect was having the opportunity to meet Kieran and Blake Govers. This wasn’t planned, or part of our trip itinerary. We were fortunate to be in the same place at the same time. The experience really showed the student-athletes what it’s like to be in a place where field hockey is such a prominent sport. At this point we thought nothing could top our meet and greet with the Olympians, so we were again surprised when we found out the location of our next game: The Sydney Olympic Park Hockey Center (where the 2000 Olympics took place). Although the stands weren’t as full as they were during the Olympics, it was still special for the girls to see a stadium that could hold thousands of people that watch the sport they play.
As we moved north from Sydney up to Brisbane, the competition more than exceeded our expectations. The tough part about going abroad is the level of play and figuring out how to match up. It was especially tough to get full numbers this time of year, as most Australians were taking summer holidays. We weren’t disappointed when we showed up to play the University of Queensland. With a brand new turf facility, Yale was the first team to ever play a game against the University here. After two very hard fought battles with the Queensland team, we came out with a tie and a loss. Although the results weren’t necessarily wins, that didn’t take away from what we were able to learn from those games. If you talk to the coaching staff, they would tell you that having these games was the best kind of competition.
There weren’t expectations going in, and the student-athletes were able to enjoy playing. We didn’t have the luxury of watching film or knowing our opponent. We spent our practice time focusing on ourselves, and how we needed to play. Despite not getting a win, this was some of the best field hockey we had seen our student-athletes play up to this point.
Our last stop on the trip was the Gold Coast. The coaching staff will be the first to tell you they weren’t expecting the same caliber of talent here. The Gold Coast, also known as “Surfers Paradise” is just that. It’s a surf town, with tourist shops, loads of hotels, and beaches that stretch for miles. However, if you venture 15 minutes away from this paradise, you come across the Super Sports Center, which will be the location for Commonwealth Games in 2018. To note, this facility was gorgeous.
Not only did we come across our toughest competition on the trip, but the toughest competition ever faced period. They had a couple of athletes on their roster working within the national team, so it was a level that our girls had not seen before. Despite this, our team did a great job of rising to the occasion and refusing to quit. We ended up dropping both our games here, but continued to improve as a whole. Again, it was these tougher games where we felt that we made the most strides as a team.
This trip wasn’t all field hockey, there were some incredible off-the-pitch moments as well. While in Sydney, we toured the Oprah House, walked across the Sydney Harbor Bridge, and took a coastal walk from Bondi Beach. On our way out of Sydney, we made a stop to hike through the Blue Mountains. This rugged region just west of Sydney was filled with stunning views and waterfalls.
In Brisbane, we explored King George Square and took boats down the Brisbane River to get a waterfront view of the city. We also made a day stop at the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where many of the girls (and staff) got to hold koalas in their arms. But the most memorable experience was from the Gold Coast. We had the privilege of really acting like locals, and got surf lessons in “Surfers Paradise.”
Our last stop of the trip was a hike to Byron Bay, which our players might tell you was one of the most beautiful spots they have ever seen. We were definitely very lucky to be able to take part in so much during the course of our trip. Our student-athletes got to experience high-level field hockey in another part of the world, and experience a place that most of them had never been before. In the short two weeks, we took advantage of every day and really had the experience of a lifetime while in Australia.
Monmouth Enjoys First International Experience
By Matt Dougherty, NFHCA Director of Communications
For Monmouth Head Coach Carli Figlio, the first foreign trip in the 20-year history of her program provided memorable moments and team-building for her student-athletes on and off the field.
“We had a small group that went because our team was relatively small,” Figlio said. “The girls were amazing, they were respectful and adults. The bonding that happened with them as well as with the coach-player relationship is not something you are going to get in practices every day. Seeing everyone in different environments and social settings makes everyone more relatable. We always say we are a family away from home but it kind of really showed when you are in different cultures and trying to understand the language and ask questions to work together.”
The Monmouth squad departed on May 16 for its 10-day trip to Holland and Italy. Figlio felt the two locations brought together the on and off the field experience for her team.
“We picked Holland because we have two players on the team and we wanted to have them show us where they’re from. We chose Italy as a bit of a bonus and more as a cultural experience. Our university believes strongly in doing a trip every few years and participating in community service with a different culture that the kids can learn about. We were in Holland for the majority of the time and spent the last three or four days in Italy.”
