The Future Is Now As USA Field Hockey And Partners Break Ground In Charlotte

USA Field Hockey used the opportunity of a “High Performance Summit” to break ground on the new field for the US National Field Hockey Team. The field is expected to be ready for use this fall, in time for several international games against Canada, South Africa and others. For about a year, the team has been practicing at Queen’s College in Charlotte, N.C. The new field will be 25 minutes to the north on the campus of the University of North Carolina Charlotte. The Belk family, UNCC, and the State of North Carolina in partnership with USFH have been working on the project for several years. This is an effort by all to encourage the attracting of Olympic teams to the city of Charlotte. There are several sports already training full time.

Field Hockey will be the first team olympic sport to set up permanent residence in the city. The United State Performance Center co-founded by Ike Belk and David Koerner have provided the management and development expertise to attract the resources in North Carolina to make it all happen. In addition, they are providing medical and training staff for the team. The campus already houses the strength and conditioning staff for USPC which is directing the US Field Hockey women’s team in its daily fitness and nutritional efforts.

So it was on May 18, 2023 the first phase of construction was marked by a ceremonial ground breaking attended by USFH officials, Chancellor Sharon Gaber, various political officials from the State of North Carolina, members of the Belk family, the team and coaches. Shovels in hand with appropriate hard hats….work was ceremoniously begun!!!

The turf will be made of Polygras Paris GT Zero, which will be the same turf used for the Paris Olympics next year. The material used is a derivative from sugar cane which produce ethanol that is used in the production of the plastic artificial surface. It will need significantly less water to play on and is recyclable. It will be the third new surface installed in the world to date.

There were words of inspiration and instruction delivered by Ike Belk, and David Koerner. Chancellor Gaber noted the partnership and cooperation by all. Coach David Passmore and team Captain Amanda Golini thanked everyone for the facility and were humbled by the inspirational teamwork that brought us to this point and how proud they will be representing the state, the city and the country.

Simon Hoskins the Executive Director of US Field Hockey remarked how this moment is a step into the future for the game of Field Hockey.

The Patriot League was well represented with national team members Amanda Golini, Alex Hamel and Natalie Konerth.

High Performance Summit

All during this the week the women’s and men’s national team coaches met with the top coaches in the country to discuss training methods and the “game” in general. In residence were coaches from all over the country, many of whom provided the training for our current National Team athletes.

Coach Stone was in attendance and I was to visit with my good coaching friends that Pam and I have acquired over the many years that we have been connected to the sport. Our roles as Chairman and Trustee has allowed us to share our enthusiasm for the the game. We were pleased to attend events with Coaches Missy Maharg Carla Taglienti and Pam Stuper and made some new friends like Tracey Fuchs. The enthusiasm of all these Coaches and their dedication is amazing. We all shared our determination that US Field Hockey will have the best chance to succeed in the Pan Games,the Paris olympics and beyond.


Darrah, Barton, Schumacher, and Findley Combine For Four Goals In Spring Game For The Leopards

The final score was 4-2 as Lafayette dominated the second half of play against Drexel, a team they lost to 1-2 during the regular season last fall. The Leopards demonstrated a diverse attack that may make scouting this team in the fall very difficult for opposing coaches.

Drexel drew first blood late in the second quarter to take the early lead. The first half was an even affair but to my eye Lafayette had the best of time of possession, but failed to find the back of the cage. In addition, Drexel was to earn several corners, threatening to score

During the third quarter Drexel was called for a penalty stroke, however, Lafayette failed to convert leaving the score 1-0 in Drexel’s favor. It wasn’t long until the Leopards found their stride with four different teammates finding the cage for four straight goals. Alex Darrah, Ellie Barton, Ariel Schumacher and Hannah Findlay lit up the scoreboard to the delight of their fans and parents. Assists were made by Lineke on the Schumacher goal, Catalina Robel’s hard shot with a diving effort to Alex Darrah and Hanna Findley to Barton.

It was a team effort as the defense began turning away Drexel attacks. India Ralph was directing the defense as the game wore on. The field was shifted from one side to the other and Leneke Spanns drew attention freeing up her teammates to attack the circle.

