All the news for Monday 19 October 2020
ROUND-UP: Men's Hockey League Round 5
Beeston's Adam Dixon in action against Brooklands MU. Credit David Kissman
Old Georgians came out on top in a spectacular 16-goal thriller in the Men’s Hockey League Premier Division on Sunday, coming from behind to win a pulsating clash against Oxted by a scoreline of 10-6.
After Elliott Messem and Tom Carson had put Old Georgians 2-0 up inside eight minutes, the floodgates opened as both sides traded goals.
It was Oxted who held a 5-4 lead at the break with Tim Guise-Brown’s hat-trick putting them in the driving seat. Mark Galloway and Sam Driver scored the other two for Oxted with Tom Carson and Ashley Jackson keeping Old Georgians in contention.
The game seemed to settle after the restart but it exploded into life again with Edward Carson finding the goal for Old Georgians and Sam Driver scoring for Oxted, both in the 44th minute.
At this point the goals finally dried up for Oxted, but Old Georgians weren’t finished yet as strikes from Messem, Jackson, Dan Shingles and a brace from James Tindall saw them clinch an exhilarating contest and stay second in the table.
Beeston also had to come from behind to snatch a 3-1 win against Brooklands Manchester University.
David Flanagan pounced on 13 minutes to give Brooklands a slender lead going into half time.
As the game approached the hour mark, Beeston were still drawing a blank, but three goals in 10 minutes turned the game upside down.
Adam Dixon bagged a brace with the second coming from the penalty spot and Alex Blumfield added a third with eight minutes remaining to secure the win.
Hampstead & Westminster also came from behind as they beat East Grinstead 5-1.
Geronimo Clement got East Grinstead off to a good start, meeting a penalty corner to sweep home in the seventh minute.
But the lead didn’t last long with two goals from Matt Guise-Brown making it 2-1 to the home side. Goals from Rupert Shipperley, Marc Edwards and Will Calnan completed the turnaround.
The matches between the University of Durham and Holcombe, and the University of Exeter v Wimbledon, were postponed.
Division One North
Loughborough Students maintained their 100% start to Division One North campaign with a 5-2 win over Sheffield Hallam.
Their visit to Yorkshire on Saturday saw them go ahead through Jake Owen on five minutes and a brace from Matthew Ramshaw, along with contributions from Jordan Broger and Jake Owen saw them leave with three points.
Three players bagged doubles as the City of Peterborough also beat Deeside Ramblers 5-2 on Sunday. Ali Ghazanfar’s brace proved to be just a consolation as two apiece for Joe Finding and Nick Beattie saw the visitors prevail.
Owain Dolan Gray snatched a point for Cardiff & Met in a 1-1 draw with the University of Nottingham as his goal in the 69th minute cancelled out Alex Emsden’s effort.
Cambridge City lost 3-2 to the University of Birmingham with all of the goals coming in the opening 30 minutes.
The scheduled Bowdon versus Olton & West Warwicks match was postponed.
Division One South
Reading kept the pressure on Teddington at the top of Division One South by inflicting a first defeat of the season on Canterbury.
Rory Penrose, Oscar Allan, Ciaran O'Connell, Thomas Minall, Andrew Oxburgh and Matt Richards were all on target in the resounding 6-0 win.
Teddington made it four wins from four with Elliot Smith, Phil Lewis and Tom Lobsey firing them to a 3-2 defeat of Team Bath Buccaneers.
Old Cranleighans’ Ben Wilson set up a tense end to their match against Southgate by scoring in the 68th minute but they couldn’t claim a point as Southgate held on with goals from Jonny Maunder, John Sterlini, Max Garner and Alex Williams handing them the win.
James Thomas, Edward Matts and Andrew Ross were on target for Sevenoaks as they edged Oxford Hawks 3-2, and goals from Jack Jones and Ali Higginson saw Brighton & Hove beat Havant 2-0.
Didsbury Northern top the Men’s Conference North and a Luke Van Bentum goal proved to the be difference as they edged out the University of Birmingham’s Second string 1-0.