The journey began with time in Holland, where the Hawks played against Victoria HC within nine hours of landing on May 17 followed by contests the next two days against Leiden Ladies and Rotterdam HC. The trip to Holland was a homecoming for a pair of Rotterdam natives on the Monmouth roster, Julie Laszlo and Josephine van der Hoop.
“We played against Julie’s club team first,” Figlio said. “The level of play there is very high. It gave our girls an opportunity to play against a really skilled team that also had a lot of fitness. We had taken a red-eye and then we got off the plane and played. The next club team we played was about the same level, and the third club we played was Josephine’s team and it was the second level of the club, more around the 16-17-18 age range. We had an opportunity to see the best and then a level below where we got a couple shots. The girls were definitely nervous playing back at home, but it was great to get a taste of their club and their everyday life. Everyone kind of grows up in that club environment over in Holland, and we were able to have some incoming freshmen from Holland who came to see our last game.”
While the games gave the team an opportunity to build cohesion on the field, the rest of the trip featured moments that to remember for a lifetime. “In Holland we did a really amazing bike tour in a small little town,” Figlio said. “We went to the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. We also worked a clinic with about 150 youth that all kind of came from lower income areas. It wasn’t an after-school program, but something very similar to that. We just had a sports day and were out there with them the whole time. A lot of the kids couldn’t speak English, so it also gave us an opportunity to see how hard it is to communicate when it’s not your first language.”
Figlio added, “We went to a little city called Delft in Holland, and in Italy we did a lot of sightseeing in Rome, Capri Island and Sorrento. We went kayaking, had a paddleboarding experience in the canals and had tours of some amazing cultural sites. We gave the girls some free time to explore, but every day was pretty packed.”
The trip was organized by Zag Sports, and the student-athletes all had an opportunity to see sights and learn culture, and also find out more about their sport and how it is played in a different country.
“It was definitely the first time for a lot of them to go out of the country,” Figlio said. “Just to see two totally different cultures was amazing, not just from a cultural standpoint but also from a hockey standpoint. In Holland hockey is like a lifestyle for enjoyment and you start at such a different age. It was really cool to be able to see both of those. It was a great balance from seeing a lot of beautiful things in Holland and Italy from also being able to give back to kids who were less fortunate. They got a kick that we couldn’t speak their language so it was kind of a talking point there.”
She added, “By going to Holland they kind of get their teammates more. If you’re not an hour and a half from the university, you have to get on a plane and it’s an entirely different culture and environment. Seeing a different perspective and worldview will help them grow as people.”
The opportunity to go on an overseas trip for the first time was very important for Figlio as she aims to provide a complete experience for her student-athletes.
“It means we are invested in not just field hockey but we want to be able to bring a well-rounded experience to these girls,” Figlio said. “Athletes in college have different priorities in their time and this way we can reward them with life experiences that they can talk about for a long time to come. For anyone we are recruiting to see us on an international stage and see how seriously we are taking it, hopefully it translates into our recruits in the future to see us having that experience.”
USFHL National Championship to Showcase Best of Local Clubs
By Matt Dougherty, NFHCA Director of Communications
The United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) National Championship will take place from July 28-30 at Spooky Nook in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with eight men’s and eight women’s teams competing to be crowned as the best adult team in the country.
Kendra Lucking, the non-profit director for the USFHL, has been busy coordinating the event which will allow the best adult teams from local leagues the opportunity to compete to be the 2017 USFHL National Champions.
“When chatting with adult leaders in field hockey over the past two years, we identified that the first step in us coming together and growing the game for adults nationally is to have a competition for the strongest teams to compete to be national champions. USFHL is designed to serve all levels of local and national adult field hockey, but our first step needed to be a men’s and women’s adult championship. In the first year we wanted to keep it small so we could work out the kinks. We’ll kick off with something special so people will want to come back.”
The USFHL National Championship is not a pay-to-play tournament, and teams had to qualify from their local leagues. Confirmed teams in the women’s tournament include Rovers Greenwich FHC (N.Y.), Lancaster United (Pa.) Baltimore Field Hockey Association, DC Dragons, NCAFH (North Carolina), Miami Surf, Olympic Club (Northern California) and Steelstyx. The men’s event will feature Greenwich (N.Y.) Field Hockey Club, DC Dragons, Miami Surf, Philly Premier FHA, Midwest Warriors, Texas FHC and SE/USA. Additional teams will be confirmed as the event draws closer.