Laine Delmotte was back from Barbados after playing in the under 21 Pan Am games for Canada and fit right into play. The spring has turned into a valuable experience for all. There were some bumps and bruises along the way but I expect that will be all gone by August. Catalina Rubel was an active threat all afternoon. Carley Kreytak was in the face of Drexel attackers. Aimee Hoefnagel and Josephine van Wijk showed increasing skill and leadership. Alex Darrah will be a real force this fall and Mackenzie Hall showed her gritty determination all spring. Alex Conway showed growing maturity.

Our two goalies, Emma Garvey and Raffi Fragomeni are showing improvement and are playing like upper classmen.

The Leopards again, will be playing an interesting schedule in the fall which will include Big Ten and Acc teams along with its usual opponents in the Patriot League. Boston, American, and Lehigh will be on the road. ( Boston will have a new field). Bucknell, Holy Cross and Colgate will our guests at home.

There will also be the usual list of clinics and camps in the coming months and the coaches will be on the road scouting for talent for 2024 and beyond.

More News For Spring Season For Lafayette Field Hockey

Katie Gibb and Laine Delmonte

The Lafayette Field Hockey Team adds experience and pride by representing their country in international play. Laine Delmotte ’25 and incoming freshman Katie Gibb ’27 have been named to the Canadian Junior Pan Am game roster. Katie is the fifth recruit that was revealed in the press and through other sources to the incoming class. It is anticipated there may be several more revealed before summer workouts.

Laine is a rising junior who saw significant action during the season and will no doubt be a contributor in 2023.

Leo Baumgardner ’26 who practices with the team has been named to the USA Junior Men’s Pan Am roster!  Of course Amanda Magadan ’17 was named Co-Captain for the USA WNT who will compete in Pro-League this spring and. summer.

Coaching slots in Division one continue to be open and closed. The biggest of course was the surprising announcement of Erin Matson to the open UNC head coach job. Erin just finished her fifth student year at UNC and graduating.  It will be her first coaching experience. To my knowledge the top jobs at Lehigh, Syracuse and Northeastern remain open while Rider announced their head coach retired along with her asst coach and husband.

Congrats to our 4.O students Becca Harbert ’22, Shea Balderson ’23, Alex Conway ’24, Alex Darrah ’25 and Amiee Hoefnagel ’26!

Stone signs Maura ( Jacobs) Schimp To Be Assistant Coach


Maura Schimp joins Lafayette Field Hockey as an assistant Coach. Coach Schimp may be better known by Patriot League fans as Maura Jacobs, the stand out goal keeper for American University who graduated in 2018 as the PL goalkeeper of the year. After graduation she was selected as an asst coach for the St Louis University Billikens where she has been ever since!!

Aside from her regular duties at St. Louis she coached goalkeepers, tournament club teams and gave private lessons with the AIM Field Hockey Club.

She is a native of New Cumberland Pa. and earned her bachelors degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communications. She also has a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration and Student Personnel Administration. She holds a level one certification from USA Field Hockey.

This is a key hire for Stone and welcome addition to Lafayette Field Hockey. Schimp added.” I am very grateful to join Coach Stone and the incredible team of field hockey athletes at Lafayette College.” She is excited to return to the Patriot League. Welcome back Maura!!!!

Congratulations To Lehigh….Patriot League Champions

It’s been 28 years since Lehigh last won a Patriot League Championship in Field Hockey, but they finally are able to claim the title after a worthy effort. The semi-final and final games both went to overtime and the Mountain Hawks dug deep in both games to get the win.

In the semi- final game it went all the way to a 9 person shoot out before beating American. It should be noted that due to a confusion by the official Sara Bothius’s first shot was disallowed. Other teams in other years would have been down after that, but their resolve seemed to redouble. Goalkeeper Maddie Kahn played magnificently and turned away shot after shot until the Mountain Hawks connected for the win in the ninth round!!

They continued their determination in the championship game coming from behind to tie the score in the fourth quarter with a Maddie Kandra redirection from Sara Bothius. It was in overtime, that sophomore Netherlands native, Hogandoorn on a penalty corner received an assist from Sydney White for the win at 67:14.

Special mention should to go coach Caitlin Dallmeyer who culminated this 7 year quest for the trophy. She used recruited players from far and wide and set goals that eventually led to the title. They were emotionally ready to play when needed.

The stats were not necessarily in their favor today. Boston out shot Lehigh 22-16, shots on goal were 14 to 11, and corners were 8-12. Maddie Kahn heroically came forward with 13 saves. Lehigh did it when they needed to.

For next years opponents…will Kahn and Bothius return?? A little bird says yes!

