Twelve Phila-area middle school varsity teams faced off in the annual Acorn Tournament, a perennial fall favorite. The tournament and youth clinic, organized by St. Denis CYO and sponsored by Philafieldhockey.com, was held at the Academy of Notre Dame, Villanova, with all proceeds benefiting Bringing Hope Home. Last year’s event, also benefiting the Wayne-based organization, raised $7,500; this year’s contribution is to be determined. The JV tournament was rained out but has been rescheduled for October 29; another 12 teams are set to play.
“This is a field hockey event that many teams in the region look forward to participating in. Our message is simple: girls can play the sport they love and help those in need,” said Noreen Farkas, Acorn Tournament Director. “Traditionally, we honor a family from St. Denis Parish who have been touched by cancer. Over the years, we have selected one charity to whom we donate the proceeds from the tournament. Some of the recipients have been Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, BreastCancer.org, The Barbara Brodsky Comprehensive Breast Center at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Children’s Hospital (Team Dawgn’ For a Cure), and most recently, Bringing Hope Home.”
The event is not only great field hockey, but a community event for many of the CYO families and local high school students who come together to donate their time and talent for the youth players and the cause. This year, 40 area high school volunteers were from Merion Mercy, Notre Dame, Haverford, Archbishop Carroll and Cardinal O’Hara (many of whom played CYO field hockey). “Many arrive in the darkness and are there until the very end. It’s wonderful sight to see so many girls who compete on the field for their high school team work together, pitching in to do whatever is asked of them.”
New this year: the Little Acorns Field Hockey clinic, where more than a two dozen youth players were introduced to the game or enhanced their skills. Harrow Sports served as the clinic sponsor, donating 24 youth sticks. The clinic was run by Margaretha Ehret, Head Coach at Merion Mercy.
At the end of the day, St. Denis was awarded medals as Acorn Tournament champions. “But there are smiles all around as all girls all walk away feeling like winners,” Farkas said.
Other teams competing in the varsity tournament included: St. Patrick, St. Katherine, St. Dorothy, SCJN, BYC, St. Margaret, St. Pius X, Villa Maria, St. Bernadette, Haverford and St. Anastasia.
Photographer Tommy Meehan, Photos from the Sidelines, was on site all day. To view a handful of great photos, visit @PhilaFH on facebook for the photo album. To view all 1,000+ photos from the Acorn tournament, CLICK HERE. Photo are available for purchase. Use password: acorn1 #fhockeyMomentInTime
Charles Boehm Middle School
Traci Curtis, Charles Boehm Middle School Coach: “The team played only their second game of the season on Tuesday, October 11th. The Boehm Falcons won by a score of 4-0 over Neil Armstrong. After another game cancellation the previous week, the Falcons were fueled by frustration and fired up to play! The forward line racked up 4 goals (including a hat trick by center mid, Kylie Aquaro), which were assisted by a variety of forward and midfield teammates. The three goalies shared time and together earned a shut out. This giant roster of 32 7th and 8th graders did an outstanding job of being patient on the sidelines, encouraging one another, and positively supporting the effort for every single girl to participate in the 50 minute the game. The players applied learned skills to the game – defense made good decisions to hit the ball out wide away from the center, free hits were taken quickly, and there was beautiful backing up when fellow teammates were beaten during a play. The girls have a ton to be proud of and have a lot to learn. They know that there is always room for improvement no matter the score or outcome of the game. They look forward to taking on their next opponent and continuing to grow in the sport. Of course they celebrated the victory with one of their weekly pasta parties! GO FALCONS! ”
Villa 4 Sacred Heart
Joe Botta, Villa Coach: “Not our best effort, but after a time out 15 minutes into a scoreless first half, we notched 2 goals to take a halftime lead. Sacred Heart played tough, and they were aggressive to getting free balls. This game will give us a lot of teaching points as we approach the final regular season game, and the start of GCAL playoffs.”
Academy of Notre Dame Middle School
Patty Enright, Notre Dame Coach: “Notre Dame Middle School Varsity had a great week of games last week! On Monday, 10/3, we played Waldron Mercy at home and won 3-1. Goals were scored by Madison Frank (assisted by Hanna Bodner), Molly Stirling, and Julia Hneleski. On Thursday, 10/6, we played against Episcopal Academy (away) and won 1-0. Our goal was scored by Alyssa Reily in the second half. This was one of our best games yet–the girls were really working as a team. There was some very effective passing and good drives down field. We had great defensive efforts from Addison Brodnick and Lauren Liezbeit who kept the EA offense from scoring. Our goalie Paige Kieft also had some important saves.
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