“There are a lot of strong leagues providing great adult field hockey thanks to passionate local leaders who put in a ton of time of effort for adults to continue playing the sport, often with little thanks and credit. A primary goal of USFHL is to support them through technology, marketing, events, and coming together to strengthen the pipeline and the national community ” Lucking said. “Some notable successful leagues providing top hockey include NEFHA in New York, the Federation in Southern California, and BAFHA & NFHCA in Northern California which offers separate men’s and women’s competition. Texas offers a competitive men’s league and PFHA in Philadelphia has a strong women’s league. Other successful co-ed leagues include NEPL in Boston, Triangle in North Carolina, BFHA in Baltimore which is the oldest field hockey association, and DC Dragons. Perhaps the most exciting thing for me to see this year were formations of new leagues for example in Florida and Georgia in the Southeast and also WFHA, VA Beach, and Triangle formed leagues to provide localized cost effective options for their athletes. Many of the leaders from these communities are on the advisory board of USFHL guiding the organization’s next steps.”
The USFHL National Championship will be played the weekend before the 2017 Men’s and Women’s Pan American Cup, which takes place at Spooky Nook from August 4-13. The Pan Am Cup athletes will be practicing at the site while the USFHL National Championship is being held.
“Making it the weekend before the Pan Am Cup will provide an exciting background so it can be special even though there will only be 16 teams this year,” Lucking said.
In addition to the tournament, the USFHL National Championship weekend will include a convention, social and North vs South all-star game. Lucking says a goal for 2018 is to double the participation . Many communities were excited about the opportunity but were not able to submit teams in 2017, but have plans in place so that teams can qualify from their area in 2018. She hopes to see growing competition at the local level as the national championship event develops.
“Teams had to be selected through local competition, and we are utilizing local hockey to be able to compete in nationals,” Lucking said. “This is a competition of the best teams in the nation, not the best all-stars or someone who has friends that could come in. There are rules behind local participation so it truly is a competition between the best teams. We want to spotlight the club teams to grow local participation since we don’t have huge adult club participation in the United States compared to some other countries.”
Vernon Vassou, the co-captain of DC Dragons, said his team is excited for the challenge of competing against other top squads around the country.
“The national tournament provides the DC Dragons an opportunity to compete at a national level, and exposes our players to a higher standard of hockey,” Vassou said. “To represent the DC Metro area is a great honor and a source of pride. We have reached out to players throughout our region to have good representation.”
Lucking said the USFHL is a non-profit that is dedicated to growing the game, and doing so at the adult level will keep players engaged after they have completed collegiate competition.
“Whenever players graduate, a lot of times they get questions on how to get plugged into the game,” Lucking said. “We are organizing, providing structure and growing in one place so adults know the website or place to go so that they can get plugged in to play.”
Prospective players can go to USFHL.com to find out more about the organization and what is going on at local levels throughout the country. Lucking said the website is key so players will have a central location to get information and not just rely on word of mouth.
“When we work together the adult community can get coverage and marketing through the big field hockey organizations,” she said. “Players can then get plugged in locally where local organizations would not have that power by themselves.”
Lucking has helped start, coach, and managed a number of youth field hockey clubs in San Francisco, and believes that building the adult game will have a lasting effect on youth in the sport as well. Once adults are engaged in the game in their local communities, Lucking hopes to see a family sport dynamic and a stronger pipeline for athletes for a trickle-down effect to get more youth engaged and involved in field hockey.
Lucking hopes to see the championship not only grow from year one to year two, but to continue to blossom as the local leagues develop and field hockey participation picks up across the country. She hopes that post-collegiate players from all different levels will be engaged in continuing their careers after graduation.
“The first year and probably next year is starting out with the most competitive teams, but in the future we want to break into tier one and tier two to pull in more fieldhouses and rec leagues at a different level to really see growth, particularly with men,” Lucking said. “Tier one and tier two would support the broader type of athlete and get more engaged with adults so they are giving something back. That way you would have the social tournaments as well that are really popular in other countries. Also in two-to-three years we want to support indoor field hockey for adults and also have more fundraising through corporate sponsorship and events for the local leagues to help mitigate the costs for athletes.”
