All the news for Saturday 27 December 2014
Imran leads Pakistan Army to win
KARACHI: Captain Muhammd Imran scored a hat-trick as he guided Pakistan Army to an 8-0 victory over Balochistan on the opening day of the 61st PSO National Hockey Championship at the Sialkot Hockey Stadium yesterday.
In another match, Punjab won 3-0 against PAF as Abdul Mateen scored the first goal through penalty corner in 13th minutes of the game, while in the second half Ayub Ali scored a field goal and in the third half Muhammad Faizan scored a penalty corner in the 38th minute.
In the third and final fixture of the day, NBP defeated PQA 1-0 as Muhammad Dilber scored an outstanding field goal in the 32nd minute.
In today’s matches, HEC will face Islamabad in the first match, Railways will play against Punjab in the second, while the third encounter will be a face-off between Wapda and Navy.
The Express Tribune
Abusive Indians stoned us, says hockey coach
RAWALPINDI - Pakistan hockey team head coach Shahnaz Sheikh termed Indian crowd, media and Indian Hockey Federation hostile and very irresponsible.
Olympian Shahnaz, who is also the manager of the green shirts, expressed these views during an exclusive interview with The Nation on Friday. He said it was quite disgusting to watch such a hostile reception and abusive treatment rendered to Pakistan team and officials. “The matter of the fact is we didn't lose to Germany in the final of the Champions Trophy. Instead we were robbed from the title. We were stoned by the Indian crowd and abusive language and words were hurled at us. Paper weights were thrown at the players. Middle fingers were shown to the players. How could one expect from the players to perform under such environment”.
Shahnaz said only in 6-months training with the same players he managed to take best out of them. “We unfortunately won silver in the Asian Games where we remained undefeated in the round matches, but lost the final on plenty shootout. We were at 11th in international rankings, but we managed to produce satisfactory results.”
He challenged that if same German team play against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final again at any given neutral venue, his team is more than capable of beating them with higher margin. “It was very dirty and negative spectators’ role, which was dully supported by Hockey India officials. Crowd was giving such gestures, it was hard to bear. Even sitting on the sideline, I was feeling the pain and agony. So it was quite obvious, players were not focused and composed on the given task. Despite such negativity, my boys played exceptionally well.”
When this scribe asked Shahnaz the reason he left the press conference in India after the semifinal triumph, Shahnaz said: “Despite waiting for several minutes, media was not asking any questions and they were giving very bad gestures, abusing and pointing middle fingers towards us. I time and again excused on behalf of team and management but they paid no heed. I was left with no other option but to left the press conference. Even then the journalists don't spare us. They kept on using very foul, abusive language and pointing very harsh gestures. I lodged official complaint with Champions Trophy tournament director Doyer of Netherlands, who promised to take stern action and provide justice to us. He assured no action would be taken against players. I received an email at 11:00 on the final day in which I was assured no action against players and they are free to play the final. But at 1:00pm I received another email in which I was told to bring three players Taueeq, Amjed and Shafqat Rasool for disciplinary hearing at 3:00pm. When I entered inquiry room, I saw Doyer was under tremendous pressure of social media and Indian Hockey Federation officials. At 3:30pm I received another email in which my two players Tauseeq and Amjed were banned from playing the final and Shafqat was reprimanded. Now one should tell me how I could focus on the final when two of my main players were banned without any reason.”
Shahnaz demanded that FIH should take up this issue with Indian Hockey Federation and they should not let off the hook. “This insulting behaviour is not acceptable for any professional side. If action is not taken against Indians, it would send a very bad and negative message to others and such incidents would be repeated again and again.”
He said the PHF congress in their meeting on 23rd of this month have adopted a resolution in which Prime Minister was requested to invite players and officials for a meeting and order immediate release of funds, as without financial support, it would be impossible to even think about playing and participation in international events is a far cry.
It is pertinent to mention here that highly placed sources inside PHF have confirmed to this correspondent that PM had taken notice of the situation and it is very likely the long awaited meeting between the PM and the PHF officials and players would finally take place in the first week of January 2015.