Two goals from Edward Stanhope helped Belper to a 2-0 defeat of Doncaster which put them second in the table, and Daniel Mills also struck twice as Leeds got their first win, beating the University of Durham seconds 3-1. Elsewhere, Barford Tigers beat Timperley 2-1.
Peter Jackson scored four goals but found himself on the losing side as his Harborne side lost 9-5 to Fareham in a scintillating match in the Men’s Conference West.
Christopher Davey led the charge with a hat-trick as Fareham had too much firepower for their opponents, the result putting them top of the division on goal difference.
Second half strikes from Christopher White and Josh Hallett helped the University of Bristol to a 2-1 win over Ashmoor and they are on maximum points after four games.
Elsewhere, Chichester beat Plymouth Marjon 3-2 and Khalsa Leamington drew 2-2 with Isca.
London Wayfarers made it three wins from four in the Men’s Conference East as a bumper haul of goals saw they beat St Albans 7-0.
Jamie Sones notched twice with Alex Penney, Phillip Ball, Simon Hanley, Rhodri Jones, Jamie Sones and Jerry Smith joining in on the action.
Ben Bull’s brace laid the foundations for Wapping’s 3-2 win at Bromley & Beckenham and a late Ryan Younger effort earned London Edwardians a 3-3 draw at home to Harleston Magpies.
Old Loughtonians and West Herts also ended 3-3 and Spencer beat Richmond 2-1.
Men’s Hockey League (Sat, 17 October 2020):
Division One South: Southgate 4, Old Cranleighans 3; Sevenoaks 3, Oxford Hawks 2.
Conference North: Sheffield Hallam 2, Loughborough Students 5.
Conference East: London Wayfarers 7, St Albans 0; Bromley & Beckenham 2, Wapping 4; Old Loughtonians 3, West Herts 3; Richmond 1, Spencer 2.
Men’s Hockey League (Sun, 18 October 2020):
Premier Division: Old Georgians 10, Oxted 6; Beeston 3, Brooklands Manchester University 1; Hampstead & Westminster 5, East Grinstead 1.
Division One North: Cambridge City 2, University of Birmingham 3; Deeside Ramblers 2, City of Peterborough 5; University of Exeter 1, Cardiff & Met 1.
Division One South: Brighton & Hove 2, Havant 0; Reading 6, Canterbury 0; Teddington 3, Team Bath Buccaneers 2.
Conference North: Belper 2, Doncaster 0; Barford Tigers 2, Timperley 1; Didsbury Northern 1, University of Birmingham 2s 0; Leeds 3, University of Durham 2s 1.
Conference West: Khalsa Leamington 2, Isca 2; Ashmoor 1, University of Bristol 2; Chichester 3, Plymouth Marjon 2; Harborne 5, Fareham 9.
Conference East: London Edwardians 3, Harleston Magpies 3.
England Hockey Board Media release
Old Georgians and Oxted serve up 16-goal Premier Division thriller
By Rod Gilmour
Old Georgians came from behind to win 10-6 PIC: Debbie Christopher
A Sunday lunchtime best which had all the trimmings served up a men’s Premier Division classic in front of the TV cameras as Old Georgians beat Oxted 10-6 in what is thought to be the highest scoring men’s league match this century.
In a madcap match, Oxted were 5-4 up at half-time, led 6-4 before hosts Old Georgians scored six goals in 22 minutes – the last five in an incredible nine-minute display – in the second half to sit equal second in the men’s Premier Division as they became the sixth side to rack up 10 goals or more in a top flight game.
With the match being played behind closed doors, bringing the cameras to Surrey for the second match running has proved a very fruitful decision indeed.
The last time a match involved such high scoring fare came in 2007 when Loughborough Students and East Grinstead were locked at 7-7, while East Grinstead were the last time a team to score six goals and end up on the losing side. In a match featuring current OGs player Ashley Jackson, his former side East Grinstead lost 8-6 to Beeston in 2012.
