Sunday, May 24, 2015

Game of the weekend, field hockey division

Game of the weekend, field hockey division

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By Phil Anastasia

If form holds -- and form almost always holds when it comes to Eastern field hockey -- the Vikings will extend their dominance beyond state lines this weekend.

Eastern (3-0), the No. 1 team in the topofthecircle.com national rankings, plays at Millersville Penn Manor (8-1) on Saturday at 1.

Penn Manor looked like a potential challenger to Eastern's 54-game winning streak, and maybe the Comets will provide some resistance to the relentless Vikings.

But they lost their first game of the season on Thursday night and surely haven't faced anything like Eastern in Pa.

Give Eastern coach Danyle Heilig credit for her willingness to play anybody, anywhere: She always schedules a game or two against an out-of-state power and she will play any team in South Jersey that wants a shot at the title.

This year, the Vikings play Bishop Eustace, Collingswood, Moorestown, Camden Catholic, Shawnee, Sacred Heart and Ocean City in addition to their normal Olympic American schedule.

Eastern is led by two-time Player of the Year, junior Austyn Cuneo, who has 149 career goals and likely will break Florence grad Lexie Smith's national record of 191 before the end of this season.

Other top players for Eastern include Karlee Spirit, Jade Dixon, Kasey Morano, Madison Morano and lots more. The Vikings haven't allowed a goal this season, outscoring opponents by 31-0.

Penn Manor is listed among teams Under Consideration in topofthecircle.com's national Top 10, so the Comets must be pretty good.

Plus, Eastern has to travel to Millersville and play on a foreign field against an opponent that can cement its national reputation with n upset.

There's no such thing as a sure thing in sport, especially not high school sports.

But Eastern field hockey isn't like anything other program.

-- Contact Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com/. Follow @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

 

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

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