Four-match prep for Malaysia before qualifiers begin
By S. Ramaguru
The match between Malaysia and South Korea during the Incheon Asian Games in September. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: The national hockey team will only have about four matches to prepare for the FIH World Hockey League Round Two tournament.
Three of them will be played in Kuala Lumpur while the other is been scheduled in Singapore just before the tournament starts on Jan 17.
National coach Tai Beng Hai said that the three matches in Kuala Lumpur will be his selection ground to pick the final 18 players.
“We have a total of 25 players in the training squad. We have already arranged two matches against Poland who will be training in Kuala Lumpur, said Beng Hai on Friday.
Bangladesh are also coming here but the friendly against them is not confirmed yet.
“These matches will give the players the opportunity to convince us of their potential to make the final squad,” he added.
Eight teams will feature in Singapore. Besides the hosts and Malaysia, the other teams are Japan, Poland, Bangladesh, Oman, Ukraine and Fiji.
The World Hockey League is a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The team have already started training two weeks ago and all 25 players have answered the call up.
But the team, even at this early stage, have been hit by injuries.
Mohamed Meor Azuan has a cut in on his hands while midfielder Mohamed Shahrun Nabil has a leg injury which he suffered during the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL).
“Luckily both injuries are not serious. They should be fine when we resume training on Monday,” he said.
Malaysia go into the Round Two event as the top seed based on their 13th position in the world ranking.
They are followed by Japan at 14th and Poland (16th). Oman are ranked 22nd, Ukraine (24th), Bangladesh (30th), Singapore (36th) and Fiji (53rd).
Beng Hai added that he was not perturbed about the lack of matches as the players are just coming off the MHL.
“There are no new players in the current squad. Most of them have either played in the Commonwealth Games or the Asian Games earlier this year.”
Beng Hai has named Stephen van Huizen as his assistant for the Singapore meet.
Stephen was the chief coach in 2010 with Beng Hai his assistant when Malaysia won their first-ever silver medal in the Guangzhou Asian Games.
Former national custodian M. Nadarajah will handle the three goalkeepers. The three are S. Kumar, Roslan Jamaluddin and Mohamed Hafizzudin Othman.
The Star of Malaysia
Expecting ladies hockey captain out of team to Delhi
By Aftar Singh
National women's hockey captain Nadia Abdul Rahman (front) will not play in the World League Round Two in New Delhi in March due to her pregnancy.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will not have the services of penalty corner specialist Nadia Abdul Rahman for the women’s World League Round Two in New Delhi from March 7-15.
The 29-year-old Nadia, who is also the captain of the team since 2010, is expecting her first child.
The Pahang-born midfielder, who has donned national colours since 2002, said she is three months’ pregnant and is due in July.
“We won the World League Round One in Singapore in July and I am optimistic that we will do well in New Delhi,” said Nadia who has 150 international caps.
“In hope my team-mates will rise to the occasion and qualify for the semi-finals.
“We have never qualified beyond the second round but nothing is impossible,” added Nadia.
Besides Malaysia and hosts India, the other teams in the fray are Kazakhstan, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Fiji.
Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) senior vice-president S. Shamala said they have called up a replacement for Nadia.
“Siti Rahmah has been recalled to fill her place. There are 25 players in the training squad and they will be going to China next month for a six-match playing tour,” said Shamala.
“We have to finish in the top two in India if we hope to qualify for the semi-finals.”
The team is coached by former national player Mohd Nasihin Nubli.
The Star of Malaysia
Poland to set up camp in Malaysia ahead of hockey qualifiers
By S. Ramaguru
KUALA LUMPUR: Poland have decided to set up camp in Malaysia for two weeks as part of their preparations for the FIH World Hockey League Round Two which will be held at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium in Singapore from Jan 17-25.
The Polish team will arrive on Sunday and will play six friendly matches in Kuala Lumpur before heading for Singapore on Jan 12.
Two of the matches will be against the national team on Jan 4 and Jan 6.
The other matches are against the Project 2016 team and the Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) side.
Poland are among eight teams who will be taking part in the World League Round Two.
