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Final Bids for USFHL Adult National Club Championship Claimed at Adult Regional Club Championships

by USA Field Hockey

Images Taken by Dan Trevino

114 photos

Content Courtesy of USFHL

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - After the Region D Adult Regional Club Championship (RCC) in Houston, Texas two weeks ago and the Region C Adult RCC this past weekend in Virginia Beach, Va., the final spots have been claimed for the 2023 United States Field Hockey League (USFHL) Adult National Club Championship (NCC). The Adult NCC is slated to take place this July in Newark, Del., and features top adult talent from all over the country.

 

For two intense, action-packed days, the inaugural USFHL Region C qualifier took place at the Virginia Beach Regional Training Center in Virginia Beach, Va. In the women’s division, teams fought for the top two spots to earn a bid to the Adult NCC. Every game was a battle, with the Washington Field Hockey Association (WFHA) coming out on top and Delaware FHA finishing as runner-up. Although this was not a qualifying event for the men’s division, four teams battled through fierce competition, with Triangle FHA claiming the title. dcDragons, who also attended this event, won the bid for the Region C men’s division and will go on to compete in July.

 

Katie Pappas from WFHA commented on how close the games were and how any team could have come out on top. She attributed her team’s victory to both dedicated team practices leading up to the tournament, as well as being able to score when it mattered most. Pappas also reflected on what it means to her to have a sport she can enjoy for life.

 

“I've been playing [field] hockey since I could hold a stick,” said Pappas. “Having the opportunity to play after college means I can keep playing the sport I've loved my whole life. Not only that, through WFHA I've built new friendships with people my own age, which isn't always easy post-college.”

 

Leigh Barratt from Triangle FHL also noted the high standard and close matches on the men’s side. Barratt praised the hard work and dedication that went into organizing this event, which created an opportunity for adult teams to compete at a high-level.

 

At the conclusion of the Region C Adult RCC, each team’s captain along with the umpire team voted on an MVP to receive the “Golden Stick” award. Alexa Hoover from Delware FHA was selected as the women’s Golden Stick winner and Diego Romero from Triangle FHL won the award for the men’s division. When asked about their own experiences with field hockey, Hoover and Romero both reflected on how they started playing at a very young age. 

 

Hoover began playing for an unconventional reason. When her YMCA youth soccer program was full, she turned to the field hockey team, which had open spots. She quickly fell in love with the sport and has been playing ever since.  Hoover spoke about the tenacity of her team at the qualifier, and how they were able to overcome deficits to eventually find victory.

 

“Delaware FHA was able to qualify and earn the NCC bid at this tough RCC because of our chemistry, fight and perseverance as a team,” said Hoover. “Most of our games we were losing and we needed to battle back, and the vibe was always positive, even when scored on. We always felt confident we had the time to answer back.”

 

Romero played in France beginning at age seven for his local club in Nice, then moved to the United States to study at Duke University at age 18. He was grateful to find a local field hockey community at Triangle FHA, and to participate in competitive tournaments such as the Adult RCC to continue to develop his skills.

 

“We adjusted our lineup after losing the first game to capitalize on our small game; quick passes and playing through the midfield,” commented Romero. The strategy paid off, and Triangle FHA eventually went on to win the tournament.

 

2022 USFHL REGION C CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
MEN WOMEN
dcDragons (DC Metro) dcDragons (DC Metro)
Triangle FHA (Durham, N.C.) Delaware FHA (Newark, Del.)
Delaware FHA (Newark, Del.) Tidewater FHC (Richmond, Va.)
Washington FHA (DC Metro) VB Rockfish (Virginia Beach, Va.)


Washington FHA (DC Metro)

 

Region D (Midwest/South) held its competition two weeks prior in Houston, Texas. The Region D Adult RCC was a qualifying event for both the men’ and women’s divisions.

 

The qualifier consisted of matches over the course of two days, with the top two teams for each division earning a spot at the Adult NCC. After having to take on some tough competition, Atlanta FHC was named the women's division winner and Lonestar FHC claimed a spot by securing second place. Flipping those results on the men’s division side, Lonestar FHC finished in first place while Atlanta FHC was runner-up. The two teams will send both genders to Nationals in July.

 

 

 

To highlight some notable players included in the excellent level of competition, in attendance was former Uruguay national team athlete Vicky Jover (Miami Surf), former member of the U-21 English National Team and Wake Forest alumna Elisha Rennhack (Lonestar), and Ross Gilham Jones (Lonestar), who also played at the international level for England, and founded LEAP Hockey Academy.

 

On the younger end of the spectrum, Nico Diaz, a 16-year-old from Miami, competed alongside two other youth players for the Miami Surf Men's team. He acknowledged the value that playing such intense competition can bring to young and developing players like himself, and the importance of holding events like this for men to compete in field hockey at a high level.

 

The tournament in Houston marked the second year in a row of utilizing the Adult RCC format. Organizer Elizabeth Hitti was pleased with the event execution, and all teams reported themselves impressed with the organization. A social event held in conjunction with the tournament on Saturday night was met with high attendance. Great competition, capped with a social evening, created an atmosphere reminiscent of global competition that was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

2022 USFHL REGION D CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM
MEN WOMEN
Atlanta FHC (Atlanta, Ga.) Atlanta FHC (Atlanta, Ga.)
Dallas FHC (Dallas, Texas) Lonestar FHC (Austin, Texas)
Lone Star FHC (Austin, Texas) Miami Surf FHC (Miami, Fla.)
Miami Surf FHC (Miami, Fla.) Triangle FHL (Durham, N.C.)

 

Remaining bids for the Adult NCC will be decided with other league organizations who have automatic selections. The USFHL Adult NCC will once again be held at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. in July.

For Adult RCC game footage, visit the USFHL YouTube.

 

USFHL is officially recognized by USA Field Hockey as the adult league structure and sanctions the Adult National Club Championship to name the best adult club teams in the United States in 2023. The mission of USFHL is to grow participation and engagement for more local options for adults by encouraging and supporting local organized field hockey team competition and is led by local field hockey leaders.

 

For questions email info@usfhl.com to find out how you or your adult club, league, or organization can get certified or plugged in for 2023.

All photographs appearing on this site are property of the USFHL. They are protected by U.S. Copyright Laws, and are not to be downloaded, reproduced or used in any way without the written permission of USFHL.

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