She added, “When I let myself get very excited about the potential of adult growth, I think ten years from now when clubs from youth through adult are larger there can be more partnering with colleges and other facilities for more access to the astroturf surfaces since that is what adults want to play on and is probably the biggest limiting factor in growing the game for adults.”
NFHCA July Newsletter Now Available Online
CHANDLER, Ariz. – The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) will produce a monthly newsletter throughout the 2017 season, with the first edition now available online here.
The July newsletter consists of feature stories on first-year programs at both Converse College and the University of New Haven, international trips for Monmouth University and Yale University and club teams including Potomac and Rapids (Va.) Field Hockey and the Souderton (Pa.) Strikers. The newsletter also contains stories on next weekend's United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) National Championship, NFHCA Top Recruit Spring Fling and CoachTube as well as additional news and notes.
The stories will be released individually on the NFHCA website over the coming weeks. The next NFHCA newsletter will be available in August.
15 Field Hockey Student-Athletes Earn CoSIDA Academic All-America Honors
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Fifteen field hockey student-athletes received recognition for their success on the turf and in the classroom with a spot on the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Women’s Academic All-America At-Large Teams released for all divisions this week.
Messiah’s Lindsay Bower led the way in Division III with a selection to the first team, while Rochester’s Sayaka Abe, Tufts’ Annie Artz, Skidmore’s Becca Halter and Worcester Polytechnic’s Hope Shevchuk were on the second team.
Making the list in Division I were Liberty’s Serena Barr, Kent State’s Ines Delpech, Albany’s Paula Heuser Hofstra’s Stella Schoen and Quinnpiac’s Angie King on the second team, with American’s Natalie Konerth on the third team.
Four student-athletes who recently completed their senior year made the list in Division II, with East Stroudsburg’s Emily Howell, Bloomsburg’s Samantha Peters and Millersville’s Margaret Thorwart on the second team and East Stroudsburg’s Danielle Ard on the third team.
Fourteen of the 15 student-athletes completed their senior season in 2016, while Delpech will be a senior at Kent State next season.
The Academic All-America teams recognize student-athletes for their combined performance athletically and in the classroom. The Women’s At-Large Team is comprised of student-athletes from the sports of beach volleyball, bowling, crew/rowing, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis and water polo in addition to field hockey.
Each of the 15 student-athletes previously made the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad announced in March, while nine of the honorees also made the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Scholars of Distinction lists for holding a cumulative grade-point average of 3.9 or higher through the spring semester.
Barr, Thorwart and Halter were the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA National Scholar-Athlete honorees for their respective divisions for maintaining the highest GPA among student-athletes who earned All-America status in 2016.
The honorees on the Academic All-America Team made the CoSIDA Women’s At-Large Academic All-District Team, which was released last month. Ten additional field hockey student-athletes also earned Academic All-District recognition.
Flow Drills with Yale Assistant Coach Jess Barnett
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Yale assistant coach Jess Barnett has provided a breakdown of flow drills for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA).
Barnett played collegiately at Iowa from 2009-12, where she was an All-American and helped her school to the NCAA Tournament as both a junior and senior. She played internationally for the Canadian National Team, helping her squad to a bronze medal at the Pan American Cup in Argentina. Barnett worked as a volunteer assistant at her alma mater before joining the Yale staff last fall.
View Barnett's breakdown of right side, left side and transfer flow drills here.
University of Iowa Reaches Settlement with Tracey Griesbaum
CHANDLER, Ariz. – The University of Iowa announced on Friday that it has reached a settlement with former field hockey head coach Tracey Griesbaum. The settlement ends all pending legal action against the university.
Griesbaum had filed a gender bias lawsuit against the university, and will receive a nearly $1.5 million settlement with a sum of $300,000 in wages and another totaling $1,187,588.98 in emotional distress. The athletic department will also pay for attorney fees totaling over $1 million. Griesbaum filed a Stipulation for Dismissal with Prejudice for all of her claims against the university.