This wasn’t the first time OGs had scored 10 goals in their short history. In the Conference East in 2019, they racked up double figures in beating Teddington.
On Sunday, Oxted saw an early double from Tim Guise-Brown’s potent stick but even his eventual hat-trick wasn’t enough as Old Georgians recorded doubles from Tom Carson, Elliott Messem, Jackson and James Tindall.
A Guise-Brown did end up on the winning team as Matt netted a double in Hampstead & Westminster’s 5-1 win over East Grinstead. The Londoners sit second alongside OGs and behind Surbiton, who face Oxted next Saturday after their bye weekend.
18 Oct 2020 Old Georgians 10 Oxted 6
6 Oct 2019 Wimbledon 12 University of Exeter 0
14 Sep 2019 Reading 1 Surbiton 10
24 Mar 2018 Sevenoaks 2 Hampstead & Westminster 10
20 Oct 2013 Reading 11 Hampstead & Westminster 1
11 Mar 2012 East Grinstead 11 Hampstead & Westminster 1
Stats supplied by Colin Pike
Malawi commissions project artificial turf to host Africa Hockey Club Championship
File Photo Image Credit: Facebook (Ulemu-Msungama)
With a plan to host Africa Hockey Club Championship, Malawi's Minister of Youth and Sports Ulemu Msungama has commissioned the multi-million new hockey stadium project artificial turf on October 18, according to a news report by Nayasa Times.
Msungama has said this during the official inauguration of the hockey stadium located at Kamuzu stadium upper ground in Blantyre. The launch comes four years down the line after the project was awarded to the country.
Msungama said the process of laying turf will help improve the standards of the sport in the country.
"As a government, we are very delighted to have this pitch operational here in Blantyre. Government is very committed to supporting all sports activities in the country.
"The coming in of this pitch will improve the standards of hockey in Malawi, the good example is that Malawi next year will host African clubs competition this is a quite good development, " he said.
Ulemu Msungama further promised to push for funding allocation in the mid-year budget review to complete the construction of dressing rooms at the stadium.
The government facilitated the acquisition of the land where the stadium is situated and ensured a duty-waver on the shipping of the turf and floodlights.
"With the competition ahead of us there is a need for funding to complete some of the works remaining here. My ministry will do what it takes to source more money so that this stadium should have all the requirements," he added.
Erin Matson scores in the final quarter for UNC field hockey to beat Syracuse 1-0
By Ryan Heller
UNC junior forward Erin Matson (1) gains possession of the ball in a game against Syracuse on Oct. 16, 2020 in the Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Matson scored the only goal of the game, letting UNC beat Syracuse 1-0. Angelica Edwards
There is a reason why almost every UNC field hockey recap is centered around Erin Matson. She plays her best when the pressure is at its highest.
In Friday's match dominated by stout defensive play, neither North Carolina nor Syracuse was able to get any separation through the first three quarters. That's when the 5-foot-4 junior from Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania took over, burying the game-winning goal.
But UNC needed its defense to step up before Matson was able to work her fourth-quarter magic.
The Tar Heels were put to the test in the third quarter. The Orange drew two consecutive penalties that gave them multiple prime scoring opportunities. It appeared as if the momentum was shifted in their favor, but North Carolina didn't panic.
“We came out after halftime with kind of an attitude of aggression and wanting to put this tie game to rest,” Matson said.
The defense held its ground, keeping the score knotted at 0-0. It led to a North Carolina response on the offensive end, getting the ball back into the opponent’s side of the field and earning two straight penalty corners of its own.
“For defense, that’s how we create our energy,” graduate team captain Courtnie Williamson said. “It can be either a moment of weakness or a moment where we’re like, 'Let’s win this, let’s come up and create offense from it.’”
The defense, which has allowed two goals since the team's shocking Oct. 2 loss to Louisville, came up with multiple deflections and clearances to earn their second shutout of the season.
“It was hard work – props to Syracuse. It was definitely tough to play against,” Willliamson said. “But we played as a unit, everyone was gritty and we looked great today, so really proud of the defense.”
