On Wednesdays throughout 2021, USA Field Hockey will highlight an active club from one of the nine regions around the United States to shine a spotlight on what makes Member Clubs unique. From coast-to-coast, clubs big and small will be featured to increase awareness of field hockey across the country, and administrators and coaches will have the chance to talk about initiatives, training and favorite parts of the game. This week from Region 4 is Hudson Valley FHC.
Club Name: Hudson Valley FHC
History: Founded in 1995 by Sharon Sarsen, Hudson Valley FHC was created to provide a competitive field hockey environment for players in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, who have a higher level of interest and commitment to the game of field hockey. Originally athletes in this region would tryout for the Empire State Games. When the Games were ultimately dissolved due to budget cuts, the club was able to expand as the only local source that provided continuous opportunities to play.
Club athletes continue to learn, grow and gain experience through local leagues, tournaments and showcases throughout the year in addition to USA Field Hockey Events.
Accolades/Awards: Hudson Valley FHC is currently ranked 18th in the U-19 Girls USA Field Hockey National Club Rankings, and unranked in the U-14 and U-16 Girls rankings.
Below is a list of recent participations and finishes at USA Field Hockey National and Sanctioned Events:
2020 National Indoor Tournament:
- U-14 Girls Pool AA, first place
- U-19 Girls Pool G, third place
2020 Disney Field Hockey Showcase
- U-19 Tiana Consolation Flight
2019 National Hockey Festival
- U-19 Pool D, second place
2019 Junior Premier League: U-19 Girls division
2019 Junior Premier Indoor League: U-19 Girls division
2019 Big Apple Field Hockey Tournament: U-19 Girls and Open Women divisions
Sarsen on Club Life:
Sarsen is proud to have seen so many Hudson Valley FHC members move on to not only play collegiately but also return as alumni of the program to coach the next generation. Among the most notable club alumni is two-time Olympian and former U.S. Women’s National Team captain Melissa Gonzalez. Erin McCrudden, who had 13 international caps with the USWNT, is also a notable former club member as well as Emma Bozek, who was a member of the U-21 USWNT from 2013-15.
Sarsen is also pleased that there are currently 17 club members who are actively competing across NCAA Divisions I, II and III, along with six commitments who will transition in the next couple of years.
Presently, Hudson Valley has been largely affected by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and have been unable to attend interstate competitions due to local restrictions. With that, the club currently has 23 active athletes but generally has more than 70. Hudson Valley also takes pride in having former players give back by returning to coach club teams.
Looking ahead, the club is pleased to have recently returned to competition and competed in events in New York State the past two weekend. Sarsen added that since coaches and families cannot travel out of state without an extended self-quarantine, the club has created tournaments to speed up getting back on the pitch. She is optimistic that Hudson Valley will return to interstate competition in April, as restrictions slowly recede.
Sarsen’s favorite part of being a part of the USA Field Hockey Family is seeing all the people that make USA Field Hockey a strong organization at each and every event. To her it feels like a reunion every time as teammates and friends play catch up between matches.