News for 13 September 2013

All the news for Friday 13 September 2013

Tengku Abdullah demands answers

By T.N.Alagesh

Sabah’s Larry Lian (left) fights for the ball with Selangor’s Muhammad Amerrullah Abdul Aziz in their Razak Cup match in Kuantan yesterday. Selangor won 7-2. Bernama pic

OFFICIALS involved in giving the green light for a 22-year-old hockey player, who is currently serving a two-year suspension, to feature in the ongoing Razak Cup in Kuantan could find themselves in trouble as the Malaysian Hockey Confederation wants to get to the root of the matter.

MHC president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah wants those responsible, including from the Pahang Hockey Association (Pahang HA) and MHC who may have turned a deaf ear in allowing the respective player to register for the tournament, to come forward and explain. Clearly upset over the matter, Tengku Abdullah said such an incident, which displayed the weaknesses of certain officials, will only tarnish the image of the game in the country.

"This is the problem with the officials. We have to take action against those responsible for allowing a suspended player to register himself and take to the field in the opening fixture.

"To be fair I hope to hear from both parties (Pahang HA and MHC) on the incident. I hope those responsible will provide an explanation on the matter," Tengku Abdullah told reporters in Kuantan yesterday.

On Tuesday, the Pahang team were ordered to turn up for their remaining matches with only 17 players after Mohd Aminuddin Abu, who is serving a two-year suspension, was barred by tournament director Brian Fernandez.

Aminuddin, suspended in 2011 for failing a dope test, is due to complete his suspension on Oct 12 but Pahang fielded him for their opening match against Perak on Saturday.

However, since Pahang lost that match, it is learnt that there were no changes to the outcome other than barring Aminuddin from the tournament.

Meanwhile, Group A winners Malacca will be aiming for a spot in the final when they play Perak, who defied the odds to book a slot in the last four today, while Group B winners Kuala Lumpur will take on Negri Sembilan, who have secured the services of several senior players, in the other semi-final. A mouthwatering clash is expected between Malacca and Perak as both teams, boosted by the arrival of young talent, have been playing fast-paced games throughout the tournament. Negri Sembilan will be banking on their experienced players to pull off an upset against 19-time champions Kuala Lumpur.

RESULTS -- Division Two: Sabah 2 Selangor 7, Armed Forces 3 Perlis 1, Kedah 4 Police 4.

TODAY: S-finals -- Division One: Malacca v Perak (8pm - Pitch I), Kuala Lumpur v Negri Sembilan (8pm - Pitch II).

Classification matches: Johor v Penang (6pm - Pitch I), Pahang v Terengganu (6pm - Pitch II).

(All matches at Kuantan Hockey Stadium).

New Straits Times

Johor Cup will give us an accurate idea where we stand: Clark

NEW DELHI: Out of action for the past three months, Indian hockey colts will finally get to play at competitive level in the upcoming Sultan of Johor Cup, and chief coach Gregg Clark said it will give him an accurate idea about his wards ahead of the Junior World Cup.

The Junior World Cup is to be held here in December. The Indian junior men's hockey team last played competitive matches on their tour of Europe in early June but after that they have been training only in camps under the watchful eyes of Clark and coach Baljit Singh Saini.

But Clark said the six-nation tournament in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, featuring top teams like Korea, Pakistan, England and Argentina besides India, will provide an "indication" of his wards' progress ahead of the all-important Junior World Cup to be held from December 6-15.

"It's nice to be finally going for a tournament. We have been in training camp for a couple of months now. I am happy with the way things have gone in the camp. But obviously at this point of time we would like to have more competitive matches as part of our preparation (for Junior World Cup). It will give us an accurate indication of where we are from the performance level," he told reporters at the Major Dhyanchand Stadium.

"We haven't played since the beginning of June after the tour of Europe. So, every match is extremely important for us now because you can play as much as you like in the training ground, but what matters is playing against international oppositions," said the South African.

In the Sultan of Johor Cup to be held from September 22 to 29, India will get the services of four players -- captain Manpreet Singh, Kothajit Singh and Mandeep Singh -- who are members of the senior side.

The likes of Malak Singh, SK Uthappa, Gurmail Singh and Ramandeep Singh have been kept as reserves.

Clark said the inclusion of senior team members augurs well for his side ahead of the World Cup.

"It does. I guess we still got two months to integrate them into our team. The next couple of weeks will be a transition for all of us because we haven't had these guys. They will be important players for us in the World Cup," he said.

"But having them understand what we have done in the last couple of months is going to be a little bit difficult. But its great to have these talents at our disposal who have been during regular duty in senior team," said Clark, who coached the South African senior men's team for seven years including the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.

Clark said he was satisfied with the work he has done so far with the junior side after taking charge in April this year.

"The players have progressed really well. For me there was always lot of talent at disposal to begin with. It's just about polishing some of the rough edges. I think we really have a talented group of players here who will play a lot of hockey for India in the future," he said.

"It was about some technical improvements that I wanted to make which are more relevant to current international hockey," said the South African, who was also the coach inaugural Hockey India League (HIL) winners Ranchi Rhinos.

Meanwhile, India junior men's team captain Manpreet Singh said he is ready to get out of the shadow of seniors like Sardar Singh.

"As a senior there is responsibility. There is plenty of responsibility on me because this is only my second tour with the junior side. The coach is different so there is lot to learn. But I hope I can fulfil my duties," he said.

"As a captain I will like to take all the players along with me. I will put in all efforts to make the team a cohesive unit. I will like to motivate all the players when their chips are down.

"I have learnt a lot from Sardar on how to handle the team on and off the field," said the midfielder.

Manpreet also felt that the upcoming tournament will give him and other senior team members an opportunity to mix up with the junior players before the World Cup.

The Times of India

Would like to see us in the final, says Gregg Clark

Rohan Puri

NEW DELHI: The Indian junior men's hockey team is confident about a good performance at the Sultan of Johar Cup, a tournament which their South African coach Gregg Clark feels will give him a clearer idea about where they stand before the all important Junior World Cup to be held here in December.

"There are strong teams like Malaysia, South Korea and Argentina in the mix but I am hoping to be very competitive. I would like to see us in the final," said Clark while interacting with the media on Thursday at the Major Dhyanchand National Stadium.

The Indian team has been out of action for the past three months having played their last match in Europe in June. "We would like to have more competition which would give us an accurate indication of where we are in terms of the performance level. This tournament is really important to us. Training is good but what matters is playing against international oppositions," he said.

Clark said that India-Pakistan match on September 25 would be one of a kind experience for him. "The India-Pakistan match would be a great experience for me. It would be the first time I will be experiencing that as a coach.

For us it would be just 70 minutes of hockey where we would be focusing on every detail and hopefully we won't get caught up in the rivalry." Commenting upon the strengths of his team, he said, "We have some good experience in the team plus younger players would bring great energy and unpredictability to the team. We have some good defenders who read the game very well."

While pointing out the shortcomings in the team, Clark said: "I have spent a lot of time on individual skills. Technically, I don't think Indian players are strong for the modern game.