The fourth quarter continued to be a tough, physical battle, but on the team’s eighth penalty corner, Matson decided to end the game on her terms. She received the ball from sophomore Romea Riccardo, made a beautiful juke move, found an opening in the cage and suddenly, the Tar Heels were up 1-0.
Matson said that these are the moments she lives for. She said has an internal switch she’s able to turn on when the game gets tense.
“It’s something that I’ve kind of always been blessed with,” Matson said. “I play better when I’m a little intense and angry, so I’ve learned how to put that on for games."
She was elated to see the ball hit the back of the net, embracing with her teammates in a giant huddle. The junior forward did not celebrate much during her time playing club sports, since her team typically beat their opponents handily. She now relishes the feeling she gets from scoring goals for UNC – all 58 of them.
“I don’t think it’ll ever get old. I love scoring,” she said. “People sometimes get upset at me for scoring too much in practice and drills and taking it too seriously and playing the rebounds. But in the end, everyone loves it. I want to spread that just so we can get the ball in the net more.”
Head coach Karen Shelton said she was thrilled with Matson and the Tar Heels’ final quarter performance and how the team responded to its first test since the Louisville game.
“We try and pride ourselves on our fourth-quarter game,” she said. “Like football, we try and put up four fingers. We want to be a fourth-quarter team.”
But Shelton was surprised by the fight Syracuse gave them, calling it a “boxing match.” The Orange, who had been outscored 8-2 in their previous two matches against UNC, battled until the end.
“I think we grew a little in this game and I probably say the same for Syracuse, too,” Shelton said.
But Matson got the final punch with her clutch 53rd minute goal, sealing the win for North Carolina and adding to an already impressive legacy.
“We expected them to be intense; they’re always a very physical team and I think we handled it really well,” Matson said. “They played well, but in the end we came out on top.”
UNC field hockey overcomes a relentless Syracuse team in 1-0 victory
By Ike Bryant
UNC junior forward Erin Matson (1) drives the ball up the field against Syracuse on Oct. 16, 2020 in the Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill, N.C. Matson scored the only goal of the game, letting UNC beat Syracuse 1-0. Angelica Edwards
The North Carolina Field Hockey team (5-1, 3-1 ACC) fought off a relentless Syracuse team (1-3, 1-2 ACC) to win, 1-0, at Karen Shelton Stadium in Chapel Hill looking for its first win against the Tar Heels since the 2015 NCAA championship.
After three scoreless quarters, the UNC offense found a spark and scored the game-winning goal midway through the fourth quarter on a penalty corner. The Tar Heels outshot the Orange throughout the match 11-5 and drew double the amount of penalty corners at 6-3, yet couldn't find the back of the goal until the 53rd minute.
After the winning goal, the Tar Heels were able to contain Syracuse’s offense and kept them scoreless by the time the buzzer rang.
UNC field hockey head Karen Shelton was thrilled with the outcome of the match, especially in the fourth quarter.
“We try and pride ourselves with our fourth quarter game. We want to be a fourth quarter team. But they were a really good team. They were well better than what we expected from the scout. So they earned our respect in the first quarter and (throughout the game) it was a bit of a boxing match”
Who stood out?
Junior Erin Matson led the team with four shots and one unassisted goal, the only score of the game. Throughout the game, Matson kept the Syracuse defense on its toes with multiple steals and intercepted passes in their zone.
“I’m very thrilled with Erin’s execution to eliminate the first runner on the penalty corner and put the ball in the goal,” Shelton said.
The entire North Carolina defense was the most dynamic unit in the match, keeping Syracuse scoreless in the hour of play. Shelton was nothing short of pleased of her group.
“Hats off to our defense,” Shelton said. “I thought Romea Riccardo played well, Courtney Williamson, Cassie Sumfest, Eva (Smolenaars). The entire team played well, it’s tough when I shout only some people out. But it was a great team effort, I think both teams played really hard.”
When was it decided?
