Congratulations to MAX Field Hockey’s 2023 High School State, Regional & National Coaches of the Year!
NATIONAL, PENNSYLVANIA STATE & REGION COACH OF THE YEAR
Academy of Notre Dame de Namur
Ritz led the #1 team in the nation this Fall to Inter-AC and PAISAA State Championships in her first season as Head Coach. The Irish finished 20-1 with 6 nationally ranked wins: They beat #3 The Hill School (PA), the reigning PAISAA Champions, 2-1 in season and 1-0 in the PAISAA final, #4 Kingsway Regional (NJ Group 4 State Champions) 6-1, #9 St. John’s School (Texas SPC Champions) 3-0, and #10 Villa Maria Academy (PIAA AA State Champions) 2-0. Their lone loss of the season was in mid-September to #13 Conestoga (PA) 3-4 in overtime. After that loss, they went on to win 17 straight, outscoring opponents 126-14, earning the recognition of 2023 High School National Champions.
MID-ATLANTIC REGION & MARYLAND/DC STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
Crofton High School
Skrickus has led a brand new school that just opened in Fall of 2020 on an incredible field hockey ascent in the state of Maryland. Year one the program just had freshman and sophomores and a JV team. The next year they had Varsity and went 9-4. 2022, the program’s first year with seniors, they won the Maryland 3A State Championship. This Fall, they bumped up a class and claimed the Maryland 4A State Championship, finished 16-2 as the top-ranked team in Maryland and #6 ranked team in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Cardinals allowed 9 goals all season, lost twice to the reigning 4A State Champions Broadneck in 1 goal games before defeating them in the state semifinal game 2-0. They went on to win the program’s first title defeating Winston Churchill 5-0 in the final.
NEW ENGLAND REGION & NEW HAMPSHIRE STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
Dover High School
Dover, New Hampshire
In her 8th season at the helm, Michaud led Dover to the Division 1 State Championship, the second in program history with the first being the inaugural title 48 years ago. The Green Wave defeated Windham 3-1 in the state final, finishing their undefeated season at 18-0-1 as the #7 ranked team in the New England Region.
Kingsway Regional High School
Woolwich Township, New Jersey
In her 6th season at the helm, Ott led her alma mater and the top team in the State of New Jersey to the Group 4 State Championship. While the Tournament of Champions is no longer, Kingsway certainly earned the #1 ranking in New Jersey finishing the season 20-2 with no in-state losses, allowing 7 goals in state play, and defeating Group 3 State Champions Clearview Regional, Group 2 State Champions West Essex, and Non-Public State Champions Camden Catholic during the season. Ott, who earned her 100th win in October, put together one of the toughest schedules in the country, playing 4 out-of-state nationally ranked programs and finishing 2-2, including #1 Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (PA): 1-6, #3 The Hill School (PA) 1-6, #12 Palmyra (PA): 2-0, and #18 Kinkaid School (TX): 2-1.
NORTHEAST REGION & CONNECTICUT STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
In her first season, Beam led Taft to the WNEPSFHA Class A Championship, Founder League Championship, and NEPSAC A Championship. The Rhinos finished an undefeated 20-0-1 season as the top ranked team in the Northeast Region and #16 ranked team in the nation. They outscored opponents 121-20 and defeated the #1 ranked team in the New England Region, Phillips Academy Andover, 3-2 in the NEPSAC A final to claim the top prep school title.
WEST/MIDWEST REGION & MISSOURI STATE COACH OF THE YEAR
John Burroughs School
St. Louis, Missouri
Thorpe led her alma mater John Burroughs to an impressive undefeated 20-0-2 season and Missouri State Championship, the program’s first title since 2010 and 12th title in program history. The Bombers dominated in state play, securing two wins over reigning champs and powerhouse Villa Duchesne who they lost to 0-4 in last’s year state championship game. They claimed the 2023 title with a convincing 4-0 win over St. Joseph’s in the state final. Thorpe’s squad also showed their strength in regional play, finishing ranked #5 in the West/Mid-West Region after defeating Illinois State Champions Glenbrook 4-2, and tying Michigan State Champions Ann Arbor Pioneer 1-1, and Kentucky State Champions, Christian Academy of Louisville 2-2.
2023 STATE COACHES OF THE YEAR
Torrey Pines High School
San Diego, California
In her 5th season, Spleen led a Torrey Pines squad that opened the season 4-5-1 to an 18-5-1 finish, Avocado League & CIF Open Division Championships and a final ranking of #12 in the West/Mid-West Region. Returning to the High School National Invitational for the second year in a row, the Falcons challenged themselves against some of the top teams in the country, including nationally ranked #7 West Essex (NJ) and #12 Palmyra (PA), and tying Virginia State power Frank W. Cox in overtime. Following that weekend, they went 13-1, making a postseason run to secure their first championship since 2016 with a 1-0 victory over La Costa Canyon in the final.
Scott led Colorado Academy to a perfect 18-0 undefeated season, securing 16 shutouts, and outscoring opponents 90-2 en route to their second straight Colorado State Championship. The Mustangs finished ranked #13 in the West/Mid-West Region on a 34 game win streak in Scott’s 10th season at the helm.