Malaysia head Group A with minnows Oman, Ukraine and Fiji.
Japan, the world No. 16, are in Group B with Poland, Bangladesh and Singapore.
The top three teams will qualify for the World League semi-finals which will be held in Argentina (June) and Belgium (July).
The World League is a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh will also be training in Kuala Lumpur. They are expected to arrive on Jan 7.
The team have hired former Malaysian national assistant coach K. Gobinathan for the Singapore tournament.
The Star of Malaysia
A year of development for Indian hockey
NEW DELHI: Indian men's hockey took giant strides towards reclaiming its long-lost numero uno position with an Asian Games gold, after a 16-year drought, and several memorable victories, but the momentum was marred by an untimely and poorly handled resignation of chief coach Terry Walsh.
There was a gloomy start to the year due to the men's junior team's poor World Cup performance, in December 2013, finishing sixth in the eight-nation Hockey World League (HWL) Final held here.
The players visibly looked out of sorts in the first competition under coach Walsh and it was apparent they would take time to settle down under the Australian. The only positive point in the tournament was a 5-4 victory over a depleted German team.
Most of the players plied their trade in the Hockey India League (HIL), which was eventually won by Sardar Singh-led Delhi Waveriders. Though Punjab Warriors impressed most with an attractive attacking play, the Delhi team pipped them via penalty shoot-out in the summit clash. For Delhi, drag-flicker Rupinderpal Singh and young striker Akashdeep Singh played crucial roles.
The Indian team later went to the Netherlands for a warm-up tour ahead of the World Cup. They floundered in most of the matches against a developmental Dutch side, which was enough to demoralise the team.
Walsh worked intensely on the fitness of the players and also sharpened their basic skills going into the World Cup, where they showed enough signs of improvement.
However, results continued to elude the team. They suffered losses due to last-gasp goals in the matches against Belgium and England. A timid draw against Spain and a 0-4 drubbing against the eventual champions Australia disappointed everyone. However, they beat South Korea 3-0 to finish ninth.
With their capability in question, the team went to the Commonwealth Games with Walsh proclaiming "improvement" as his only aim. Their most impressive show came against New Zealand in the semifinal. Despite Sardar sitting out of the match, the young team came from two goals behind to stun the Black Sticks to enter the final. Australia put up another creditable show to beat India in the two teams' second consecutive CWG summit clash.
Neil Hawgood-coached women's team finished fifth in the tournament. The Ritu Rani-led team improved under the Australian's guidance but couldn't bridge the gap between the top teams, which resulted in a mutual separation with Hawgood at the year-end.
Further disappointments were in store for Indian hockey as no player was selected for the Arjuna Award, prompting a prolonged war of words between Hockey India (HI) president Narinder Batra and the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
However, the Indian men's team continued its upward journey and Walsh's firm focus on fitness and ball control started to bring the desired results.
They got a long-awaited result at the Asian Games in Incheon, withstanding the pressure exerted by hosts South Korea in the semifinal before quelling Pakistan's challenge in the final to bag the first Asiad gold since 1998.
The success also made them the first team to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. The Indian women's team also featured on the podium, finishing third.
Building on the Incheon success, the team prevailed 3-1 over a weakened Australia in a rare series triumph Down Under. After being thrashed severely in the first match, the team turned the tables, which also gave a glimpse of their mental resoluteness. Goalkeeper PR Sreejesh's improvement and consistency helped India overcome many challenges, making him the most stand-out player of the season.
Meanwhile, the Indian Under-21 team also successfully defended the Sultan of Johor Cup title which also made the year more special and memorable for hockey fans.
But the mood was soured by the resignation of Walsh, who demanded an improved contract that would give him better functional autonomy in team's decision-making, most notably in selecting the players.
Despite valiant efforts by Sports Minister Sarabananda Sonowal and the SAI, Walsh didn't agree to continue. He was also not happy with Batra rekindling his alleged financial irregularities during his tenure with US Hockey. Thus departed India's fourth foreign coach.