The game was decided at the final buzzer. The Heels were able to get a decisive goal on a corner with six minutes left in the game, but Syracuse led a few unsuccessful late quarter pushes into the goal-scoring zone. The Orange’s final possession came to a close when UNC defenders stripped the ball away and took it to the corner for the time to bleed out.
Why does it matter?
The Tar Heels look to finish the season strong, trailing only Louisville in the ACC standings. With two definite games left and one postponed, the Tar Heels want to maintain a high seed for the ACC tournament in November, hoping to potentially jump up to the No. 1 seed.
“We haven’t had since the Louisville game really a tough contest (until now), so I think that helps us get stronger and tougher as we get ready for the ACC tournament in a couple of weeks,” Shelton said.
When do they play next?
The Tar Heels play Duke (0-4) in a rivalry matchup on Sunday, October 18 at 1:00 p.m. at home.
The Daily Tar Heel
In rivalry matchup, UNC field hockey staves off upset attempt in 5-4 OT win over Duke
By Mary Mac Porter
UNC field hockey players fight Duke players for the ball at the game on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. UNC won 5-4 in overtime. Abigail Pittman
Rivalry magic must have been the only explanation on Sunday for a winless Duke team coming into Karen Shelton Stadium, scoring the most points by any Tar Heel opponent on their home field and nearly upsetting the North Carolina field hockey dynasty.
The Tar Heels haven't lost a game at home since 2017 and remain a perfect 27-0 in their new stadium. But Sunday, in a nonconference game that carried no weight other than pride, that streak appeared to be in jeopardy.
The Blue Devils entered aware of the Goliath that is North Carolina field hockey, given the 4-0 defeat they were dealt earlier this season at the hands of the Tar Heels. But they also brought something else: a fire, ignited on Tobacco Road and exacerbated by a rivalry between two schools, only 8 miles apart.
That fire drove Duke to score first and score fast, showcasing an aggressive, grind-it-out style of field hockey. The quick goal by Duke's Josie Varney was only the second time a Tar Heel opponent had scored first this season. That previous instance resulted in a defeat that snapped a two-season long victory streak for UNC.
"We definitely try to not let somebody else get ahead like that," UNC forward Erin Matson said, "especially them. We don't want to give them any confidence."
After the first Blue Devil strike, UNC quickly evened the score, 20 seconds later, on a goal from Cassie Sumfest off a penalty corner. The two teams exchanged another goal apiece before heading into halftime, tied at 2-2.
"We just needed to play with more intensity," head coach Karen Shelton said. "They were out-hustling us and beating us to the balls. Some things are not complicated. Your work rate and your intensity level you can control, and Duke was far more motivated than us."
The Tar Heels found that intensity at the half — they came out of the locker room to score two goals, both off the stick of midfielder Eva Smolenaars.
"We connected really well," she said, "and I think we were really confident in our own abilities."
The second goal, a perfect reverse from the top of the circle, could have been the turning point for the Tar Heels, who held a two-point lead with less than 14 minutes left in the game.
But the magic of a rivalry game had not yet run its course. Duke continued to grind and work, and with 10 minutes left in the game, the team was rewarded for its efforts as Leah Crouse deflected the ball in from a penalty corner, dropping the deficit to just one goal.
That goal ignited the Blue Devils' underdog fire and in the final portion of the game they relentlessly attacked and pressured the Tar Heels, trying to force a mistake that would give them a chance.
With just 10 seconds left in regulation, that mistake happened. The Blue Devils were awarded a penalty stroke. Duke's Lexi Davidson did not squander the opportunity and expertly placed a flick in the upper corner of the goal to force an unlikely overtime.
Sometimes, though, rivalry magic falls short — the underdog fire isn't powerful enough, and the Goliath is just too dominant to defeat.
The Blue Devils discovered that on Sunday as they watched their fairy tale ending slip away as Darcy Bourne, one of the stars of the game, was forced to sit out after receiving a yellow card.
Duke was a player down in the already physically demanding seven versus seven sudden-death overtime. The Blue Devils watched the final embers of hope die out just two minutes later, as UNC's Hannah Griggs finished the golden goal for a North Carolina victory.