Astro turf is more of a power game, so we have tweaked their technical skills a little bit." Asked about the new captain of the team, Manpreet Singh, Clark said, "He reads the game pretty well and has got every skill in the book.

He is as close to being a complete player as you can get in hockey. He is playing really well hockey at the senior level and I just hope he can replicate that at the junior level."

Manpreet said he was feeling a little bit of pressure as the skipper. "I am the senior player in the team and have to lead from the front. I have learned a lot from Sardar Singh," he said.

The Times of India

Junior hockey team up for big test

The Sultan of Johor Cup hockey tournament in Malaysia this month gives Junior India coach Gregg Clark one last opportunity to “test his wards“ before the big test at home -the Junior World Cup in December.

As the squad of 33 went through their drills at the National Stadium here on Thursday evening, the South African kept a sharp eye on the players and special focus was put on team structure, technique, dragflick combinations and goalkeeping.

“The players have progressed really well. For me to begin with, there was a lot of talent at disposal and it was about polishing the rough edges, making some technical improvements that were more relevant to current international hockey,“ said Clark, who took charge in April this year, “I think most people would tell you that India is a difficult country to travel to.There are cultural differences, but I have enjoyed all of it.“

Striker Mandeep is likely to be rested with either Ramandeep Singh or Malak Singh taking his place.

The Asian Age

MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup: Winning starts by IOB and BPCL

S. Thyagarajan

SMART SAVE: Indian Overseas Bank goalkeeper Sreejesh displays good agility as he thwarts the effort of Poonacha of South Central Railway. Photo: M. Vedhan

It was a campaign well begun for Indian Overseas Bank and BPCL in the MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament on Thursday.

IOB registered a 6-3 win against South Central Railway in Pool A, while BPCL, despite some resolute resistance from Steel Authority of India, won 3-0 in Pool B.

The victory margin for IOB against SCR fails to portray the gallant performance of the Railway outfit which fought tooth and nail till the final whistle. That it could not convert a high proportion of the penalty corners — there were 10 against the one by IOB — could be attributed to the poor state of the artificial pitch.

Moreover, SCR had to contend with the in-form P.R. Sreejesh. A few saves by the IOB custodian, declared ‘Outstanding goalkeeper’ in the recent Asia Cup, mirrored his athleticism and agility.

The credit for netting the opening goal of the tournament went to evergreen striker Adam Sinclair. He struck off a cross by Senthil Kumar with a first-timer that carried a touch of class.

He formed a fruitful partnership with Vinod Rayar. The pair, with assistance from Amandeep Ekka, was conspicuous every time it sallied forth. Shanmugam slotted home two in style.

The SCR attack was not found wanting. In fact, it managed to forge more sorties than IOB in the initial part. Poonacha was the livewire with Janardhan Gupta and Niaz Rahim contributing their share. Suresh Toppo was hard working and ended the match with a superb deflection to bemuse the IOB custodian.

Impressive debut

It was an impressive debut for SAIL in the competition and against a glamour outfit like BPCL. Composed mainly of adivasi talent, the Rourkela-based squad caught the eye of one and all with its spirit and skill.

The attack was sharp, swift and skilful, and stretched the BPCL defenders. Led well on the flank by Alsem Lakra, the SAIL frontline carried a lot of punch. Special praise is due to goalkeeper Sunil Toppo, who managed to thwart a few incisive moves by former international Tushar Khandekar who was supported by Ravi Pal, Amar Ayamma and Hari Prasad.

What carried BPCL ahead were the two penalty corner strikes by Gurpreet Singh and a field goal by Amar Ayamma.

SAIL was unlucky not to hit the target even once notwithstanding several attempts.

Goalkeeper Swinder Singh managed to keep the rivals out. But one attempt in the second half by Rajin Kandulna smashed against the pads and hit the cross-piece, denying a moment to rejoice for the SAIL players.

Parry & Co. Managing Director Arun Murugappan inaugurated the tournament.

The results:

Pool A: IOB 6 (Adam Sinclair, V. Shanmugam 2, Vinod Rayar 2, Mudappa) bt South Central Railway 3 (Anamol Minz, Manjeet Kullu, Suresh Toppo).

Pool B: BPCL 3 (Gurpreet Singh 2, Amar Ayamma) v SAIL 0.

Friday’s matches:

IOC v CAG (2.15 p.m.); Air India v Indian Bank (4 p.m.); Army XI v IOB (5.45 p.m.).

The Hindu

IOB derails SCR, BPCL hammers Sail

Nothing earth-shattering occurred on the opening day of the MCC Murugappa-Gold Cup hockey tournament at the MRK stadium here on Thursday.

IOB, who have touched the nadir after being in the upper echelons in Tamil Nadu hockey, have hit their stride by making mincemeat of a disjointed South Central Railway 6-3.

In the second match of the evening BPCL had too many aces up their sleeve for Sail to contend with as they blanked them 3-0.

Before the start of the proceedings, it must be said that, not many would have tipped either SCR or Sail to even collect a point let alone upsetting their much vaunted rivals and that is exactly how things played out in the end. There was not so much of a zeal for a fight on the part of SCR and it would be grave injustice to describe it as a match. Perhaps mismatch would suit the description to a T. Right from the outset there was not even an iota of doubt in the gathering’s mind as to which way the wind was blowing. In fact the number of instances SCR looked threatening to score could be counted on the fingers of one hand. It appeared as though IOB’s goalmouth was out of bounds for SCR.

It didn’t take long for IOB to pile on the misery on SCR and former Olympian Adam Sinclair opened the scoring in the ninth minute. To give credit where it’s due, SCR almost immediately found the equaliser through the impressive Anmol Minz, who was their lone bright spot, and at that juncture it looked like it had the makings of a cracker of a contest. But showing a hopeless lack of creativity SCR spurned whatever limited chances came their way and couldn’t cash in on their equaliser.

At half-time with IOB regaining the upper-hand any chances SCR had of getting on level terms were quelled with elan.

The talking point of the match, though, was how IOB for all the pressure they exerted struggled to force even a single penalty corner in the entire first half. Not that they were unduly worried as in the second-half they added four more goals to their tally with Vinod Rayar collecting a brace. Drag flicker and the player everyone is currently raving about Rupinderpal Singh has to wait till Friday to flaunt his goal scoring prowess.

The contest between BPCL and Sail went on expected lines as never once were the former subjected to any pressure. Gurupreet Singh slotted in two penalty corners while A. Aiyamma made it 3-0 in the 52nd minute by which time the match was well beyond Sail’s reach.

Results: IOB 6 (Adam Sinclair, V. Shanmugam 2, Vinod Rayar 2, M.K.Muddappa) bt SCR 3 (A. Anmol Minz, Manjeet Kullu, Suresh Toppo); BPCL 3 (Gurupreet Singh 2, A. Aiyamma) bt Sail 0.