Lafayette had beaten Boston 2-0 and lost to Lehigh 2-3 during the regular season. This is all the more evidence that the League has become much more competitive and balanced!!!

Leopards Finish The Season With 1-0 Win Against Holy Cross


Lafayette defeated the Crusaders on their new turf Saturday morning with Josephine van Wijk providing the margin of victory in an early third period goal. She was also the leading shot taker with 7 shots. It was a team effort as the defense played a key role by holding Holy Cross to no shots on goal. The Leopards had a total of 17 shots to the Crusaders 3. They had 6 on goal to the home team’s nil on goal production. The Crusader goal keeper was forced to make 5 saves. The Leopards also earned 9 corners to their opponents 2.


It was a large team effort, demonstrated by the 20 Lafayette players who earned minutes compared to 15 on who saw action on the other side. The other shot takers were Felicitas Hannes with 3, Lineke Spanns with 2 and Simone Hefting with 1. The defense played magnificently led by senior captain Hefting who set up a wall all game long. Underclassman provided much of the offensive spark while seniors were active in the backline.


The Leopards ended the season tied with Bucknell at 3-3 in the league and leading Holy Cross and Colgate in the final standings. Bucknell will appear in the playoff by virtue of their one goal win over Lafayette. The Lafayette season was highlighted by it’s win over league leading Boston University, and it’s win over 7th ranked Princeton in overtime. They also took the third ranked Penn State Lions to double overtime as well. They had 11 one goal losses during the fall campaign.


This class of seniors will be missed for their skill and leadership, but the Leopard’s will reload with added incentive and no doubt will be a challenging group in 2023.

Lafayette Puts It All Together In 5-1 Win Against Colgate

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Paraphrasing words of the color analyst during last week’s telecast of the Yale game, ” this may be the best 6-11 team in the country”. After a slow start, the Leopards offense prodded the Raider defense with Lineke Spaans displaying why she may be the premier offensive talent in the Patriot League, as she sped through the Crusader defense. After taking the ball at the Colgate 35 she scored the opening goal at 8:48 in the first quarter.

After that it was all downhill as Molly McAndrew was to light the scoreboard for two more in the third and fourth quarters while freshman Hannah Findlay and Senior Tara Hamilton added to the Leopards goals in the second and fourth quarters.

It was not just the goal scorers who were on display, but the teamwork that let up to them. Every goal with the exception of the Spaans effort in the first quarter was assisted. Assists came from McAndrews, Felicitas Hannes, Catalina Rubel, and Spaans.

The defense shined as well as Simone Hefting provided the wall and the springboard for the offense, using her passing skills to ignite the attack. Coach Stone saw her game plan executed perfectly. She also had to be pleased with the play of Tara Hamilton, MacKenzie Switzer, and India Ralph who all made their contributions all over the field.


In past years the long trip to Colgate and a senior day designation would have have given the Leopards fits, but not today. Leopard faithful were well represented and may have almost equaled the Crusader crowd even as a football game was played next door!

As pleased as they should be with the effort, there is one more game at Holy Cross next Saturday.

Leopards Lose A Close One


One team gets 20 shots, 12 on goal, 9 corners and forces the opposing goalie into 10 saves. The opposing team gets 6 shots, 5 on goal. One team had the better bench, evidence by 5 bench players making contributions, while the other team only substituted 2 players all game. One team had their leading scorer stymied the other team had 8 players taking shots. However, it was Lehigh who had the 6 shots etc. It was Lehigh who won 3-2. Abbe Brown, Lehigh’s second leading scorer had the hat trick.

The last five minutes saw the Leopard’s pull their goalkeeper in a vain attempt to tie the score but they were stymied by fouls and impatience! The Mountain Hawks used a high work rate and fast starts on fouls to keep the ball in play. The Leopards did what they needed to do only to be frustrated by shots hitting the post and other missed opportunities to score.

It was a frustrating game for this fan to watch as the game ended in another 1 goal short loss again this year and especially to the Mountain Hawks.


Leopard freshman Josephine Van Wijk had a very good game tying the score on a corner early in the second quarter, assisted by Hannah Findley and Lineke Spanns. Abbe Brown from Lehigh put the Hawks ahead early in the first half but Sydney Woolston got the second goal of her career in the fourth quarter.The game winner was made by Abbe Brown with her hat trick about 5 minutes left in the game and seconds left on a Leopards yellow card. At that point the leopards pulled their goalkeeper.

