Not long after Carolin Hoffmann learned to talk and walk, she couldn’t wait to step on a field hockey pitch. Instead of adventuring into a nearby playroom, the German toddler eagerly watched her older brother’s practices from the sidelines.And though the local club’s minimum age was three years old, one coach made an exception, allowing Hoffmann, then two-and-a-half, to play field hockey.In European countries like Germany and the Netherlands where many SU players hail from, picking up field hockey in preschool — like Hoffmann did — is common. But in the United States, 32 out of 50 states have zero high schools that offer field hockey, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Still, the sport’s popularity in the United States has improved in recent years, as the overall participation has grown by more than 1,000 high schoolers since 2015, per the NFHS.“I think it’s getting bigger,” Claire Webb said of youth field hockey in the U.S., “So there’s more advertising for it, and it’s more out there. So, I think it would probably be easier now to start playing younger than back when I was starting to play.”At Syracuse (8-3, 1-1 Atlantic Coast), the dichotomy between foreign-born and American players is clear. Most Americans on SU began playing field hockey as teenagers and some could only play club because their high schools didn’t have teams. They relied on their athleticism learned in other more popular sports to gain an advantage, while international players have honed their technical skills for longer, said junior Chiara Gutsche.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textWebb began playing field hockey in third grade in Exton, Pennsylvania, earlier than all her other American teammates, she said. Webb’s mother played field hockey and introduced her to the sport, and it’s been “all I’ve ever known ever since,” Webb said. But she’s an exception.“American play is a lot different,” junior midfielder Laura Graziosi said. “But, I mean, there’s a lot of internationals in college field hockey, so I think they also bring European play to the field hockey here.” Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on October 8, 2019 at 10:02 pm Contact Danny: [email protected] | @DannyEmerman High school field hockey participation by stateInfogramAmy Nakamura | Co-Digital EditorGraziosi, who began field hockey in The Hague, Netherlands when she was five, has seven points, tied for second on the team. In the Netherlands, both men and women play field hockey, and it’s the second-most popular sport behind soccer, Graziosi said. Three of Syracuse’s top five point-scorers — including Charlotte de Vries — have international backgrounds. de Vries moved from Belgium to Pennsylvania at 11 years old.One of the biggest challenges when an American player moves onto the collegiate level of field hockey, SU head coach Ange Bradley said, is adjusting to the different surface. American youth field hockey is almost always played on field turf — same as lacrosse or football fields — but that changes to AstroTurf in college.Bradley compared the transition from field turf to AstroTurf to “playing basketball on ice” because of how much faster the college-level surface is.“The physiological demands are completely different,” Bradley said, “And the ability to transition and do the next job — you gotta be able to think faster.”Amy Nakamura | Co-Digital EditorWhen junior Claire Cooke, who’s originally from Virginia, first came to Syracuse, it was the first time she’d played on AstroTurf. She began playing field hockey as a freshman in high school, relying on her athleticism she developed from soccer and lacrosse to earn a scholarship to Syracuse as a junior.But Cooke remembers struggling to “keep up with the speed of things” on the faster turf, often losing control of the ball. She had to spend time after practices re-learning basic field hockey motions like sweeping. “It changes the entire game,” Cooke said.While American-born players like Cooke have to adjust to what feels like a “completely different game” due to the new field, international players remain comfortable — they’ve been playing on AstroTurf for their whole lives.“You learn so many skills when you’re younger,” Graziosi said. “When you’re older, obviously it’s harder to learn certain stuff. If you had already learned it younger, it’s easier to grow more.” Comments
CALIFORNIA, Trinidad (CMC):Title-holders Jamaica crushed North Windwards to post their first win, while hosts Trinidad and Tobago carved out a steady victory over Guyana in the third round of the Regional Women’s Super50 here yesterday.At Gilbert Park, the Jamaicans pulled off a resounding 116-run win, while at Macaulay Park, the Trinidadians eased to a six-wicket verdict to record their second win of the tournament.Jamaica would have been the more relieved with their result, however, after losing their opener to Barbados last Thursday and then suffering a no-result against South Windwards two days later.Sent in, Jamaica tallied 148 all out off their 47 overs, with Chedean Nation and Vanessa Watts top-scoring with 28 and Chinelle Henry getting 20.They had a shaky start when they lost West Indies players Natasha McLean for 10 and Stafanie Taylor for three, to slip to 31 for two in the 10th over.However, Nation and Watts pulled the innings around in a 47-run third-wicket stand, which came from 67 deliveries. Neither batter managed a boundary.Henry, batting at number five, then arrived to play a busy knock of 20 off 26 balls, with three fours.Seamer Krisani Irish was the best bowler with four for 30, while Qiana Joseph (2-18) and Swayline William (2-23) picked up two wickets apiece.In reply, North Windwards slid to 32 all out off 16.5 overs, with off-spinner Watts wrecking the innings with four for 10 and Taylor taking three for four with her off-breaks.no double figuresNot a single player reached double figures, with Irish’s five being the top score.T&T, meanwhile, racked up a crucial second win to follow up their eight-wicket victory over South Windwards last week.Winning the toss and opting to field, they reduced Guyana to 101 for eight off 50 overs, and then easily overhauled their target off 30 overs.Opener Amanda Samaroo top-scored with 32 from off 75 deliveries, with two fours, adding 31 for the second wicket with Shenelle Lord, who made 10. Off-spinner Plaffiana Millington was the best bowler with two for 41.Earlier, Guyana made heavy weather of their innings and never really got going, despite Shemaine Campbelle’s top score of 25 and Melanie Henry’s 21.Henry and Lashuna Toussaint (7) put on 28 for the first wicket, but the partnership consumed 67 balls and set the momentum for the innings.Off-spinner Karishma Ram-harack (2-14) and slow medium Felicia Walters (2-22) finished with two wickets apiece.
Manchester United are reportedly monitoring Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech, with the departure of David De Gea to Real Madrid appearing increasingly like a case of when rather than if.The Spanish giants have identified De Gea as their number one target to replace the ageing Iker Casillas, and a summer bid is expectedly imminently for the 24-year-old.Cech has had to play second fiddle to Thibaut Courtois this season at Stamford Bridge and has been told he can find a new club, and the Daily Mail’s north west reporter Mike Keegan believes there is some interest from United.“It certainly seems De Gea is on his way. Petr Cech is on their radar, but then you have a case where you have two very experienced goalkeepers [at United],” said Keegan.“[Victor] Valdes is there and has experience, but he looked a bit shaky when he came in. I think we might see a surprise, we might see someone we might not expect.”Keegan also revealed that Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been told next season will be his last in charge at the Etihad, regardless of how successful the coming campaign is.The Chilean guided City to the Premier League title in 2013/2014 but disappointingly failed to muster a challenge to runaway champions Chelsea this term, with the Citizens hierarchy reportedly lining up Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola as their ideal replacement.“There’s an agreement that this is his [Pellegrini’s] final year. I think when Pellegrini came in for three years, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Guardiola’s deal expires at the same time,” Keegan added.“He [Guardiola] is seen as the ideal fit for City, because of the way City want to do things. They have a certain style of football and want to replicate Barcelona.”