"Duke should hold their heads high because they gave us a great battle, but in the end, we found a way to win," Shelton said.
UNC field hockey beats Duke, 5-4, in sudden-death overtime
By Zachary Crain
UNC graduate back Courtnie Williamson (25) runs upfield during a game against Duke on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. Abigail Pittman
The North Carolina field hockey team (6-1, 3-1 ACC) defeated Duke (0-5, 0-3 ACC) on Sunday by way of a sudden-death overtime goal from junior forward Hannah Griggs.
The Blue Devils were the first to strike in the game’s fourth minute, with midfielder Josie Varney rocketing the ball from right in front of the goal past North Carolina goalkeeper Amanda Hendry. Less than a minute later, the Tar Heels struck back to equalize the match with a goal off the stick of redshirt junior Cassie Sumfest.
After a lull in scoring, Duke retook the lead in the 19th minute with a shot from midfielder Lily Posternak. North Carolina then responded with an onslaught of scoring, with junior forward Erin Matson putting the ball in the net and senior midfielder Eva Smolenaars following it up with two consecutive goals, giving the Tar Heels a 4-2 lead.
As the regulation clock wound down, the Blue Devils notched two more goals in the final minutes of regular time, pushing the game to sudden-death overtime. The tying goal came with the clock at 59:50, pushing the game into overtime with just seconds left on the clock and keeping the momentum in Duke's favor.
In the game’s 65th minute, UNC finally broke through, as Griggs rocketed a ball into the cage off an assist from Matson, securing a 5-4 victory for the Tar Heels.
Who stood out?
Matson was an offensive force for the Tar Heels, scoring one goal and notching two assists to boot. Entering the game as UNC’s points leader, Matson continued to prove her reputation as one of the best field hockey players in the nation.
Matson entered the game leading the NCAA in both points and goals and is in position to remain at the top of the points leaderboard through the end of the season.
When was it decided?
The sudden-death goal from North Carolina sealed a victory for a side that has largely lost momentum in the match’s final minutes. With two consecutive Blue Devil goals to push the game into overtime — including one in the 60th minute — the Tar Heels easily could have struggled to respond in the extra time period, yet they were able to convert and come away with the victory.
Why does it matter?
A loss to a Duke team that has yet to win a match this season would have been devastating for the Tar Heel. After losing a historic 47-game winning streak with a loss to Louisville earlier in the year, fighting through to earn a victory against the Tar Heels’ cross-town rival proved the team still has plenty of motivation as it approaches the final stretch of the shortened regular season.
When do they play next?
With a match against Boston College — originally scheduled for next Sunday — postponed, the Tar Heels aren’t scheduled to compete again until Friday, Oct. 30 against Wake Forest. The game against the Demon Deacons is the last matchup listed on UNC's regular season schedule.
The Daily Tar Heel
Field hockey’s newest freshmen Lilly and Meghen Hengerer are the duo we didn’t know we needed
The freshmen on the Virginia field hockey team all share a love for the sport, but two of them share a bit more than that
By Sarah Pettycord
The Hengerers have both appeared in the starting lineup from early on — Lilly started in the team’s season-opener and Meghen joined her in the lineup in the second game. Courtesy Virginia Athletics
Freshman striker Lilly Hengerer and freshmen midfielder Meghen Hengerer — twins from Bedminster, N.J. — were two of Virginia’s most impressive recruits in its latest freshmen class. They’ve already made their presence known on the team — both have played in all six games so far and Meghen even assisted another teammate in scoring a goal against a defending national champion North Carolina team.
Lilly and Meghen were born in New Jersey, but their family moved to Galway, Ireland when they were just 10 years old. They spent five years living there and it was during this time they picked up the stick and began playing field hockey — Meghen in sixth grade and Lilly in seventh.
“Our older sister played and … that was the sport that all the girls played [in Ireland],” Meghen said. “And I liked the idea of wearing a skirt while we played.”