The Indian team did try to get over from the controversy but their Champions Trophy performance was inconsistent. They lost to Germany and Argentina but won against the Dutch after 18 years. In the quarterfinals, the ninth-ranked team defeated World No. 4 Belgium. But they conceded a late goal against traditional rivals Pakistan in the semifinal to finish fourth in the tournament.
Now, both the men's and women's teams would be seeking to maintain the upward trend under the yet-to-be-named new coach.
The Times of India
Rupinder keen to perform well in Hockey India League
Rupinder Singh with other Indian players during a practice session. File photo
Bracing up for the third Hero Hockey India League, penalty corner specialist Rupinder Pal Singh said he would be aim to be a standout performer for his team -- defending champions Delhi Waveriders.
Playing for Delhi Waveriders consecutively for the third time, Rupinder is eagerly waiting to display his proficiency alongside an experienced bunch of defenders like India’s Surender Kumar and Diwakar Ram, New Zealand’s Steven Edwards, Andrew Hayward and Australia’s Tristan White.
The 23-year-old drag-flicker has been a significant contributor to the Delhi Waveriders in both the seasons and played a major role in steering his team to win the second season of the tournament.
Rupinder is keen to share the field with Edwards and White who have successfully boosted the Waveriders defence.
Speaking on the upcoming tournament, an excited Rupinder said, “Playing for a team which has been the champion in the last season, I am much more confident and geared up to play our first match against Uttar Pradesh Warriors.
“With an advantage of a good defence line up, I am looking forward to a successful tournament for my team and aiming to retain the title.
“Under the very efficient leadership of Sardar Singh, supported by the brilliant Danish Mujtaba along with much experienced Gurbaj Singh, young Akashdeep Singh and Yuvraj Walmiki to name a few, I am anticipating a good game of hockey from my team. I am even waiting to play alongside Andrew Hayward who will be new to the team this year and going by his record it will be an experience for me to play with him,” he added.
The inaugural day of the League will have Kalinga Lancers taking on Ranchi Rays on January 22 in Bhubaneswar.
Underlying Sunil's remarkable progress is a relentless desire to improve
S.V. Sunil summarily dismisses the thought but the idea that he could have made a decent career for himself in athletics is not without basis. The last time he underwent a 40m speed test, at one of the national camps, he recorded a split of 3.94s. By any standard, across sports, that is staggeringly fast. That also makes him, by some distance, the quickest player on the Indian hockey team. If it wasn't obvious already.
"I took part in a couple of track events in school, but it was so long ago that I don’t remember what happened," he says. "In any case, I started playing hockey very early."
Sunil's speed as a forward has become an integral feature of the Indian team. His rapier thrusts upfield dictate the pace of India's attacking moves, and open up spaces that may not have otherwise existed.
"I have always been fast, but over the last couple of years of training I have improved beyond my own expectations," he says.
"Sometimes, I run too fast and I have to slow down to control the ball better. In our sport, varying your speed is more important than merely running fast."
The 25-year-old has steadily fashioned himself into a goal-scorer but he admits that issues remain with his finishing. At the Asian Games, he missed a simple chance in the final over Pakistan, a game India eventually won on penalties. In the semifinals of the Champions Trophy earlier this month, against the same opponent, Sunil and his colleagues were guilty of considerable profligacy in front of goal.
India lost a close contest, leaving him distraught. "We should've won that game by six or seven goals. I also missed a chance against Australia (in the third-place play-off). I feel sad about it because I had worked on that part of my game after the Asian Games," he says.
"The coaches had worked with all the forwards on improving in the striking circle — timing our runs, judging whether the ball would be played to the near or the far post, and beating the 'keeper. We have to continue training hard."
India's fourth-place finish at the Champions Trophy had also to do with conceding goals in spirit-sapping fashion — either in the dying moments of a match or immediately after scoring at the other end.
There were at least five such instances — in the games against Germany, Argentina, the Netherlands and Pakistan. It is an old and rather annoying habit.
"We don't know what happened this time," Sunil sighs. "There was a period when we'd stopped conceding like that. We had done a lot of video analysis and worked on this area. But we don't know how this crept into our game again. I suppose we did make silly mistakes."
