VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For three intense action-packed days, the top eight men’s and twelve women’s adult club teams in the United States competed at the Virginia Beach Regional Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. at the fourth annual United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) Adult National Club Championship, presented by YOLO Sportswear.
Teams qualified locally through USFHL endorsed league play and it concluded dcDragons against the Sharks (Palo Alto) in the men’s championship game and dcDragons versus Olympic Club in the women’s title match. The dcDragons were able to edge out the West Coast teams in two nail biting championships.
For the men, it was the Sharks and dcDragons who battle through close pool play games and shootouts to compete for the USFHL Adult National Club Championship title. The Sharks scored first with a goal from Raman Sandhu, but the dcDragons were able to answer back in the second quarter with a goal by Kemar Mitchell.
Jesse Larson, dcDragons captain and current president, said, “A key turning point in the game was Mitchell’s goal on the [penalty] corner.”
The game went back and forth through regulation and concluded tied 1-1, forcing the match to be decided by a shootout. dcDragons’ Mitchell scored again as the second shooter, but Sharks’ Casey Walker answered back immediately. The final shooter from dcDragons, George Rebal, was able to execute giving them the 3-2 lead.
In the final shootout meeting, dcDragons’ goalkeeper Trevor Shattuck tipped away Sandhu’s shot with his glove. Both raced to the ball, but Shattuck cleared the deflection. He immediately threw his gloves off in elation as his teammates raced to celebrate their championship victory in the middle of the field.
“I knew I had a risk racing Sandhu to the ball because he is too good and I couldn’t allow that second shot,” said Shattuck.
Congrats to dcDragons on winning a repeat men’s 2021 USFHL Adult National Championship!
On the women’s side, the championship game between dcDragons and Olympic Club was intense but dcDragons were able to score early and that goal carried them to the 1-0 victory. The goal was scored by Kasey Tapman in the opening minutes. Tapman received a ball from Maxine Fluharty and then drove the baseline and scored on a no angle shot.
“Our strategy going into the game was to score in the first 5 minutes because we were concerned about a weather delay cutting the game short,” commented Tapman. “When I drove the baseline, I caught the goalkeeper cheating and was able to slip it in behind her. We also knew we had to keep it simple. Our legs aren’t what they use to be so we knew we had to rely on the passes. Maxine gave me a beautiful pass to set up the goal.”
Congrats to the dcDragons on winning the women’s 2021 USFHL Adult National Championship!
The dcDragons’ goalkeepers were truly the heroes of the 2021 USFHL Adult National Championship as many games were decided by a shootout. Tapman and Larson both praised their goalkeepers, Sierra Espeland and Trevor Shattuck respectively, as highlights of the tournament.
Due to a severe thunderstorm most semifinal winners were decided only through a shootout. The Olympic Club were able to get in enough of game for a 1-0 victory over the Blackouts for their spot in the women’s championship. dcDragons beat Atlanta Miami Surf in the shootout for their spot. The first two shooters, Tapman and Lein Holsboer, for the dcDragons scored. Marula Toro from Atlanta Miami Surf scored as third shooter, but it wasn’t enough as the dcDragons earned their spot in the championship game. For the men, the Sharks defeated Lone Star in their shootout and dcDragons defeated NYC in in the other semifinal shootout.
When asked dcDragons how they were successful in repeating as men’s USFHL Adult National Championship, Larson gave a lot of credit to the founder Tee Goh and the inclusivity and passion of their organization. He mentioned that their 2021 team had athletes as young as 15 and a number involved in the U.S. Masters program.
Teams who qualified locally and competed in 2021 USFHL Adult National Championship:
|Atlanta/Miami Surf (Atlanta, Ga. & Miami, Fla.)||Atlanta/Miami Surf (Atlanta, Ga. & Miami, Fla.)|
|dcDragons (DC Metro)||Baltimore FHA (Baltimore, Md.)|
|Greenwich FHC (New York, N.Y.)||Blackouts (Boston, Mass.)|
|Lone Star FHC (Houston/Dallas, Texas)||dcDragons (DC Metro)|
|NE Blackouts (Boston, Mass.)||Delaware FHA (Newark, Del.)|
|Rye/NYC FHC (New York, N.Y.)||NYC FHC (New York, N.Y.)|
|Sharks (CA Bay Area)||Olympic Club (San Francisco, Calif.)|
|Triangle FHA (NC Triangle)||Running on Empty (Philadelphia, Pa.)|
|SteelStyx (Pittsburgh, Pa. & Chicago, Ill.)|
|Strikers (Lancaster, Pa.)|
|Triangle FHA (NC Triangle)|
|Washington FHA (DC Metro)|
All-star teams and Tournament MVPs were named from nominations from the USFHL Captains.
|USFHL ADULT NCC MVPS|
|Men's: Andre Bassiri (GK)(Atlanta Miami Surf)|
|Women's: Kendall Ballard (dcDragons)|
|USFHL ADULT NCC ALL-STAR TEAMS
|Kevin Barber (NYC)||Kendall Ballard (dcDragons)|
|Andre Bassiri (GK) (Atlanta Miami Surf)||Katie Clark (Blackouts)|
|Gordy Brown (Greenwich)||Mallory Faubert (Running on Empty)|
|James Chrisolm (Sharks)||Maxine Fluharty (dcDragons)|
|Jeroen Dijkema (Sharks)||Rachel Huang (WFHA)|
|Adeel Hussain (Lone Star)||Jasmine Liu (WFHA)|
|Yaphet Melendez (Triangle)||Heather Long (GK) (Strikers)|
|Johnny Orozoco (NYC)||Nicole Ng (Olympic Club)|
|Jelle Prins (Atlanta Miami Surf)||Rebecca Pepper (Blackouts)|
|Taylor Rhea (NYC)|
|Lizzie Swanton (Triangle)|
|Maddie Thompson (DFHA)|
|Marula Toro (Atlanta Miami Surf)|
Many athletes commented that they were excited to be competing at the top level again with their teammates. All games from Field 1 can be rewatched on USA Field Hockey’s YouTube. All recaps can be read on the USFHL Facebook or Instagram.
The mission of United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) is to grow adult men’s and women’s field hockey participation and engagement through local adult organizations, clubs, associations, leagues, tournaments and open pick-up field hockey throughout the United States. USFHL supports all adult field hockey with marketing, technology, leadership, regulation, structure and events to improve organization and ease of adult participation.
For more information check out usfhl.com, follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. For questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how your adult club, league or organization can get endorsed or plugged in for 2022.