The Asian Age

IOB, Bharat Petroleum gain full points

CHENNAI: In a frenzy of scoring, Indian Overseas Bank overcame South Central Railway 6-3 in opening league fixture of the 88th All-India MCC-Murugappa Gold Cup hockey tournament here Thursday.

Leading the IOB's goal-spree in the pool A match was Vinod Rayaer (39th, 49th) after former international Adam Sinclair (9th) and V Shanmugam (28th) opened the scoring. Shanmugam went on to add another to his tally with a 53rd minute strike after M.K. Mudappa (46th) scored.

For South Central Railway, A. Anmol Minz (10th), Manjeet Kullu (59th) and Suresh Toppo (63rd) scored, but could not shake off IOB's dominance.

Later, Bharat Petroleum started their campaign in pool B with a 3-0 win over Steel Authority of India Ltd, Rourkela, with goals by Gurupreet Singh (4th, 34th) and Amar Aiyamma (52nd).

The Times of India

Teams lose cool over decisions in Super League match

Sudheendra Tripathi

MUMBAI: On a hot, muggy afternoon at Churchgate's Mahindra Stadium, a few umpiring decisions did not go down well with the teams. In the Mumbai Magicians-Mumbai Hockey Association Ltd-conducted Super League match involving defending champions Western Railway and Mumbai Customs, Western Railway were the more aggrieved of the two outfits.

And they didn't conceal their displeasure. The technical bench got involved and coach Sunil Kumar Singh and skipper Kuldeep Singh had to be pacified. Just before the breather, Kuldeep was yellow-carded, which caused the eventual ruckus and play had to be stopped for almost seven-eight minutes before the teams went into the breather.

"A bad decision can change the game for a team. We played so well in the beginning of the match, but in the last 10 minutes of the second half, we lost control," a visibly disturbed Rahul Singh of Customs said.

Singh argued that his team was denied at least two short corners in the second half. "The short corners could have changed fortunes for us. It is really sad that a team has to do away with some precious points at the expense of someone else," he added.

For his part, Sunil Kumar Singh said: "The infringement for which Kuldeep was yellow-carded was not deliberate. It's not the yellow card that upset us, but we felt there was no reason to issue the card."

Talking about the match, Sunil said: "It is a good result for us. But the most important thing is the boys played sensibly and did not let the episode before half-time affect them. We played really well in the second half.

For the record: Western Railway won 4-2.

Earlier in the day, Indian Navy packed too much firepower for a depleted Central Railway, who were without the services of Devinder Walmiki, who is in the junior India camp, skipper Sashi Topno (injured) and defender Nilesh Mane (down with fever).

Results: Indian Navy 3 ( Amit Goswamy, own goal, Naveen Kumar) beat Central Railway 0. Western Railway 4 (Vinod Kumar 2, own goal, Jay Karan) beat Mumbai Customs 2 (Amit Kumar, Joshua Versaonkar).

The Times of India

Victory for Korea, glory for India

By S. Thyagarajan.

Captain Sardar Singh, here seen tackling South Korea's Lee Nam-yong in the final, was the fulcrum of India's display. AP

It was a case of so near and yet so far for India. The silver lining, however, is that this outcome brought the team to the threshold of World Cup qualification.

A victory in the Asia Cup would have opened a new vista for Indian hockey. And it almost came to fruition in the final where India performed with outstanding fortitude before perishing against Korea. The 3-4 result — the first defeat for the team in the competition — mirrors how lady luck deserted the team in the final minutes.

This narration is from India’s perspective. It was a case of so near and yet so far.

The silver lining, however, is that this outcome brought the team to the threshold of World Cup qualification.

The events preceding the Asia Cup have to be recounted to understand the gravity of the situation.

A pathetic performance in the World League semi-finals put a question mark on the team’s qualification for the World Cup. The contretemps arising from the change of coach — Australian Michael Nobbs being replaced by Roelant Oltmans of the Netherlands — prompted a heated debate. So too was the re-induction of M. K. Kaushik, who has come in as assistant coach.

As if these were not enough, a handful of strikers were injured rendering them unfit for selection.

The selectors picked a loose combination, which was imbalanced in more than one layer. Oltmans was unperturbed. He believed in making use of the available talent. And he succeeded to the hilt in injecting an element of confidence into the team.

As India marched ahead beating Oman in the opening match, the real test came against the defending champion, Korea. The 2-0 victory set the course for the team.

What really stood out for India was the inspiring work of its defenders.

Goalkeeper Sreejesh was outstanding throughout. He is now trained by the South African goalkeeper Dave Staniforth. He was superb while making some of the saves against Korea and Malaysia in the semi-finals. None deserved the best goalkeeper award than this gallant warrior.

The fulcrum of India’s display was its skipper Sardar Singh. Never was he seen flinching away a tackle or putting the stick wrong. His value to the team is immeasurable.

Next was the trio of V. R. Raghunath, Rupinderpal Singh and Birendra Lakra — all seasoned campaigners. While Raghunath and Rupinderpal slammed goals with panache from penalty corners, Lakra was vigilant in the backline cutting forays with nonchalance.

Among the younger crop, Kothajit Singh showed marked improvement. He gave a helping hand to Sardar Singh as did Manpreet and Dharamvir.

The frontline, where the 18-year-old Manpreet Singh sparkled now and then, was however inconsistent.

Korea entered the fray riding on the confidence stemming from its confirmed entry into the World Cup. But the aim was clear; to retain the trophy. The players worked towards that till the end despite the defeat against India, earlier in the championship.

Aggressive, adept and athletic, the Koreans displayed the brand of hockey they are known for. Few have perfected the art of penalty corner conversion as the Koreans.

Jing Jong symbolises this and he is literally a game changer. Lee Nam Yong and Kang Moon spearheaded the attack with distinction and played a remarkable role in the trophy triumph when it mattered most. The team had the benefit of technical assistance from the scholarly German coach, Paul Lissek.

Tragic was the case of Pakistan. The team needed a victory in the Asia Cup, to make it to the World Cup at The Hague. Talented though in all aspects, it was desperate to hit the top of the podium. There was no early suggestion that it will go without accomplishing that.

In fact, the Pakistanis outclassed Malaysia twice in the event. But they met their Waterloo against Korea and were shunted out of the World Cup for the first time in 42 years.

The team management was at a loss to bear this disappointment. Akhtar Rasool was speechless so was the PHA President, Qasim Zia. Tahir Zaman, the coach, said philosophically, “It is sad news for Pakistan. We have to live with this reality.” A bronze medal was hardly a consolation to the once mighty power.

For Irfan Muhammad it was a personal disaster as captain. He did his best in that role and in the conversion of penalty corners. The youngster like Shafqat Rasool and Haseem Khan functioned efficiently as did the seasoned Shakeel Abbasi and Waseem Ahmed. Recalling the retired goalkeeper Salman Akbar did not pay dividends.

For Malaysia, the event was a big blow. Assured of a berth in the World Cup, the home team was confident of winning the cup but tumbled out without a medal.