Although the cute skirts were definitely an incentive to play field hockey, both Lilly and Meghen also happened to be excellent athletes. In Ireland, they played for the Irish U16 national field hockey team and the Irish U15 girl’s soccer team, contributing a lot to both teams and earning the opportunity to participate in multiple international tournaments.
When the twins moved back to New Jersey in their sophomore year of high school, they truly dedicated themselves to field hockey and began having conversations with college coaches about their future. Contrary to popular belief, though, Lilly and Meghen were not advertising themselves as a package deal.
“We really did it separately,” Lilly said. “We didn’t talk about the process much, and even when we both started talking to U.Va., it was separate.”
Lilly and Meghen received their offers and committed to Virginia at the end of their sophomore year. However, before coming to Charlottesville, they continued to shine on their high school team. Lilly scored 53 goals with 40 assists throughout her high school career, and Meghen scored 37 goals with 30 assists. Both of them also earned Scholar-Athlete distinctions three times.
For them, Virginia was the right choice as the University boasts strong athletics and academics as well as a very supportive community — something the twins were accustomed to in their personal lives.
Lilly and Meghen’s family — both immediate and extended — is very close. They have done a lot together — including two major international moves and most recently, weekly Friday pizza nights. Every Friday during the COVID-19 pandemic, members of their immediate and extended family would convene outside and sit on opposite sides of somebody’s driveway and eat pizza together.
“It was nice that we still got to spend time with them and be safe,” Lilly said.
Though they can’t join the rest of the Hengerers for Friday night pizza anymore, Lilly and Meghen are making new memories with their friends and teammates in Charlottesville.
When they first arrived at the University over two months ago, Lilly and Meghen got to live with their teammates and they spent a lot of time getting to know one another. Since then, they have become even more immersed in the University community while also exploring life at college — at least as much as they can during the pandemic.
Given the current situation with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Lilly and Meghen have been taking the necessary precautions at home, which actually made their adjustment a bit smoother.
“I didn’t know what to expect from the season anyways,” Lilly said. “But [coronavirus] definitely played a little bit into my nerves.”
Despite being a bit nervous about COVID-19 — and needing to adjust to the sheer intensity of Division I field hockey — Lilly and Meghen have both handled the transition with poise and composure.
“They came ready to play,” Coach Michele Madison said after a game earlier this season.
This has been true from the start. The Hengerers have both appeared in the starting lineup from early on — Lilly started in the team’s season-opener and Meghen joined her in the lineup in the second game. Both girls have also made some impressive shots at the goal and proved their athleticism on the turf.
As the unique fall season progresses, Lilly and Meghen are looking forward to getting closer to their teammates and excited at the prospect of the team winning an ACC championship for the first time since 2016.
With their infectious smiles and incredible talent, Lilly and Meghen will continue to add value to the field hockey team over the course of the next four years — all while wearing the skirts that they first fell in love with years ago.
Fifth death anniversary of Mr. Hockey, Ashwini Kumar
By K. Arumugam
Today marks the fifth death anniversary of one of the finest sports administrators India has produced, Ashwini Kumar. He was not only passionate about hockey but later evolved to be the reliable deputy of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the longest serving president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and thus carved a niche for himself in the global Olympic movement.
He was a multi-faceted personality. His contribution in all the fields he was involved with like the IOC, Indian Olympic Association (IOA), music, literature, police service etc are legendary, but Ashwini Kumar is known in India as the most-debated — though he should have been the most admired — president of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF). For many of his era, he was veritable Mr. Hockey
Ashwini Kumar (l) succeeded Naval Tata (r) as the IHF Chief
Dhyan Chand and Ashwini Kumar, circa 1965
He died in New Delhi at his Friends Colony residence on 19th October, 2015. He was a connoisseur of various diverse fields as music, sports and literature.
A decorated Imperial Police Officer, his first love of course was hockey, so much so he even named his first child Hockey. He was a boxer in his college days but changed to hockey by providence, where he would later build a legacy of his own.
