To say Marcia Pankratz,
(the co-creator of the 4Goal Cup,
head field hockey coach at the University of Michigan,
a record holder for the Big Ten Coach of the Year award,
a 1988 and 1996 Olympian,
and two-time Pan American Silver Medalist)
is driven is a pure understatement.
In fact, Pankratz took a break from driving to Maine all the way to Michigan for field hockey purposes during our interview – utilizing every second of her day to create something positive. Following this pattern, Pankratz and partner Deb Brickey have developed the frequently-talked about 4Goal Cup. Field hockey players from all over the world will gather at Brown University in Providence, R.I. for this exciting event July 27- July 28. A landmark amount of $10,000 will be presented to the champions of the 4Goals Cup in each of the open divisions for men, women, and mixed. The other divisions offered are the over-35 women's division, the collegiate women's division, U-21 Boys, U-19 Girls, and U-17 Boys.
USA Field Hockey: What sparked the idea for 4Goals Cup?
MP: Deb and I have been talking about creating a tournament like this for many years. We both have such a deep love for field hockey and we’re passionate about the game and growing the sport. This is a fun opportunity to give back and it provides an opportunity for those who might not be able to play as much, especially the adults and guys. It gives them a venue to play, get out there and compete.
USA Field Hockey: Obviously the total $30,000 cash prize is certainly enticing to all athletes. How many participants are you anticipating?
MP: We have eight divisions which will be composed of four to eight teams. It was a challenge dealing with geography in some cases. For example there are a large number of guys based on the West Coast. Despite some of those logistics, we still plan on a good turnout.
USA Field Hockey: Can you explain your “paying it forward” mentality and how 4Goals contributes to that thought?
MP: Deb and I had such a wonderful experience in high school and in college playing field hockey. The opportunities we were afforded were endless. We got to travel the world and we met some of our very best friends through the sport. To give younger athletes the same chance we were given – that’s what we want to do. We want to grow the game and spread the passion.
USA Field Hockey: Do you foresee this tournament as an annual event?
MP: Yes, definitely. We’re really hoping to turn this into an annual event. If this time around is successful we plan on turning the 4Goal Cup into a cup series similar to NASCAR. There would be four or five different events where teams can gather points over the years and win the cup. This also gives us the opportunity to place tournament in areas that aren’t necessarily big in field hockey and further grow the game.
USA Field Hockey: What are you hoping athletes who attend the 4Goals Cup will walk away from this experience with?
MP: I hope they have a blast! It will be a great time for all ages at all experience levels. The competition will be really strong but will also be an introduction to a new sport for those younger players.
USA Field Hockey: To those striving to reach the extensive list of accolades you have accomplished on the national team and as a coach, what advice would you offer?
MP: Follow you heart. Follow you passion. You need to work as hard as you can. Working hard feels great and that feeling usually leads to good things.
Please visit www.4Goals.net to see all of the exciting details and register your team.