Leopards Knock Off Number 7 Princeton 3-2 In Overtime


This was a character game from start to finish. The Leopard’s were stung on Friday with a league game which by some accounts should have gone the other way. But today they showed their character and heart to come back and win a game that is a win against the highest ranking team in program history. Each Leopard played championship hockey right through to the winning goal by Felicitas Hannes off a perfectly constructed feed from Molly McAndrew. The play started with a dazzling run by Leneke Spanns who found McAndrew in the circle.

Raffi Fragomeni, Sydney Woolston and Simone Hefting turn away one of many Princeton shots

It was McAndrew who was to make the play of game. Princeton had made a penalty stroke with less than 3 minutes left in regulation making the score 2-1. A ball was sent down the sideline headed toward the end line. McAndrew sprinted down the length of the field and dove at the last minute to try to keep the ball inbounds. She dove for the ball and connected with it hitting it towards a trailing Princeton defender generating a foot foul and a last ditch corner after only 15 seconds after the go ahead penalty stroke by Sam Davidson from Princeton.

Spanns seems to attract “friends” everywhere on the field

This was the last chance for the Leopards and they capitalized with a rocket by Simone Hefting high to the top of the cage tying the game and eventually sending it into overtime.

Defense was solid all game

The first goal of the game was made by Sydney Woolston who made her first goal of the season and career. Normally on defense she, was assisted by Leneke Spanns who was the center of attention all game long by the ever skilled Princeton Tigers.

Simone Hefting showed her leadership on the field all game and made two defensive saves. Freshman Raffi Fragomeni made a season high 10 saves!!!

This was a perfect launching point for a crucial game with the Brown Mountain Hawks from Lehigh this Friday at 7 pm.

Beth Yeager Brings Home The Win For Princeton In Overtime


This was a game made for afternoon drama as number 7 ranked Princeton upset the number 2 ranked and undefeated Maryland Terps 4-3 in double overtime. The game had significance at several levels. Carla Tagliente, the Princeton coach, along with the Princeton assistant, Dina Rizzo played for Missy Meharg at Maryland. Rizzo had also been an assistant under Meharg. Tagliente hadn’t beaten Meharg and Maryland since 2017. This was the fifth straight Maryland/ Princeton game that went to overtime and eighth straight game decided by one goal. Personally, it was a reunion of sorts since my daughter played at Maryland and Tagliente and Rizzo were her roommates.


The two teams went back and forth all game with all-American Beth Yeager tying the game late in the fourth quarter and scoring the winning goal in the second overtime period. Both scores came on penalty corners.

The Terps were to win the statical battle recording 19 shots, 11 of which were on goal to. Princeton’s 11 shots, 9 of which were on goal. Robyn Thompson was to have an excellent afternoon between the pipes recording 8 saves during the contest for the Tigers.

Ali McCarthy moving down field guarded by Erica Morris-Adams

Maryland opened the scoring with a goal by Belie Bressler assisted by Hope Rose at 23:56 into the first half. It wan’t until 32:13 in the second half that Princeton was to even the score with a Hannah Davey score on a penalty corner. Princeton was to be behind three times during the game and forced to come back to even the score each time.

After two attempts by Maryland, 2 minutes later Maryland was able to go ahead again on a Margot Lawn strike making the score 2-1. Fans had to wait 10 minutes before Princeton was able to even the score again on an Ali McCarthy strike, her third of the season, tying up the score to 2-2.

The crowd was treated to a contest of skill and fitness as both teams passed and ran from one end of the field to the other. Hope Rose from Maryland was to break the tie at 52:22 with her eighth goal for the season putting the Terps ahead of the Tigers with less than six minutes left in regulation.

Princeton would not let up and as both teams were digging deep into their fitness reserves, Princeton’s Yaeger was to get off a rocket with less than two minutes left tying the score for the last time in regulation.


Overtime was no less intense as both teams had their chances to end the game. Princeton was to end the first overtime with a shot by McCarthy with five seconds left in the period. However, Yeager was to complete her heroics for the afternoon with an assist by Ophelia Bemeimans and Ali McCarthy scoring on a hard direct hit to the left side of the cage.

After the game there were hugs all around as Meharg went to embrace her former players, Carla and Dina. One had the feeling this might not be the last, these two teams could meet this season. Both teams. will go on to their league schedules later this week. Princeton will host Lafayette on Sunday.