Griesbaum spent 14 seasons as head coach at Iowa before her dismissal just prior to the start of the 2014 season. She led the Hawkeyes to six NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four run in 2008, and Big Ten Tournament titles in three straight years from 2006-08.
Griesbaum had filed suit against the university for gender discrimination, alleging that the athletics department had pushed her and other female employees out of their positions. The university also reached a settlement with former senior associate athletics director Jane Meyer.
The settlements will be funded by the Iowa athletics department, and the university will hire an independent counsel to conduct an external review of employment practices.
Andy Whitcomb, the President of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) and head coach at Mount Holyoke College, provided the following statement in reaction to the settlement.
"This was a great outcome for not only Tracey Griesbaum and Jane Meyer, but for the countless other female coaches who have faced similar discrimination and unjust dismissals or demotions. We know the facts from the Women's Sports Foundation study, Beyond X's and O's, that there is gender bias in women's college athletics. This, to me, is the shot heard round the college coaching community and a warning for those administrators that this unlawful behavior will no longer be tolerated and there are serious repercussions for such discriminatory firings. For all those women who have pending legal cases against their institutions for gender or sexual orientation discrimination, or retaliation, or unequal pay or whistle-blower violations, I sincerely hope that this case gives them the necessary faith and steadfastness to pursue and seek justice. True vindication, I believe, would be the ability for Tracey to pursue a collegiate coaching job in the sport she loves without prejudice; a luxury countless male coaches have been afforded post litigation."
25 Field Hockey Student-Athletes Earn CoSIDA Academic All-District Honors
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Field hockey student-athletes were well-represented on the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Women’s Academic All-District At-Large Teams released for all divisions last week.
A total of 25 field hockey student-athletes were honored across the eight districts, with 12 selected from Division III, eight from Division I and five from Division II. The Academic All-District teams recognize student-athletes for their combined performance athletically and in the classroom.
The honorees from Division III included a trio from Montclair State, with Danielle Butrico, Camille Maimone and Megan Roeloffs all honored in District 2. The rest of the Division III student-athletes included Annie Artz (Tufts), Elizabeth DiCesare (Mount Holyoke) and Hope Shevchuk (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) in District 1, Sayaka Abe (Rochester) and Becca Halter (Skidmore) in District 3 and Lindsay Bower (Messiah), Emily Boyle (Muhlenberg), Halley Donlin (Elizabethtown) and Rachel Strow (Muhlenberg) in District 4.
The Division I honorees came from eight different schools. The list included Paula Heuser (Albany), Angie King (Quinnipiac) and Stella Schoen (Hofstra) In District 1, Natalie Konerth (American) in District 2, Serena Barr (Liberty), Robin Blazing (Duke) and Jessy Silfer (Wake Forest) in District 3 and Ines Delpech (Kent State) in District 5.
Each of the Division II honorees were selected in District 2, including a pair from East Stroudsburg in Danielle Ard and Emily Howell. Courtney Konowal (Kutztown), Samantha Peters (Bloomsburg) and Margaret Thorwart (Millersville) joined their fellow Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference colleagues on the squad.
All 25 student-athletes previously made the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) National Academic Squad announced in March, while 15 of the honorees also made the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Scholars of Distinction lists for holding a cumulative grade-point average of 3.9 or higher through the spring semester.
Barr, Thorwart and Halter were the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA National Scholar-Athlete honorees for their respective divisions for maintaining the highest GPA among student-athletes who earned All-America status in 2016. Twelve of the student-athletes on the Academic All-District squad were previously named to the Longstreth/NFHCA All-America teams for their play on the field in the past season.
Each of the Academic All-District honorees advances to the national ballot for the CoSIDA Women’s At-Large Academic All-America Team, which will be selected later in the month. The sports included in the Women’s At-Large Team include beach volleyball, bowling, crew/rowing, fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming, tennis and water polo in addition to field hockey.
Division I Field Hockey Teams Excel in NCAA APR Report
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Field hockey teams at the NCAA Division I level continue to stand out in the classroom as they combined to post outstanding numbers in the latest release of the four-year Academic Progress Rate.
