This past weekend we brought the curtains down on the 1st Annual Junior Premier Outdoor League which was a huge success for everyone involved.
After seven league days of competitive field hockey, we can truly say that the benefits can be seen by all. The improvement of game quality from the first game on April 14 to the championship games on June 9 was very commendable and can be attributed to the commitment of the players, parents and coaches alike.
The Under-16 Championship play-offs were held at Princeton University were the crowd witnessed three intense games decided by the penalty shoot outs to decide a winner. One of these games included the Championship match between the number one ranked favorite, New Heights vs. the number three underdogs, Jersey Intensity FH. The game began with an early goal from New Heights and ended with a late goal from Jersey Intensity. At the end regulation, the game was tied at 2-2. Jersey Intensity FH won the shoot out 3-2 to be crowned the JPOL–R6 U-16 Champions. The team was presented with the Challenge Trophy.
Templar Field Hockey Group MVP was awarded to Nikki Profita, Jersey Intensity FH.
A few miles away at Rutgers University’s Bauer Track and Field, the U-19’s were battling it out for the rights to raise the beautiful Challenge Trophy. A lot of good hockey was played, with some brilliant goals and spectacular goal tending throughout the day. The passion and excitement could be heard from the coaches and benches as they instructed and encouraged their players to the very end.
The Championship game was between the #1 ranked favorites and only undefeated club in pool play, Jersey Intensity FH, against a very strong FC United team. After taking an early two-goal lead in the first half, Jersey Intensity saw FC United answer right back with two goals of their own to tie the match 2-2 at the end of the first half.
In the second half, with the temperature reaching over 90 degrees on the turf, Jersey Intensity FH’s full bench was able to send in fresh legs every five minutes, thus taking advantage of their much-tired counterparts and scoring two more goals that FC United could not answer. At the sound of the horn signaling the end of the match, Jersey Intensity was celebrating this hard fought victory with a final score of 4-2.
Templar Field Hockey Group MVP was awarded to Bridget Miles, Jersey Intensity FH.
The initial and continued success of this League would not be possible without the support of others who we would like to recognize:
Special thanks to USA Field Hockey for sanctioning and supporting this event, and to its staff for posting and updating the results on their website;
Special mention to USA Field Hockey’s Board of Directors member Anthony Gulotta, for assisting with the Awards presentation and for his continued support of this event;
To Steve Horgan, Director of Umpiring at USA Field Hockey for selecting and assigning the Umpires and Managers, Dean Wenrich and Nora Boyer, to this event and to all the umpires who gave of their time and talents to be part of this inaugural season;
To the Technical Staff headed by Taylor Smallwood and supported by Ken Veerasawmy and Kimberley Scott.
We appreciate all your commitment and support for this event and hope you will continue to make yourselves available when called upon in 2014.
We also want to give recognition to the college and university coaches who took the time to be present and hope that you were pleased with the level of competition. Those in attendance represented the following establishments:
Brown University, Connecticut College, Drew University, Fairfield University, Princeton University, Rider University, Rutgers University and The College of New Jersey.
Last but not least a special thanks to our host sites, Princeton University and Rutgers University, and to Kristen Holmes-Winn and Meredith Long, the head coaches of both these fine programs, for giving us access to these two great facilities to host this event. We hope that you were pleased and will welcome us back next year.
On behalf of the League Organizers, Rachael Bloemker Milne and Nigel Traverso, we would like to thank the clubs, players, coaches, umpires, technical staff and both Princeton University and Rutgers University. Thank you for your hard work, commitment, support and cooperation in making this inaugural event a huge success.
Congratulations to Jersey Intensity FH the 2013 JPOL Champions in both the U-16 & U-19 Divisions and to all the Clubs for your participation! For all results and final ranking, please log on to our website at www.juniorpremierhockey.com
Good Luck to all of our Region 6 representatives at the National Club Championship in July!