The players believed that this was their best chance. Goals by Faisal Saari, Muhammad Razie (penalty corners) and Aslan Misron had a touch of class but the team caved in against Pakistan, twice (including the bronze medal contest) and then to India. The pre-event media hype about Malaysia’s chances went up in smoke.

Among the others, Oman showed promise on its maiden outing. Japan was a big disappointment. So was Bangladesh. Debutant Chinese Taipei created a good impression demonstrating the tenets of pattern weaving and finish.

In more ways than one, the ninth edition at Ipoh turned out to be an important tournament.


Indian hockey will be a strong contender in 2016 Olympics: Oltmans

Roelant Oltmans feels the erstwhile champions of the game will be a force to reckon with in the 2016 Olympics.

New Delhi: A silver medal in the recent Asia Cup has virtually assured India a place in next year's World Cup and the team's High Performance Director Roelant Oltmans feels the erstwhile champions of the game will be a force to reckon with in the 2016 Olympics.

India lost to defending champions South Korea 2-3 in a hard-fought contest in the final of the Asia Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia recently but despite the defeat, the Sardar Singh-led side has virtually booked its ticket to next year's World Cup.

India will now just have to wait till November for the official confirmation from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) which will come only after the conclusion of the Oceania Cup.

"We will have to wait for New Zealand or Australia to win the Oceania Cup. Normally, one of these two teams win the Oceania Cup. It is very unlikely that a team like Samoa or Papua New Guinea will win beat Australia or New Zealand. So considering that we are happy that we have more or less qualified for the World Cup," Oltmans told PTI in an interview.

"But still we have lot of work to do, we have to match the top teams of the world. Look at Belgium, they are now a rapidly improved side and are beating teams like Germany, Australia and the Netherlands. I feel we will take another couple of years to beat top sides of the world. I feel we will be one of the strong contenders for the 2016 Olympics if not the 2014 World Cup," he said.

"We are getting closer and closer but we will need some more time. We need to play more tough games like the Asia Cup final against South Korea," he added.

IBNLive Sports

Pakistan face Oman in opener

Staff Report

LAHORE: Pakistan will face little know Oman in the inaugural match of the 3rd Asian Champions Trophy Hockey Tournament on November 2 in Kakamigahara, Japan. The Asian Hockey Federation (AHF) and the organizers released schedule of the event on Thursday. Pakistan will play China their second match on November 3 followed by a match against Malaysia on November 5. The greenshirts will face off with their archrivals India on November 7 and their last pool match will be against Japan on November 8. The classification matches for the 3rd to 6th place and the final will be played on November 10.

The Daily Times

Pakistan hockey is not dead: Ahmed

By Fawad Hussain

Waseem Ahmed, who had 409 international appearances during his career spanning over 15 years, announced his retirement yesterday. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Contrary to the pessimism prevailing over the country’s hockey, Pakistan’s most capped player Waseem Ahmed spoke about optimism, telling all the stakeholders to take the World Cup tragedy as a wake-up call.    

Pakistan’s failure to qualify for the 2014 World Cup prompted widespread protests from Olympians, who rued the lost status of the four-time champions. It also witnessed fans carrying out mock funerals, terming the fiasco as the ‘death of hockey’ in Pakistan.

Former captain Ahmed, who has featured in four World Cups (1998-2010), was also disappointed but said there was still hope for the national game.

“Our exit is hurting but it’s not over for us,” Ahmed told The Express Tribune. “We are out of just one tournament which in fact for me is a blessing in disguise.

“We needed a shock as tragedies bring opportunities to redeem.”

The veteran said the authorities should take the team’s failure as a wake-up call to amend their strategy for a bright future.

“Fitness or other weaknesses on the field are just symptoms, not the disease. The problems lie in the bleak future for hockey players and our weak domestic structure.

“It’s time for all of us to put aside our personal interests and work for the betterment of hockey in Pakistan.

“I am also saying this to the protesting Olympians, who just criticise for the sake of criticism or to pave their way for a role in the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF).”

Ahmed further said the PHF and former legends need to work together for the revival of the national game with assistance from the government.

“I can still see loads of talented youngsters who can turn the tide if guided properly. Pakistan still possesses the best talent. But these youngsters are confused about their future and are working half-heartedly because they see their seniors struggling for livelihood.

“By ensuring these youngsters a good future and with improvement on the domestic level, we can progress by leaps and bounds.”

Ahmed seeks exhibition match for ceremonious exit 

The seasoned midfielder, who has decided to retire from international hockey, is seeking an exhibition match for his farewell.

“I’ve informed the senior PHF officials about my decision,” he said. “It’s time to pave way for the juniors as we aren’t playing any major competition in the near future. All I want is a ceremonious exit in return for my years of service.

“I request the PHF to arrange a reception or an exhibition match in which I can formally retire.”

Pakistan to defend Asian Champions Trophy title

Pakistan will defend their title at the third edition of the Asian Champions Trophy that will be played this November in Japan.

As many as six teams will vie in the tournament that will be played from November 2-10 in Kakamigahara.

The participating teams also include Oman, China, Malaysia and India besides the hosts.

As per the schedule announced by the Asian Hockey Federation, Pakistan will play their opening match against Oman on November 2, followed by China (November 3) and Malaysia (November 5). The greenshirts will play their third match against arch-rivals India after a day’s gap before playing their last league game against Japan on November 8.

Pakistan won the last edition in Doha in December 2012, defeating India 5-4 after a thrilling battle.

The Express Tribune

Ex-Olympians blast PHF, national team for hockey ruins

Shazia Hasan

Pakistan's former field hockey player Islahuddin Siddiqui (C) speaks during a news conference in Karachi. -Photo by AFP

KARACHI: Over twenty former hockey players including the Olympians and internationals who had gathered at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday to register their protest over the shambolic state of the national game, appealed to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take prompt steps to salvage it after the Pakistan failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup for the first ever time in Malaysia recently.

“When Pakistan ended up 12th in the 2010 World Cup, we could see what direction the hockey team was heading and today we have gathered to protest the sorry state of our national game,” said Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh.

“Between all of us who have gathered here today, we have won so many medals for Pakistan and these medals stare us in the face today as if mourning the state of the game in the country,” said Shahnaz. “For the past five years we have continued to hear bad or disastrous news about the game almost every other month. And it kills us each time.”

Shahnaz, obviously incensed by incumbent PHF regime’s poor show, continued to add: “And today, we are here to appeal to the Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif to make the right decision for hockey. Like several other things in Pakistan, hockey too, is at a make or break point now. Qasim Zia and Bajwa are our juniors and we believe that in their five years in office, despite huge amount of resources at their disposal, they donot have anything good to show for Pakistan hockey.”

“Hockey departments are finished, the academies are not working, there are no tournaments. So how are we going to produce good players? The poor results speak for themselves. It is imperative that the current PHF regime steps down and let someone who truly cares about the game work for its betterment,” insisted Shahnaz.

When asked if the Olympians had worked out an alternate plan to boost hockey fortunes, Shahnaz said: “We have done a lot of homework on the restructuring of hockey. We will increase the pool of players while involving the 128 affiliated units of hockey.”