The exit of the Australian coach Terry Walsh probably didn't help either. India had improved visibly under Walsh, winning a silver medal sat the Commonwealth Games and a gold at the Asiad, but his stint ended just ahead of the Champions Trophy, amidst a maelstrom of controversy.
In Bhubaneshwar, the Hockey India High Performance Director, Roelant Oltmans, stood in for him. Sunil denies, however, that this had any bearing on performance.
"Oltmans was doing the same thing that the coach did. There was continuity — in our style of play, our system. So we didn't find the transition difficult. Walsh had told us in a meeting about his departure — he had asked us to not worry about his situation and focus on the hockey."
Underlying Sunil's remarkable progress, from being a talented youngster to a mainstay of the Indian team, is a relentless desire to improve. Born in Somwarpet in Coorg to a family of goldsmiths, he pitched up at the town's renowned Blue Star Hockey Club as a child of five.
"I'm probably the only one in my community playing hockey or any kind of sport," he laughs. "I owe it all to the culture of the place, all the members of the club and the retired players from Somwarpet. Our seniors and coaches were devoted to hockey.
"If we skipped practice one day, they made us suffer for it the next. We were afraid to miss a single session. They put that fear into us. I wouldn't have come this far today without that fear."s
Former EHL sides win Irish cup titles
Former Irish EHL representatives Glenanne and Banbridge, along with Cork C of I, won cup titles in their respective regions in the annual December 26 finals around the island.
Glenanne retained the Neville Cup in controlled fashion as they saw off Corinthian 3-0 in the Leinster region.
They were scarcely threatened from the moment star man Stephen Brownlow converted a fifth minute penalty stroke while Stu Ronan’s corner rebound gave them a tidy 2-0 half-time lead. Mick McGuinness eventually bundled home goal number three in the closing stages.
In Ulster, Banbridge beat another former EHL side, Cookstown, to land the Kirk Cup for the 20th time. Irish international Stephen Dowds scored twice while Fraser Mills was also on the scoresheet before Stuart Smyth got a consolation goal in a 3-1 result.
In the south of the country in Munster, Cork C of I beat Bandon 4-1 to claim the Peard Cup. Bandon went 1-0 ahead but former Irish internationals John Jermyn and David Hobbs turned things around.
Euro Hockey League media release
Blacks Sticks the goal for Barnett
Manawatu goalie Georgia Barnett in action for the Black Sticks against the United States at Fitzherbert Park. WARWICK SMITH/Fairfax NZ
It was a huge step for Manawatu goalkeeper Georgia Barnett to find herself playing the world champion, the Netherlands.
That happened at the Champions Trophy in Mendoza, Argentina, recently.
After doing her time with the development squad and playing against the touring United States side, Barnett was added after Canterbury's Amelia Gibson broke her collarbone. Suddenly Barnett found herself at the age of 20 deputising for the 33-year-old Sally Rutherford.
"I'm still young and taking it as it comes," Barnett said.
Until Argentina she had played only a sprinkling of tests for New Zealand. Originally a cricket wicketkeeper and soccer player, now she has eight caps to her name.
When the Black Sticks played the Dutch in Argentina, they drew 1-all and were happy with that.
"We want to improve because we want to be able to beat them," Barnett said. "It's always exciting to play against a team like that."
She said it was probably the biggest way to test herself and was pleased with her performance. She did let in one goal off a drag flick from a penalty corner.
"That is such a crucial part of the game now for a goalkeeper," Barnett said.
She found Argentina a surreal place and crazy about hockey.
The Black Sticks also beat Japan 2-1, China 2-0 and England 3-2, drew 1-all with Australia only to lose 3-0 on strokes and lost 2-1 to the Netherlands in the bronze-medal match.
The penalty shootouts are becoming painful for New Zealand and it fell to Barnett to get in to goal to face them. She had impressed at saving penalties at training and in past games.
"They are becoming more frequent and we practise them quite a lot. It's always hard coming on when you haven't been involved in the game."
Often to prepare for the shootouts, she would be watching footage during the final quarter of matches and not watching the game.