More than 80 percent of Division I field hockey teams scored above the national all-sport APR four-year average of 981. Thirteen schools received NCAA Public Recognition Awards after achieving a perfect APR score of 1,000, with the list including Brown, Bucknell, Colgate, Columbia, Connecticut, Georgetown, Indiana, Northwestern, Penn, Saint Louis, Stanford, Villanova and Virginia Commonwealth.
Every Division I sports team across the nation calculates its Academic Progress Rate each academic year, like a report card. Scholarship student-athletes each semester earn one point for remaining eligible and one point for staying in school or graduating. At schools that don’t offer scholarships, recruited student-athletes are tracked.
Rates are an average of each school’s performance for the past four years. National aggregates are based on all teams with usable data at the time of analysis. The national analysis is based on member-provided data from April 5.
Stonehill, Division II Schools Take Part in 5K to Fundraise for Childhood Cancer Fund
Courtesy of Stonehill Athletic Communications
EASTON, Mass. - Supported by NCAA Division II field hockey programs around the country, Stonehill College sophomore back MacKenzie Greenberg and the Skyhawks field hockey program raised $3,000 for the Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Fund with its Athletes Crush Cancer 5K run on campus recently.
Inspired by Greenberg, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer sophomore at Hopedale High School and continues her battle to this day, Stonehill field hockey head coach Susan Ciufo assisted her in organizing the 5K race as a fundraiser along with Athletes Crush Cancer. The response was overwhelming, not just on the Stonehill campus, but throughout the field hockey community as 18 fellow NCAA Division II programs, including nine of its 14 fellow Northeast-10 Conference teams, made donations and participated in their own way, including running the 5K on their campuses the weekend of the event.
"I just wanted to give back to what Athletes Crush Cancer has done," said Greenberg of the fundraiser. "It turned out to be so much more than I ever expected when we started to plan it a month ago. Thanks to the D2 Challenge and the support of the other field hockey programs around the country, it turned into so much more than I could have anticipated and to me, that means the world."
Behind the support of Millersville University head coach Shelly Behrens' challenge to all field hockey programs in Division II to support Greenberg's 5K, the following programs all contributed in some way: Assumption, Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg, Franklin Pierce, Lindenwood, LIU Post, Mercy, Mercyhurst, Millersville, New Haven, Pace, Saint Anselm, Saint Michael's, Seton Hill, Slippery Rock, Southern Connecticut State, Southern New Hampshire and West Chester.
Fellow Stonehill teams that supported the event were: Women's Basketball, Women's Lacrosse, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track & Field.
"It was such an amazing day for 'Mack,' the coaching staff and team," said Ciufo. "We are just so touched by the amount of people that showed up on campus and the support of the field hockey teams around Division II running their own 5Ks on their campuses. The amount of support by so many means so much."
Individuals can still support the Arms Wide Open Cancer Fund by making a donation here.
Skidmore’s Becca Halter Named Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Scholar Athlete
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Skidmore senior Becca Halter has been named as the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Scholar Athlete, it was announced Thursday.
Halter claims the award given to the first, second or third-team All-American in Division III who maintains the highest cumulative grade-point average through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
Halter earned Longstreth/NFHCA Third-Team All-America status as a senior in 2016, starting all 22 games with four goals and five assists and helping her squad to the Liberty League Tournament title and a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship. She was also selected to play in the Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division III Senior Game.
Halter was also recognized for her success in the classroom during her time at Skidmore. She was named to the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction lists in each of her four seasons.
Halter becomes the second recipient of the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division III National Scholar Athlete Award, with University of Mary Washington’s Haley Kane claiming the honor in each the last two seasons.
Liberty’s Serena Barr Named Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Scholar Athlete
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Liberty senior Serena Barr has been honored as the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Scholar Athlete, it was announced Wednesday.
Barr claims the award given to the first, second or third-team All-American in Division I who maintains the highest cumulative grade-point average through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
Barr completed an outstanding senior season for the Flames in 2016, leading her squad with 27 points by recording eight goals and 11 assists. She earned Longstreth/NFHCA Second-Team All-America status after previously being named an All-South Region pick and the BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year. She competed in the Victory Sports Tours/NFHCA Division I Senior Game and finished her career as Liberty’s all-time leader in assists (38) while placing third in points (96) and fourth in goals (29).
Barr was also recognized for her success in the classroom during her time at Liberty. She was named to the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction lists in each of her four seasons.