“We already are running our own small clubs and academies in our areas to contribute something for this sport from our own meager resources. And we have done better than the PHF definitely.”

Former captain Islahuddin Siddiqui, while lashing out at the national team’s performance in the past five years, said it was a shame Pakistan could not qualify for the World Cup in The Netherlands in 2014.

“The World Cup tournament was launched by Pakistan and we of all people will be sitting out of the great tournament next year, what shame,” said Islah. “Winning and losing is all part of the game but losing to weaker sides or not measuring up to the nation’s expectations is something else. All the honours and laurels that we earned for Pakistan during our playing days have been lost by the current national hockey team,” he regretted. “What’s required now is immediate change. They only gave us one Asian Games gold medal in 2011 and the rest was only disgrace and shame.”

Islah went on to add: “The prime minister is dealing with so many problems in the country such as terrorism, bad economy, electricity crisis, floods, etc. He should look into the hockey crisis too because the game is dying here and must be saved at all cost.”

“This is the game that got Pakistan positive international recognition. Mian Nawaz Sharif was the prime minister when Pakistan won its last Olympic medal, a bronze, in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It would be befitting for him to take steps to revive the game now, either constitutionally or by imposing an ad hoc on PHF. But please don’t let the people there play musical chairs anymore,” he said.

Another ex-Olympian goalkeeper Qamar Zia showed all the recent clippings of newspapers to the media which highlighted the various protests organised throughout the country against the PHF following Pakistan’s failure to win the Asia Cup in Malaysia.

“You can see here how women are offering bangles to the team for their poor faring in events, how people are taking out mock funerals of the national team and why Greenshirts have been put in a hall of shame,” he said. “But it is really the people at the top, those running the affairs of the PHF, who deserve the brickbats,” said Qamar.

Besides Islah, Shahnaz and Qamar, the meeting was also attended by ex-Olympians Wasim Feroze, Rashid-ul-Hassan, Ayaz Mahmood, Kamran Ashraf, Qamar Ibrahim, Irfan Sr and internationals Qamar Riaz, Masood-ur-Rehman (Pappa), Laeeq Lashari, Pervez Iqbal, Adnan Husain, Sameer Husain, Khalid Paracha and Arif Bhopali and Akhtar-ul-Islam. Stalwarts Samiullah and Shahbaz Sr backed the campaign through telephonic contact.


Whole PHF responsible for team's poor show: Shahnaz

ISLAMABAD - Former Olympian Shahnaz Sheikh Monday said Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) had fooled around everyone by making secretary Asif Bajwa's resign from his post after the national team's dismal performance in Asia Cup.

Losing in Asia Cup resulted in Pakistan failing to qualify for the 2014 World Cup for the first time in history. Asif Bajwa resigned on Wednesday during the 25th PHF executive board meeting and the board elected Rana Mujahid Ali as the next PHF secretary till the fresh election for the next term 2014-18.

Shahnaz said this was not what they wanted. “The whole PHF is responsible for the team’s poor performance at the Asia Cup not Asif Bajwa solely responsible it,” he said here on Thursday. Shahnaz said the entire PHF should resign from their posts so that the capable administrators could come and do something for the betterment of the game. “If the PHF doesn't resign, the government should put an ad-hoc on it which should conduct free and fair elections,” he added. “I already had felt that the team would not qualify for the World Cup 2014 after Pakistan ended up 12th in the 2010 World Cup. From then, I knew the course our hockey team was heading to,” Shahnaz added.

“For the last five years, I have been hearing bad news regarding the national game. It is a shame for us for not making it to the World Cup. If the same PHF will continue, all we Olympians will gather in Islamabad and protest until our demands are fulfilled,” he concluded.

The Nation

Jamali likely to be new PHF chief

Azhar Khan

LAHORE - Former Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) president Zafarullah Khan Jamali is likely to replace Qasim Zia as new PHF chief.

The sources told this scribe on Thursday that after the dismal show of Pakistan hockey team in the 9th Asia Cup 2013 which deprived the country of qualifying for the Hockey World Cup 2014 in Netherlands, former hockey legends had been demanding the current PHF top brass to quit and let others handle the affairs of the federation to revive hockey. “It is likely that PPP-appointed PHF president Qasim Zia will be sacked by the government which has immense pressure of its allies to appoint Jamali as new PHF president,” they added.

The sources said that the government would nominate the name of Jamali as PHF chief and forward his case to the PHF executive board for their approval which would give vote of confidence to make him new PHF president.

“After the appointment of Jamali, major changings are also expected in the PHF hierarchy and especially in the team management,” they said.  “Government is taking this decision purely for the betterment of hockey and to save it from further decline as the sad news of non-qualification of the national team not only hurt the hockey legends but also the entire nation. So such drastic changes are need of the hour due to failure of the current PHF management which put the future of hockey at stake,” the sources concluded.

The Nation

Rana Mujahid hopes to win secretary’s slot in PHF election

Muhammad Asif Khan

KARACHI: Recently appointed secretary of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF), Rana Mujahid Ali has expressed the hope that he would win the same post in the upcoming PHF elections as well. “I will contest for the same post [secretary] in the upcoming election, and will hopefully win it for the next term as well”, said Rana Mujahid while talking to this correspondent for News One TV.

Rana Mujahid was previously working as the Associate Secretary however, the executive board of the PHF appointed him in place of Asif Bajwa, who stepped down as Secretary, on Wednesday.

Rana Mujahid also brushed aside the continuous criticism from a section of former Olympians which demand the imposition of an ad-hoc setup on the PHF. “Ad-hoc isn’t a democratic way of dealing with things. The well-wishers of Hockey should do it in a constitutional and democratic manner”, said Rana Mujahid.

“Contest the elections and acquire a position of their liking”, said Rana Mujahid while referring to the former Olympians.

“I have always wanted to seek guidance from former greats and even today my doors are open for their valuable suggestions”, added Rana Mujhahid

Former greats Islahuddin, Samiullah, Shehnaz Sheikh, Qamar Zia, Waseem Feroz, Qamar Ibrahim and a lot of other former players have come down hard on the PHF management after the national team’s ouster from the World Cup, and have urged the imposition of an ad-hoc setup on the PHF.

The Pakistan National hockey has not been able to qualify for the next year World Cup, for the first time in history, after failing to win the recently concluded Asia Cup in Malaysia.

LHC moved to fix responsible for hockey debacle

LAHORE - A writ petition has been moved in the Lahore High Court to fix responsibility and identify responsible for Pakistan’s failure to qualify for Hockey World Cup 2014.

A local lawyer has moved the petition, saying it has happened for the first time that Pakistan could not make it to World Cup. He said Pakistan hockey team’s abysmal show in Asia Cup resulted in their disqualification to World Cup. The petitioner says ineligible players and team management brought bad name to the country. He prayed the court to fix the responsibility and punish them.

