Four Teams Qualify for 2024 USFHL Adult NCC from Southeast RCC

The third Southeast Adult Regional Club Championship (RCC) convened in Fort Worth, Texas on March 1 through 3. Six teams from around the region – Atlanta FHC from Georgia, Dallas FHC and Lone Star from Texas, Triangle and Greensboro/Piedmont-Triad FH (GSO/PTFH) from North Carolina, and Miami Surf FHC from Florida – competed to qualify for the United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) Adult National Club Championship (NCC).

In a round-robin competition format, four women's teams engaged in games and five men's teams played in an expanded division, resulting in fiercely competitive matchups. Two women's teams went undefeated, with Lone Star edging out Atlanta FHC for first place on goal differential. The Miami Surf men's team also went undefeated, taking down Lone Star in the deciding matchup, 2-1, to claim victory in the men's division. The top two teams in each division secured bids to compete at the USFHL Adult NCC taking place at the University of Delaware this July: Lone Star and Atlanta FHC in the women’s division, and Miami Surf and Lone Star in the men’s division.

Miami Surf's men's team captain, Kai Noppen, expressed satisfaction with Miami's first-ever Adult RCC victory. "We're thankful for the opportunity to engage in more competitive adult hockey across our region. Competitive hockey thrives on excellent field conditions, and the Fort Worth Country Day water-based field provided just that,” said Noppen. “Winning the men's division amidst such intense competition is a testament to the growth of our club structure. While the Miami - Lone Star games are known for their nail-biting intensity, the credit goes out to all the men's teams for elevating their level of play. We're thrilled to head to Delaware in July." 

Acting tournament director Clarence Jenelle was pleased with the facilities and level of play. "Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a lovely campus, and the water pitch is splendid to play on,” commented Jenelle. “While I was initially worried about other sporting events happening nearby, things ran smoothly. The FWCD boys' lacrosse and many track teams stopped by and were amazed at the ball's speed and the adult players' skill. And the most fun was getting to know new friends and reminiscing with old ones. Ultimately, we all play for the friendships the love of the game creates."

Four-time umpire manager Gus Soteriades commended USFHL and its regional leadership for elevating the standards of both gameplay and umpiring in the United States and Southeast in particular. “Bringing in FIH umpire Gabriel Labate to work with known collegiate umpires Garret Best, Jerri Lucas, and Gena Piper, as well as Texas High School veteran umpire Ian Chappell, we can give them additional tools to bring up their level of umpiring, no matter the level of the match. The commitment of the SEC Board to continually raise these standards is laying a solid foundation for the future of hockey in the United States."

Additional Adult RCC events are set to take place at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. on April 27  to 28 and at University of Richmond in Richmond, Va. on May 18 to 19.

After every game, each team nominated two players from the opposing team for the Tournament All-Star Team. At the conclusion of the event, the players with the most votes in each division were honored.

Congratulations to the following honorees:

Golden Stick MVP, Men: Eddie Fuentes, Miami Surf

Golden Stick MVP, Women: Elizabeth Hitti, Atlanta FHC

Southeast Adult RCC All-Star Team:

Diego Romero Laje-Davila (M), Greensboro/Piedmont-Triad FH

Ellen Peden (W), Lone Star

Emma Goldean (W), Triangle

Frederik Von Klitzing (M), Atlanta FHC

Ross Gilham-Jones (M), Lone Star

Sofia Walbaum (W), Lone Star

Tinashe Dzemwa (M), Atlanta FHC

Vicky Jover (W), Miami Surf