Ashwini Kumar took over the IHF mantle in 1958, a couple of months before hockey was played for the first time in the Asian Games that year. As India would lose the Asian title to Pakistan on goal aggregate, the young Inspector General faced the ire of the nation. Then came the Rome disaster (The 1960 Olympic final loss to Pakistan).
He organized at least 12 test series in India to boost the morale of the national hockey team in order to prepare for the resurrection. India went on to win the title at the next Olympics and Asian Games, the former without conceding a single goal!
His long tenure of leading the Indian hockey had its own merits and demerits, often portrayed as controversial. India winning ‘just’ bronze in two successive Olympics — 1968 and 1972 — was the main reason for him getting enough negative press. Those ‘failures’ were often attributed to his ‘whimsical’ team selection. He faced a severe challenge to his chair when one of the top businessmen of the times MAM Ramaswamy entered the ring. The Federation International de Hockey (FIH) obviously reposed faith in the emerging leadership than on its vice-president!
It was in that phase one day the then Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi asked him to relinquish the IHF post in 1975. His long 17-year reign came to an end a couple of months before India won the World Cup.
However, he turned his eyes on the IOC, as he had remained the driving force behind Raja Bhalindra Singh, who was the ruling deity of the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for decades. Ashwini was IOA Secretary for many spells.
He was an excellent orator, prolific writer and expert on Indian philosophy.
Controversial or not, Ashwini’s persona and dynamism did much to steady Indian hockey’s flight through a very turbulent period.
MY ARTICLE ON ASHWINI KUMAR, HINDUSTAN TIMES, Oct., 23, 2015.
The present generation might not know Ashwini Kumar, who breathed his last on Sunday at age 93. But at one time he was one of the most accomplished administrators the country has seen.
Be it sports administration or tackling major security issues, Kumar, who was the International Olympic Committee (IOC) member for more than three decades, carved out a niche for himself.
From gunning down dreaded dacoits like Bhupat in Gujarat to chasing killers of the chief minister of undivided Punjab, Partap Singh Kairon, Kumar, then a young DIG in Punjab Police who later went on to head the Border Security Force, was always in the forefront.
But it was sports that gave him enduring identity. He took charge of hockey from Naval Tata when the sport was in decline, losing the pedestal to Pakistan at the 1958 Asian Games and then the Rome Olympics. He ruled Indian hockey for 15 years, helping it regain lost pride, but as years rolled by controversies surrounded him. The sidelining of such greats like Balbir Singh of Western Railway and Inam-ur-Rahman and his long-standing feud with Prithipal Singh, did affect his popularity. But he remained obsessed with hockey, so much so that he named his elder daughter ‘Hockey’! It goes to his credit that the Indian hockey team never returned without a returned as long as he was IHF chief.
But Kumar’s worth as a sports administrator with immense talent came to the fore when he left hockey and moved to the IOC as its Indian representative in 1973. Those were turbulent times for the Olympic Movement. Cold War, apartheid and athletes seeking asylum in Olympic host countries weakened the movement.
When the United States was contemplating boycotting the 1980 Moscow Olympics, Kumar delivered a memorable speech — he said, ‘Let us boycott all boycotts’ at the IOC Congress, ironically held in the US, at Lake Placid. “I was noticed in the Olympic fraternity with that speech,” Kumar said later.
It was Kumar who dealt a blow to Julian Roosevelt’s — younger brother of US President Theodore Roosevelt — aspirations in the IOC vice-presidential election, even though the 1984 Olympics were being held in Los Angeles. Kumar got 49 votes to Roosevelt’s 24.
During his stint with the IOC, he had several meetings with the North Korean dictator-president to ensure the 1988 Seoul Olympics went off peacefully. “I spent hours sitting with the Korean dictator, just listening. Those meetings were meant to buy time,” he used to say. The IOC supremo, Juan Antonio Samaranch, soon made him the first Member Security. “He (Samaranch) invented the post for me,” he said.
It was Kumar’s cool but temperamental genius that earned a name for us in the Olympic Movement.