The Nation

Marir HC win All-Punjab Hockey tourney

ISLAMABAD - Marir Hockey Club won the First All-Punjab Hockey Tournament 2013 by thrashing Zakir Academy Wah 5-1 in the final.

Rawalpindi District Hockey Association organised the event in which 20 clubs of Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock and other parts participated.

Member Punjab Assembly Raja Hanif Advocate was the chief guest on the occasion while Olympian Shahnaz Shaikh was also present and distributed prizes among the players.

RDHA president Ikhlaq Usmani, secretary Zaheer-ul-Haq, treasurer Murtaza Bhatti, DO Sports Manzar Shah, Tehsil Sports Officer Shahid Khan, Shafqat Niazi along with other dignitaries were also present on the occasion while hockey sticks were also distributed among different clubs on behalf of PHF.

The Nation

Paragon to host T&T youth hockey tournament at WYC

Paragon (women) and Queen’s Park (men) will put their titles on the line when Paragon Hockey Club host its first Under-21 Hockey 5’s Indoor Tournament from today until Sunday at the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Hamilton-Holder Street, Port-of-Spain from 3 pm.

This year’s edition of the tournament will follow the new indoor rules which reduces the number of players on the field of play from six to five per team.

In addition to Paragon which will feature both an A and B squad, Ventures, Shandy Carib Magnolias and Malvern while Harvard Maritime Checkers and Notre Dame opted out due to most of their players being unavailable.

The Parkites will face off with Malvern, Paragon, and Fatima in the men’s tournament.

There will also be a Secondary Schools competition with Debe High, Queen’s Park, South East Port-of-Spain, St Mary’s College and Fatima College all set to do battle among the men while the girls line-up was in doubt up to press time as most of the schools in Port-of-Spain were hampered by their players being called up to the national team for the Fourth Pan American Cup which takes place in Argentina next week. The teams will compete for trophies, medals and a variety of individual prizes.

According to Danielle Thompson, the three-day event aims to give young players a chance to showcase their talent while testing the new five-a-side hockey format.

Thompson added, “It also seeks to reignite public interest, broaden exposure of hockey in T&T, while highlighting the skill and expertise of the multitude of junior national players.”

Tournament registration costs $300 and both clubs and schools will be allowed to register a maximum of ten players and enter up to two teams. The tournament continues tomorrow and Sunday from 9 am to 8 pm.

The Trinidad Guardian

New IOC President congratulated by Leandro Negre

FIH President applauds Thomas Bach at 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina

Newly elected International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach (left) is congratulated by Leandro Negre, President of the International Hockey Federation (FIH). Mr Negre was present for the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Photo: Carlos Miguel Zurraco)

International Hockey Federation (FIH) President Leandro Negre was amongst the first people to personally congratulate Germany’s Thomas Bach following his election as President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Tuesday (10 September).

Mr Negre – who was present for the 125th IOC Session in Buenos Aires, Argentina – offered a warm and heart-felt handshake on behalf of the entire hockey family in recognition of Mr Bach’s elevation to the highest position in sport.

Mr Bach – an Olympic Gold medal-winning fencer from the 1976 Montreal Games – replaces Belgium’s Jacques Rogge, who stepped down after 12 successful years in charge. The 59-year-old will serve a term of at least eight years.

The new IOC President is very much a supporter of the sport of Hockey, having visited many major events hosted in Germany by the Deutsche Hockey Bund (DHB).

The FIH congratulates Thomas Bach on his election and wishes him every success over the next eight years.

FIH site

Hockey star Häner named Sports Scholar of the Year

Big increase in scholarship funding for ace Germany international

Deutsche Bank’s Jürgen Fitschen (left) and Dr. Michael Ilgner (right) of German Sports Aid congratulate Sports Scholar of the Year Martin Häner (Photo: Deutsche Bank / Mario Andreya)

Germany international defender Martin Häner has been named as the Sports Scholar of the Year, an award for student athletes organised by Deutsche Bank and Germany Sport Aid. It was a fantastic result for the 25 year old Berlin-based medical student, who will now benefit greatly by his current scholarship being doubled to a fantastic 600 Euros per month. 

The Olympic Gold medallist from London 2012 and recent European champion emerged as the winner of this inaugural award thanks to the support of fans all around Germany who cast votes in an online poll. Over 7000 people voted, with Häner emerging top of a five-strong shortlist.

Incredibly, Häner was not  the only hockey player on the list, with fellow Germany defender and regular captain Maximilian Müller also being amongst those put forward for the award by a panel of experts.  The remainder of the shortlist was made up by Wheelchair Basketball player and Paralympic Gold medallist Mareike Adermann, Olympic Bronze medal winning Javelin thrower Linda Stahl and Andreas Kuffner, a member of the men’s eight that won rowing Gold for Germany at London 2012.

“The doubling of the scholarship is extremely important, that is a big part of my income every month”, said Häner in an interview with “However, at the moment I cannot even look that way because all of the candidates deserved this award, as all of them are just like me.”

Martin Häner was presented with his award at a special ceremony in Frankfurt by Deutsche Bank’s Jürgen Fitschen and Dr. Michael Ilgner of German Sports Aid.

FIH site

Ireland’s hockey internationals return home as Leinster League begins

Ireland coach wants more player back from playing abroad

Stephen Findlater

Conor Harte (left) returns to Ireland after a couple of season with SCHC in the Netherlands. Photograph: Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

Conor Harte and Peter Caruth’s return to play their hockey on Irish shores following stints from the Netherlands and Belgium respectively, looks set to mark a change in attitude from Ireland’s top international players.

Under former Ireland coach Paul Revington, players were encouraged to seek out paid opportunities in Europe’s top leagues to help raise their standard. It led to upwards of 15 Irish players scattering themselves in leagues across the continent. The upshot of these moves, however, made it increasingly difficult for the national side to train together and new coach Andrew Meredith has voiced his desire to have more players back in Dublin to reduce the costs of players’ travel for this purpose.

As such, he will be pleased that Harte has returned to Pembroke while former Annadale man Caruth has joined reigning national champions Monkstown. Those two sides will certainly be in the title hunt in Leinster along with UCD and Three Rock Rovers in a league that looks set to improve markedly in quality.

There are quite a number of top players on the move. Pembroke have brought Harte back after a couple of years plying his trade with SCHC in the Netherlands. The sweeper will line out against YMCA who appear to be vulnerable due to a couple of departures. Johnny Bruton has switched to Three Rock, Ian McHugh has gone back to Australia while Polish international Krystian Makowski has also departed.

Three Rock open up with a derby date against Corinthian who have four South African players back under the coaching of compatriot Brendon Carolan. The pick is Jethro Eustice but he will be called away during the campaign for African Cup of Nations duty.

Rathgar, meanwhile, make their Division One debut against Glenanne. Formed just four years ago, Graham O’Neill’s team have not gone down the route of many promoted sides and have recruited minimally from abroad with just Dutchman Lennaert Bakker added to their ranks.