"My job is to stop as many as I can."
She stopped one against world No 2 Australia, but the Black Sticks still lost. "Again we've come home without a medal."
Fellow Manawatu woman Michaela Curtis played in all of the games and got a lot of game time.
Early next year there are games against Canada in Whangarei, Italy are no longer coming, but there is the 8 Nations in Hawke's Bay.
* In women's hockey, the Black Sticks have beaten the Dutch twice, winning 3-2 in 1953 and in a penalty shootout in 1975. They have drawn five times.
Butali Sugar seek Seth Oburu’s services
By BRIAN YONGA
Strathmore’s Seth Oburu (left) celebrates his goal against Nairobi Simba Union in a past league match. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |
Men’s Premier League hockey champions Butali Sugar Warriors are seeking the signature of Strathmore forward Seth Oburu to bolster their squad for the 2015 Africa Club Championship.
This follows the start of the end-of-season transfer. Warriors are also looking to sign another midfielder ahead of the new season which starts in March.
A circular released on Wednesday by the Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) Secretary General, Davinder Bharji gave clubs and provincial associations the greenlight to recruit new players and release those surplus to requirement to bolster their squads ahead of the new season.
Bharji said the transfer window will run till January 31 and warned clubs to follow the right procedure of recruiting players and to stick to the stipulated time frame. He further said that transfers will be handed by respective provincial associations.
“The registration and Transfer period is now open for the year 2015 and all clubs are requested to embark on the exercise through their respective Provincial Associations. The transfer period will close at the end of January 2015 so please ensure that your papers are in well before then,” Bharji said.
REVIEW TRANSFER LAWS
Bharji said the union will review the transfer laws to make them more transparent and to remove any loop holes. He said the revised regulations would come into force in the next transfer window.
“We are reviewing rules governing transfers so that we can make it easier for clubs to sign players and also ensure clubs get the compensation they deserve in such transactions,” he added.
Warriors are expected to be busy in the transfer market as they look to bolster their squad especially for the Africa Club Championship.
Head coach Cliffe Okello believes other teams will be busy in the transfer market as they look to wrestle the title from his charges.
“We want to sign two utility players ahead of the next season which will be very long, although our squad has attacking players we want to have depth,” Okello said.
Runners-up Kenya Police who signed midfielder Brian Musasia at the end of last season could also be in the market for strikers. Police were let down by poor finishing during the final against Butali Sugar and will certainly be out to reclaim the title.
Women’s champions Telkom Orange will most probably pick players from their feeder club Telkom Rovers which gives the first team players.
Three of a Kind
Mowery sisters make their own Gettysburg legacies
The Mowery family legacy at Gettysburg College dates back nearly a century. A trio of sisters currently continues that tradition, each forging new and unique experiences in their own right.
There are quite a few long-tenured legacy stories at Gettysburg, but not many go as far back as the Mowery’s or involve as many people. It all started when Harold Shearer arrived on campus in the 1920s and more than 90 years and a dozen relatives later, Gettysburg has its fourth generation of Mowerys walking its halls in sisters Ashley, Lexie ’15, and Haley ’18.
The unique bond goes beyond the family name. All three sisters are members of the Bullets field hockey program with Ashley serving as an assistant coach, Lexie as a senior co-captain, and Haley as a freshman goalkeeper.
“It’s a really, really special experience to have both of them at a place I ultimately loved all my life,” said Lexie. “To share that experience with them is really great.”
Outside of field hockey, all three young women have very different interests and goals. Each paved different roads to get to Gettysburg and each has carried their interests down different paths while on campus.
The first sister to choose to wear the orange and blue was Lexie. The family tradition sunk home from a very early age for the middle sister and the breadth of possibilities available made it all the more important to attend Gettysburg.
“Ever since I was little, Gettysburg was the only college I ever knew,” said Lexie. “My mom would sing her sorority songs to me as lullabies.
“As the time came closer, I realized that Gettysburg was probably the best fit. I wanted to play a sport, participate in Greek life, get a good education, and be fairly close to home because of my horses. I told my mom when I was applying that if I didn’t get into Gettysburg, I’m not going anywhere else.”
