Olympic Club and dcDragons Win 2019 USFHL Adult National Championship

Images Taken by Flat Tail Photography

July 15, 2019, 10:42 a.m. (ET)

NEWARK, Del. - July 15, 2019 - For three intense action-packed days, the top-eight men's and top-twelve women’s club teams in the United States competed at Rullo Stadium on the campus of the University of Delaware in the third annual United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) Adult National Championship, a USA Field Hockey Sanctioned Event. Teams qualified locally through USFHL Sanctioned league play, concluding with Olympic Club and Running on Empty in the women’s championship game and San Jose Khalsa against dcDragons in the men’s championship game.

The West Coast made a strong statement in the finals this year as Olympic Club and San Jose Khalsa both hail from Northern California. In the women’s semifinals, Olympic Club defeated dcDragons 4-2 in an intense back and forth game. Running on Empty beat SteelStyx in a very close 3-2 matchup. Heading into the second half down 1-2, Running on Empty's Alicia Govannicci and Mallory Faubert scored to gain the lead while goalkeeper Erin Terreson and her defensive unit shut down SteelStyx's offense to help secure a spot in the title game. 

In the men’s semifinals, San Jose Khalsa faced two-time reigning champion Greenwich FHC. It was Nanu Sidhu’s lone goal off a penalty stroke which gave San Jose Khalsa the 1-0 victory and their spot in the championship game. dcDragons played Atlanta/Miami Surf FHC in the second semifinal, where a hat trick by Alex Copestake pushed dcDragons to a 4-1 victory.

The women’s championship game was intense and Olympic Club was able to execute on their opportunities twice lifting them to a 2-0 win over Running on Empty. The first goal was scored by Katie Garrity off a beautiful assist from Caroline Beaudoin. The second one came from Meredith Chandler off a deflection on a penalty corner.

“Before the corner I told my teammate to take the post position because I believed her to be better in that role," said Chandler. "My teammate said, 'You got this girl' and that trust led to a goal." Throughout the tournament, Olympic Club relied on teamwork with many different goal scorers. "Field hockey was added to the Olympic Club, the oldest United States sports club, five years ago," commented Nicole Ng, Olympic Club captain. “We practiced every week, continued our social team building and competed in numerous competitive adult tournaments.”

 

On the men's side both dcDragons and San Jose Khalsa battled through close pool play games to reach the finals.

“Our strategy for the first half focused on defensive structure to prevent them from scoring and then hit them hard offensively in the second half," said Steve Nodder, dcDragons athlete. 

Plans quickly unraveled as Nanu Sidhu from San Jose Khalsa scored off a penalty corner in the match's opening minutes. dcDragons was able to regroup in the second half and answered with a goal by Alex Grassi who created a one-on-one opportunity with the goalkeeper to tie the game 1-1. dcDragons then gained the lead off a penalty corner from Austin Heath from the stroke mark off a brilliant end line dish from Marvin Bam. San Jose Khalsa did not back down as Sidhu scored the equalizing goal with four minutes left to force a shootout. 

Per USFHL rules, shootouts consist of three rounds for each team. With dcDragons leading 2-1 after two rounds, 18-year-old Dean Schiller lined up and scored to secure the 3-1 shootout win for his team.

“When I stepped to the line I had my strategy set that I have practiced many times giving me confidence to win it for my team," said Schiller, after securing the championship. 



USFHL National Championship Teams who qualified locally and competed in USFHL National Championship:

Men
 Atlanta/Miami Surf FH  Atlanta, Ga. & Miami, Fla.
 dcDragons  DC Metro
 Federation, Steel Styx, Triangle  Southern California, Pittsburgh
 Greenwich FHC  New York, N.Y.
 Minuteman FHC  Boston, Mass.
 NY Islanders  New York, N.Y.
 Philly Premier FHA  Philadelphia, Pa.
 San Jose Khalsa  Northern California

Women
Atlanta/Miami Surf   Atlanta, Ga. & Miami, Fla.
 Baltimore FHA  Baltimore, Md.
 dcDragons  DC Metro
 Minuteman  Boston, Mass.
 NYCFHC  New York, N.Y.
 Olympic Club  San Francisco, Calif.
 Philly Premier  Philadelphia, Pa.
 Rovers, Greenwich FHC  New York, N.Y.
 Running on Empty  Philadelphia, Pa.
 SteelStyx  Pittsburgh, Pa.
 Strikers  Lancaster, Pa.
 Triangle FHC  Triangle, N.C.


All-star teams and Tournament Most Valuable Players were named based on nominations from the USFHL Captains.

Men's MVP: Steve Nodder, dcDragons
Women's MVP: Brittany Hickernell, Running on Empty

USFHL National Championship All-Star Team
 Women Athletes  Men Athletes
Kim Amrod, Atlanta Gordy Brown, Greenwich
Missy Arnez, Triangle FHC Alex Copestake, dcDragons
Katie Bam, dcDragons Steve Dennis, Greenwich
Nicola Black, Rovers David Eddie, Minuteman
Caroline Boidoin, Olympic Club  Andy Ferguson, NY Islanders
Meg Bozek, Minuteman Alex Grassi, dc Dragons
Sarah Cannon, Atlanta  Austin Heath, dcDragons
Rachel Crain, Baltimore FHA  Pardeep Menon, Atlanta 
Christyn Davidson, SteelStyx  Rennie Milne, Philly Premier 
Margo Donlin, NEFHA  Stephen Nodder, dcDragons 
Maggie Farrand, Minuteman  Jelle Prins, Atlanta 
Ally Fuller, Philly Premier  Benedict Schwiatek, Greenwich 
Brittney Hickernell, Running on Empty  Nanu Sidhu, San Jose Khalsa 
Ashley Johnson, Strikers  Kevin Tan, SteelStyx 
Katie Keiser, Olympic Club   
Pip Konerth, dcDragons   
Ellie Lansman, Rovers   
Nicole Ng, Olympic Club   
Kristy Recek, Baltimore FHA   
Kasey Tapman, dcDragons   
Scottie Turnbull, Rovers   
Denis Zelenak, Philly Premier   

The title sponsor of the USFHL National Championship was YOLO Sportswear. Also sponsoring was AstroTurf, Motive Pure, Penn Monto. For all game recaps visit the USFHL Facebook page

The USFHL seeks to grow adult men’s and women’s field hockey participation and engagement in local adult clubs, associations, leagues, tournaments and open pick-up throughout the United States.  The overall mission is to grow and support all adult field hockey with marketing, technology, leadership, regulation, structure and events to improve organization and ease of adult participation.

For more info check out the USFHL website, follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Additional USFHL coverage by Phila Field Hockey can be found on Facebook and Twitter. For questions email info@usfhl.com to find out how your community can get plugged in for 2020!