Railway Union meet Fingal in the other tie while Monkstown and UCD’s start to the season is delayed by a week.
Men’s Leinster League Division One: Rathgar v Glenanne, 1pm, High School; Three Rock Rovers v Corinthian, 1pm, Grange Road; Railway Union v Fingal, 2.30pm; YMCA v Pembroke, 3pm, Milltown.

Irish Times

UNC Field Hockey team to take on rival Old Dominion

By Dylan Howlett

The specter of Old Dominion could keep Karen Shelton awake at night — but it doesn’t.

She could think about the three titles that got away — ODU having plucked a trio of championship hardware from Shelton’s North Carolina field hockey club in five NCAA finals meetings.

She could think about the 13 postseason meetings, the 106 regular-season tussles, the ever-present thorn in the side of Shelton’s decorated program.

ODU will meet UNC once again Friday night in the Tar Heels’ home opener. The Lady Monarchs will stand in the Tar Heels’ way as only a seasoned adversary can.

Shelton won’t be restless. Instead, she’ll be eager to measure her Tar Heels against a towering meter stick.

“What’s great about our rivalry is our programs have made each other better,” Shelton said after Tuesday’s practice. “We wouldn’t be where we are without them, and I could say the same for Old Dominion.”

The “back-and-forth battle,” as Shelton described it, began in her first career as UNC’s coach in 1981. Beth Anders, an accomplished field hockey player for the U.S. national team, would soon start patrolling ODU’s sidelines as coach.

Anders and Shelton would instill in their respective teams a similar hardworking, disciplined identity, one that would stock both schools with a bundle of NCAA trophies. Shelton has pocketed six titles in 32 years at UNC. Anders, who retired after the 2012 season, led ODU to nine. And with that retirement, Andrew Griffiths took over in her stead.

“Their team may have another look,” Shelton said. “But I would imagine there’s enough of Beth Anders in this team that they’re going to bring a very high level of intensity.”

No. 1 UNC will carry a spotless 4-0 record into the weekend, which also features a tilt Sunday against unranked Radford. Carolina Fever, the UNC student body’s cheering section, and the band will be in attendance Friday night. In 2012, Henry Stadium averaged the second-highest field hockey crowds in Division I.

But the Tar Heels must fix some early-season hiccups to best No. 15 ODU, even though the Lady Monarchs have dropped three of their first four games. As a result of four penalty cards throughout the game, UNC played shorthanded for about 14 minutes in its Sept. 8 win against No. 8 Iowa , a symptom of “some immaturity,” Shelton said.

“We really need to improve our communication,” said Casey Di Nardo, a sophomore forward. “We need to organize quickly because we’re struggling a lot with trying to find who goes where when something goes wrong on the field.”

Such carelessness shouldn’t be a problem Friday night. The opponent, and the rivalry predating that night’s game by 32 years, will demand the most from UNC.

“It was always your favorite game to prepare for because you had to bring it,” Shelton said of playing ODU, “and if you didn’t bring it, you were going to be embarrassed.”

Shelton and the Tar Heels likely won’t go sleepless. They know they have to answer ODU’s alarm clock.

Daily Tar Heel

Temple Field Hockey Savoring Long Awaited National Ranking

By Matt Leon

Molly Doyle (credit: Temple Athletics)

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This week, for the first time in a dozen years, when the NFHCA Division I National Field Hockey Coaches Poll was released, it included Temple.

The Owls jumped from unranked to #11 in this latest poll, thanks to a 3-1 start, which included a road win over then #6 Penn State.

“It’s really awesome,” Temple senior captain Molly Doyle tells KYW Newsradio. “I mean we’ve worked so hard, I’ve worked really hard throughout my four years and to finally have that ranking, when I feel that I’ve played on teams that have kind of deserved it but we’ve never really gotten it, and to finally get it feels really awesome.”

Temple is building off a solid campaign, they went 12-9 in 2012, and with a ton of talent returning, head coach Amanda Janney was confident her squad could break through here in 2013.

“We just have a core group of really competitive, strong athletes, and these guys know what Division I is about,” Janney tells KYW Newsradio. “They came here to train. They worked hard all spring, all summer, and they really committed themselves to be dedicated to Temple field hockey and we’re seeing it pay off with goals and wins. We just feel like we’re faster than our opponents right now. Our players are more skilled because of all the off-season training they’ve done and we’re proud that we’re able to play against top ten teams. We’re right at #11, we think we’re knocking on the door to be ranked tenth if we can get a couple more wins under our belt. We’re just thrilled with how our program is headed in the right direction.”

It is one thing to finally get into the rankings, but a lot of times the tougher task is staying there, and that is something the Owls are very aware of.

“I definitely think we are in a tougher position now,” Doyle says. “It kind of helps being the underdog, in my opinion, and trying to win games when you have nothing to lose. But now we do have something to lose, we are ranked 11th, people are going to be gunning for us, we have a bulls-eye on our back. So we just need to calm and a cool head about it and just maintain the way that we’ve been playing.”

Janney is hopeful this is just the first step of an exciting journey here in 2013.

Amanda Janney (credit: Temple Athletics)

“I think the word is out, people know that we have some amazing players on our team,” Janney says. “That we have one of the best forwards in the nation (sophomore Amber Youtz). She scored over twenty goals, she was ranked top ten all last year in scoring, so they know we have a top forward. People know our goalkeeper, (redshirt junior) Lizzy Millen, is one of the best in the nation and she is showing it right now. So we are hoping we kind of continue to get the respect and the high rankings every week.”

Youtz and Doyle are tied for the team lead in scoring this season, each has four goals and two assists. Millen has a 1.99 GAA and an .814 save percentage in net here in the early going.

Temple plays its first game as the #11 team in the nation on Friday when they visit Delaware.

CBS Philly

PRINCETON: Top scorer hurt in PDS field hockey win

Quigley eyes fast recovery for Panthers

By Justin Feil

Emma Quigley can’t get enough field hockey, which is why she’s so upset to be missing time with the Princeton Day School team.

The Panthers senior already had three goals when early in the second half of their 8-2 win over Stuart on Tuesday, she was hooked and fell awkwardly to the turf and dislocated her right thumb.

”I didn’t have time to catch myself,” Quigley said. “I had to go to an emergency care place, and they popped it back in place. It was really gross.”

To make matters worse, she might have been on her way to another goal.

”I was right at the top of the circle,” she said, “and there was only one girl left.”

Quigley is icing and resting her thumb with hopes of playing in the next month, though she didn’t have a definite return date on the night of the injury. Both she and the Panthers are hoping it’s a swift recovery. Quigley was their leading scorer a year ago.

”She is the ultimate competitor,” said PDS second-year head coach Tracey Arndt after her team improved to 1-1. “It’s really great. I know she’s super bummed to be out. Last year, she ended up with a concussion, and she missed our Mercer County game and that was a loss for us.

”You want her in there. You want her in overtime. You want her in pressure situations. You want her with the ball. You know she’s going to do something positive with it.”

Quigley already feels that she has had to sit out too many games in her career. She missed part of last year after suffering a concussion and missed some of her freshman year when she broke the same right thumb.