Lexie achieved her dream of getting into Gettysburg and she’s enjoyed every minute. She was a four-year starter on the field hockey team, twice serving as team captain and earning All-Centennial Conference accolades three times. Away from the field, she is an active member of Delta Gamma and she’s well on her way to getting her degree in sociology.
Additionally, being close to home and flexible class schedules have enabled Lexie to pursue one of her favorite past times: riding horses. Lexie is not your average horse enthusiast and she competes in the sport of equestrian at the highest level away from the college campus. Every spring, she heads to Florida to train in the Winter Equestrian Festival with some of the top riders in the world.
“Gettysburg has a lot to offer if you want to take advantage of it,” said Lexie. “I think I took advantage of all those things because I wanted to be in a sport and I wanted to be in a sorority. I wanted to be at Gettysburg to have those things.”
Lexie was the first Mowery sister to commit to Gettysburg, but she wasn’t alone when she arrived on campus. Older sister Ashley, a field hockey standout at nearby Messiah College, was hired as assistant field hockey and assistant softball coach and started her tenure at the same time as her sister in the fall of 2011.
“Lexie and I established that on the field I was coach and at home I’m sister. I wanted her to enjoy her college life experience and we decided we weren’t really going to talk hockey at home.”
Like Lexie, Ashley has made the most of her Gettysburg experience as a professional. She coaches field hockey in the fall and softball in the spring and even served as interim head coach for the latter sport in 2013. Ashley also works with the strength and conditioning program for the student-athletes.
This past fall, the Mowery triumvirate was completed with the arrival of Haley. Unlike Lexie, Gettysburg was not among Haley’s top choices for schools early on. But over time, she saw the relationships and opportunities Lexie had at Gettysburg and decided that it was a good option. After a visit with the theatre arts department and an overnight stay, Haley was convinced Gettysburg was the place for her.
“I think one of the main reasons why I picked Gettysburg was because of their theater program,” said Haley. “They are just so relaxed and open to you creating your own path through school.”
Field hockey was also a deciding factor in the process and Haley quickly assumed a leading role with her sisters. Lexie coached her younger sister in how to be prepared for the on-field family relationship early on.
“I prepared Haley all summer and preseason so she’d understand she has to work really hard and prove herself,” said Lexie. “I wanted her to understand what it’s going to be like and I think that really, really helped. Haley worked as hard as she could to do her job and Ashley helped us along the way so I think it’s been great.”
“I think we do a really good job of not being a family on the field,” said Haley. “Ashley is my coach. Lexie is my captain. But after a game or after practice, we go out to dinner and don’t talk about hockey at all. We try to draw that line and I think that helps the relationship.”
Haley started 15 contests in her debut campaign. She posted one of her best outings late in the year, making 16 saves in a 3-2 loss to No. 5 Franklin & Marshall College.
“I think they have done a great job of supporting each other as team members,” said head field hockey Barb Jordan. “For Haley, I think it has helped her having two sisters in leadership roles. She sees their dedication and their ability to lead by example and I think that motivates her as a player and as a sister.”
The youngest Mowery is just starting her college career, but there’s little doubt she’ll be into as much as she can. Haley has been involved in theater since she was a little girl and she continues to perform and teach at Allenberry Playhouse in Boiling Spring, Pa.
Haley looks forward to the approaching semester and the opportunity to get more involved in the performing arts, including with Owl and Nightingale and the Student Musical Theater. Haley received a special introduction to the former organization, attending the 100th anniversary celebration with her grandmother, Phyllis Shearer Mowery ’53, over Homecoming.
All three sisters have had or are having unique experiences at Gettysburg, but ultimately being at the same school at the same time might be the most unique opportunity of all.
“Who gets to say their freshman year they not only get to start,” said Haley, “but they get to play with their sister who is a senior captain and play for the other sister who is a coach? It is overall an amazing experience and an awesome story I’ll get to tell people.”