Barr becomes the third winner of the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division I National Scholar Athlete Award, following Duke’s Lauren Blazing (2015) and Old Dominion’s Kelsey Smither (2014).
Millersville’s Thorwart Named Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II National Scholar Athlete
CHANDLER, Ariz. – Millersville senior Margaret Thorwart has been honored as the Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II National Scholar Athlete, it was announced on Tuesday.
Thorwart claims the award given to the first or second-team All-American in Division II who maintains the highest cumulative grade-point average through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
A senior from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Thorwart concluded an outstanding career as a Longstreth/NFHCA First-Team All-American in 2016. She tallied a team-high 20 points with seven goals and six assists while starting all 22 contests for the Marauders, who won the tournament title in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Championship.
Thorwart made both the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction lists in each of her four seasons at Millersville.
Thorwart becomes the third winner of the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division II National Scholar Athlete Award, following LIU Post’s Dani Crouse (2014) and Adelphi’s Rachel Colvin (2015).
Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction Announced
CHANDLER, Ariz. - The Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III National Academic Squad was announced on Thursday with 1,625 student-athletes making the list and 150 schools with representation.
Also on Thursday, a total of 211 student-athletes representing 103 different schools were recognized as Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Scholars of Distinction.
The Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad includes all student-athletes with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year. The Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
National champion Messiah College, fellow Final Four participant Salisbury University and Mount Holyoke College all shared top honors with 20 student-athletes making the National Academic Squad. An additional 28 schools placed at least 15 student-athletes on the list.
There were 187 seniors noted for making the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad in each of their four seasons.
The University of Maine at Farmington and Simmons College led all schools with six student-athletes receiving the Scholars of Distinction honor, while Cedar Crest College and Misericordia University each had five selections and five other schools notched four honorees.
View the full list of honorees on the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III National Academic Squad and the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division III Scholars of Distinction.
Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction Announced
CHANDLER, Ariz. – The Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Academic Squad was announced on Wednesday with 929 student-athletes making the list and 79 schools with representation.
In addition, a total of 115 student-athletes representing 55 different schools were recognized as Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I Scholars of Distinction.
The Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad includes all student-athletes with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year. The Scholars ofDistinction list includes those student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
Brown University led all schools with 19 selections to the National Academic Squad, while Bucknell, Hofstra and Kent State each totaled 18. An additional 12 schools had at least 15 student-athletes make the National Academic Squad.
There were 139 seniors noted for making the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad in each of their four seasons.
Brown also led all schools with seven student-athletes receiving the Scholar of Distinction nod, followed by Saint Francis University with five. An additional 14 schools had at least three student-athletes on the Scholars of Distinction list.View the full releases for the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division I Scholars of Distinction.
Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction Announced
CHANDLER, Ariz. – The Zag Field Hockey/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division II National Academic Squad was announced on Tuesday with 427 student-athletes making the list and 31 schools with representation.
In addition, a total of 79 student-athletes representing 24 different schools were recognized as Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II Scholars of Distinction.
The Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad includes all student-athletes with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.30 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year. The Scholars ofDistinction list includes those student-athletes who have achieved a cumulative GPA of 3.90 or greater through the first semester of the 2016-17 academic year.
East Stroudsburg University led all schools with 21 student-athletes making the National Academic Squad, while Limestone College and Newberry College each had 20 honorees. An additional 11 schools placed at least 15 student-athletes on the National Academic Squad.
Fifty-five seniors were noted for making the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad in each of their four seasons.
Nine schools placed at least four student-athletes on the Scholars of Distinction list. Kutztown University, Limestone College and Lindenwood University led all schools with seven student-athletes making the list.
View the full list of honorees for the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II National Academic Squad and the Zag Field Hockey/NFHCA Division II Scholars of Distinction.
WHAT IS THE NFHCA?
The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) is a non-profit organization serving field hockey coaches and supporters of the game from across the United States. The mission of the organization is to stimulate the professional development of coaching leadership within the sport of field hockey. The NFHCA strives to cultivate and recognize the professional contributions of its membership and to foster and promote the growth of the sport. The NFHCA is responsible for providing a recognizable presence and voice in regard to legislation affecting the sport as well as interscholastic and intercollegiate programs.
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