”I hate missing games, for missing them from last year,” Quigley said. “I missed our MCT semifinal game and we ended up losing. I wish I could have been there. Then I played in the prep final game.”

Quigley has Division I interest, and she has devoted herself to field hockey full-time. In middle school, she leaned toward lacrosse, but she played travel field hockey through middle school. By freshman year, she was on PDS’ varsity field hockey team and last year, she didn’t play lacrosse to focus on spring field hockey tournaments.

”It was a big decision, but it wasn’t that hard for me,” said Quigley, a Hopewell resident. “I love field hockey so much.

”I just love getting on the field and playing. I miss it when I’m injured or in the offseason.”

In her absence, the Panthers will need some players to step up their games. Bian Maloney had a breakout game against Stuart with her first career hat trick.

”She was in perfect position every time, things we work on,” Arndt said. “We talk about getting your stick down and you never know what will happen, and she did it.”

Sarah Brennan had a goal and two assists, and Mary Travers shared the same line with a goal and two assists. Katie Alden made six saves for her first career win in goal. PDS held a 7-1 lead at halftime over Stuart, which fell to 1-1 despite goals from Elena Bernewitz and Julia Maser off assists from Tori Hannah and Samantha Servis. Margaret La Nasa made 14 saves for the Tartans.

”We definitely did not expect that (much offense),” Quigley said. “We haven’t had as much experience on offense. We have some sophomores and juniors playing. We don’t have AJ/Andrea (Jenkins, now a freshman playing at Princeton University) up there working with me. We’ve definitely gotten better with all this scoring and finishing. It was a nice surprise.”

Quigley knew that without Jenkins back, she would be picking up some more scoring slack, and she has some teammates that are showing they are capable as well.

”Bian Maloney, she did well today,” Quigley said Tuesday. “She did a good job. And Sarah Brennan at mid, who scored some in our scrimmage, she has amazing ball control and vision. Emily Goldman is at forward and she’s fast. Mary Travers also plays in the mid and she and Sarah work well.”

The defense has started to pick up its play as well. They are learning how to work together. And they have helped at the offensive end as well, as starting center defender Morgan Foster scored the Panthers’ first goal of the season in a 5-1 loss to Germantown Academy last week. But PDS is a thin team this year, and they need all their parts healthy to be at their best.

”Having Emma back was great,” Arndt said. “We talked about trying to reload, not rebuild. We lost Andrea Jenkins, but we have talented girls. We have Tess Gecha and Rowan Schomburg. They are two sophomores, they’ve stepped up. We have really small numbers this year. Our motto, as a wise man at PDS told me, is you don’t have to be the best on the team, but you have to be the best for the team. That’s been our M.O.”

Arndt wants every player to be able to score if called upon to do it, and every player equally to be able to defend if necessary. The Panthers need solid play out of everyone, regardless of where they are on the field.

Quigley’s best comes with bringing scoring and leadership to the Panthers. Though she also plays some center midfield for her club team, Total Dutch, she has enjoyed playing center forward for the last three years for PDS, and she embraces her role as a scorer.

”Our coach sees me as a finisher,” she said. “I came into this season with high expectations. I wanted to live up to the same title as last year. I love scoring.”

The Panthers were thrilled to see her open her season so quickly with three goals against Stuart, but need her back to be the most dangerous. Quigley has something that you can’t coach.

”Without any other better word, she’s got ‘it,’” Arndt said. “She’s got the it in front of the cage. She salivates in front of the cage. She wants the ball. I think that’s so important. She wants the ball. There’s no overconfidence, she just wants it.

”Her hit has gotten better. She’s a threat closer to the cage, but she can go out farther now that her hit is better. She has so much speed with the ball, she’s as fast or faster as people without the ball.”

Quigley showed off her speed with one goal against Stuart when she outran their defense from midfield. She is hoping that her play inspires some of her less experienced teammates.

Said Quigley: “I really had no idea what to expect this year. We just graduated our whole defensive lineup and goalie, and our second leading scorer went to Princeton. We’ve been surprised with the level of play we’re at at this point.”

PDS looked good as it bounced back from its season-opening loss. The Panthers had a different determination from their Germantown loss against their cross-Great Rd. rivals from Stuart.

”It’s the communication,” Quigley said. “The midfield was talking more and our passes were better. Our defense stepped up. We had less corners against us than the Germantown Academy game. Our defenders were where they should be.”

There were even encouraging signs in the loss to Germantown, though the final score didn’t look good.

”It was 2-1 at the half,” Arndt said. “They showed moments of fight and good play. Although losses are tough, to play good teams and lose can be motivation as well. Sometimes it’s a tough loss, but it helps.”

Without Emma Quigley for a few games, the Panthers will have to work even better together. Quigley is confident that it will all pay off by the time she returns, well before the Panthers get into their biggest games of the year.

Said Quigley: “Once we get everyone knowing exactly what they should be doing and getting the basic skills down and less basic skills down, we should be pretty good.”

The Princeton Packet

Massachusetts high school coach breaks state record

"You don't rebuild; you reload."

Every year there is an opportunity to write a new script on an old tablet. Each year brings a new team, challenges and hardships. The difference between a good coach and a great one may seem subtle, but the countless hours of preparation by the coaching staff that are unseen to the public eye, can set a program a part.

In Watertown, Mass., the Red Raiders high school field hockey team takes pride in deep-rooted tradition. Head coach Eileen Donahue, who is in her 28th year of coaching Watertown, has laid a foundation. Under Donahue the program has achieved 13 state championships and 20 Division Two North sectional championships.

Tuesday, September 11 marked an important tally in the wins column of Raiders' book when the program earned its 91st win over a 5 year campaign. Their record stands at 91-0-3, giving them four state championships in a row and the new Massachusetts State record for the most consecutively unbeaten games played. Tuesday's win not only broke the all-time record for games without a loss but it also made a mark on her lifetime of coaching. Donahue’s overall record with the Red Raiders is 539-30-45.

"Obviously I am very proud of all of the players that I have had in the past five years,” said Donahue. “Every single one of them, as well as all of the coaches over that time, contributed to this record."

Donahue has never looked back on the successes and solely focuses on what is next. She stresses to her team that each year brings a new squad, new mission and new goals. No one team is alike.

Here are five traits from Donahue that define her program:

Hard work - "You cannot strive for success without hard work. Do your job and expect more of yourself."

Leadership - "I strive for each person to be an extension of my leadership. I want them to be empowered to make decisions and lead each other. Many times, this is a long process."

Toughness - “Always demand more of yourself and your teammates. It’s not about yelling; it’s about caring. I try to get a little more out of each athlete; there’s always a little bit more to give. I’ll let the player know when they're wrong, but I’ll also be the first to tell you when you’re doing something right."

Basics - "We repeat skills over and over. Players have to be disciplined and focused. There's an expectation to do the skills the right way."

Team - “It is simple, it is all about the team. Always fight for your team.”

USFHA media release