*Article courtesy of Corey Jewart, Associate Director of Gettysburg College Athletic Communications
USFHA media release
Twice as good
At 14, Bandra girl Jemimah Rodrigues has broken into Mumbai's senior cricket and Under-19 hockey teams
Most school-going kids give it all to make a name in one sport. At 14, Jemimah Rodrigues is a pro at two. The Bandra girl captains the cricket and hockey teams of St Joseph's Convent High School. Here's more: the Std IX student is part of the Mumbai women's cricket team as well as the Mumbai Under-17 hockey team.
Rodrigues has every reason to feel proud of her achievements. It may not be at the back of her head, but she does let out a chuckle when one reminds about her year of birth. "It comes once every thousand years. I don't think about it much, but now that you've mentioned it, I do feel nice about it," says the right-handed batswoman and forward, who will turn 15 on September 5.
"She was a premature baby. I didn't expect to deliver her on the day that is now her birthday. In the operation room, I knew that this kid inside me would be born for greater things. That day felt right. Not many kids can do what she has been doing at 15. Maybe it had to be the year 2000 for Jemimah," says a proud Lavita Rodrigues.
Besides cricket and hockey, Rodrigues is just like any teenager, "She loves going to school. She is good in studies. And like any other sports lover, she catches the highlights of the Australia-India Test series. People like to remind her of her age, but what they don't know is that she doesn't behave like every other 15-year-old. "She is very mature. She keeps her cool and knows to handle pressure. But not once will you see her behaving like she's a part of Mumbai's senior side. She is a people's person," says father Ivan Rodrigues.
As far as the previous millennium is concerned, Rodrigues values what India achieved on "25 June, 1983". "To me, Kapil Dev leading India to the Word Cup (is a special achievement). That's all I know. As far as today's generation is concerned, I think there are more girls who have started playing sports. Parents have become more supportive," says Rodrigues.
"She wouldn't know much about our time. She doesn't even watch many movies," says Ivan. No prizes for guessing that her favourite movie is Chak De! India.
Rodrigues was a quick starter and an even quicker learner. By the time she was four, she had made the change from plastic to 'season' balls. For Ivan, who is also coach of the cricket coach at St Joesph's, it's all about hard work. "She was never bothered about the fact that her competitors were three-four years older than her. It only brought out the best in her. It was never easy for Jemimah. Playing with the big boys in our residential society helped her improve as a cricketer. Over time, these boys realised she was no 'kaccha nimbu' (newbie)," says Ivan.
"Everyone recognises me on merit and talent rather than age. A few days into the Mumbai Cricket Association camp for the senior team, I realised that you get respect no matter how old you are. I didn't think I was too young to be there. I knew I was good enough to play for Mumbai. I want to play for India now. At cricket, at hockey," says Jemimah, who idolises Virat Kohli.
The Mumbai call-up was her biggest achievement of the year. She vividly remembers their clash against Punjab at the Wankhede. "I had goosebumps when I entered the stadium. For the first time, I was there as a player.
Usually, I go there to watch the Mumbai Indians. But that day was different. I scored 55 runs and took one wicket. The match went right down to the wire with Punjab needing five off the last over. Unfortunately, we ended up on the losing side," said Rodrigues.
There will come a time when she might have to choose between the two disciplines. "I don't want to think about it right now. I just want to enjoy it all now. Thankfully, the schedules don't clash. So it's been a win-win situation for me."
Kids look up to the likes of Roger Federer, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Jemimah adores Ellyse Perry, the 24-year-old Australian who represented her country at cricket and football at the age of 16. "I met her when the Australian team had come down to Mumbai. I realised that if she can play both sports so well, then why can't I? There was my role model right in front of me," says Rodrigues.
Full Name: Jemimah Ivan Rodrigues
Date of Birth: September 5, 2000
School: St Joseph's Convent High School (Bandra)
* At 13 years and six months, Rodrigues was part of the Mumbai Under-19 hockey squad that took part in the Junior Women's Nationals in March
* The right-handed batswoman and off-spinner is also part of the Mumbai women's cricket team
* The Std IX student has represented Mumbai and Maharashtra in Under-17 hockey
* She captains the school's cricket and hockey teams