Cape Henlopen High School
Austin led the top squad in the state of Delaware this Fall to a 17-1 finish, Division 1 State Championship and Final Ranking of #5 in the Mid-Atlantic Region. The Vikings only loss of the season was 0-1 to Smyrna in mid-September, a rematch of last year’s OT championship game, and the eventual 2023 state championship final. Cape Henlopen went on to claim their 11th state title with a 1-0 victory over Smyrna. The Vikings also beat Division 2 State Champions and powerhouse Delmar 2-1 in the regular season.
Evanston Township High School
In her second season, Lesch led Evanston to the program’s first ever Final 4 appearance, finishing in 4th place in the state with a final record of 14-7-1. For a program that started at the bottom of the state only 6 years ago, the Wildkits have been on the rise and finished their best season yet and registered the most wins in program history in 2023.
Louisville Collegiate School
The KHSFHCA Coach of the Year, Hanafi has Collegiate on the rise in Kentucky, earning respect around the state for her program’s improvement and competitiveness. Leading a turn-around from a 2022 3rd place finish in Region 3, 7-9-1 record and 18 goals for, 37 goals against- Hanafi’s Collegiate squad finished the 2023 season with an overall record of 14-11-1, a second place finish in Region 3, and outscoring opponents 63-48.
Freeport High School
In her 11th season at the helm, Wood led Freeport to the program’s first-ever Class B State Championship, upsetting top seed Yarmouth 2-1 in double overtime in the semifinals and beating CONY in the final 2-0. The Falcons, who lost in the 2022 final 0-1 to Lawrence, finished the season 14-3-1 and Wood captured her 100th victory in the state tournament.
Uxbridge High School
Rosborough led her alma mater Uxbridge to their third straight state championship this Fall, claiming the MIAA Division 4 State Championship, and joining Massachusetts powerhouses Watertown and Walpole as the only programs to three-peat. The Spartans defeated eventual Division 1 State Champions Walpole 1-0 during the regular season and their only loss was to the reigning Division 1 State Champions Andover, who would go on to finish as the Division 1 State Runner-Up. Finishing 22-1, Rosborough’s squad outscored opponents 150-13 and finished as the #6 ranked team in the New England Region.
Dexter High School
Tamer led Dexter to the program’s second straight Michigan Division 2 State Championship, defeating Chelsea 3-0 in the final. The Dreadnaughts finished the season 20-1-2, with 2 wins over Division 1 State Champions Ann Arbor Pioneer in the regular season, and claimed the #10 spot in the West/Mid-West Region final rankings. The 2023 title is the program’s 5th title overall since their inaugural season in 2010 (2 titles in Division 1, 3 titles in Division 2).
Mamaroneck High School
Mamaroneck, New York
Miller led the top team in the state and #4 team in the Northeast Region to an undefeated 22-0-1 season and NYS Class A State Championship in her second season as head coach (25th overall with the program). The state title is the 4th in program history and first since 2015. The Tigers had a double overtime come from behind win in the state semifinal over Windsor Central to make it to the championship game where they defeated Orchard Park 4-0 and allowed zero shots on goal.
Cardinal Gibbons High School
Raleigh, North Carolina
Weimer led Cardinal Gibbons to their first ever NCFHA State Championship this Fall, defeating reigning champs Myers Park 2-1 in overtime in the final, a rematch of last year’s final in which they lost 0-6. The Crusaders finished 17-3, outscoring opponents 100-10, and beat the NCISAA State Champions Charlotte Country Day School 1-0 during the regular season.
New Albany High School
New Albany, Ohio
Weldon led New Albany to their first ever regional championship, first ever final 4, and first ever state championship game, where they fell to Thomas Worthington 1-2 in overtime. The Eagles, who defeated back-to-back state champions Thomas Worthington 2-0 during the regular season, finished the season 20-3, as the #20 ranked team in the West/Mid-West Region.
Lincoln High School
Lincoln, Rhode Island
Miguel led Lincoln to the Division 2 State Championship, defeating Chariho 3-0 in the final to finish the season 16-1 and claim the 5th state title in program history. The Lions, who lost in the final last year to Rocky Hill 1-2, didn’t allow a goal in division play this Fall. Their lone loss of the season and only goal allowed was to Division 1 Cumberland.
St. John’s School
Elliott led the top team in the West/Mid-West Region and #9 team in the nation to the SPC 4A Championship, claiming the title with a 2-0 win over Kinkaid School. Elliott challenged the Mavericks to one of the toughest out of state schedules, facing three Top 10 nationally ranked opponents in one weekend at the MAX Field Hockey High School National Invitational. In perhaps the best game of the year, St. John’s defeated #1 ranked Hill School (PA) under the lights in front of a full crowd on the Villanova turf. They then went on to lose to eventual national champions and #1 ranked Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (PA) and New Jersey Non-Public State Champions Camden Catholic in overtime, but that high level of competition prepared the Mavericks to capture their 9th SPC title since 2008.
South Burlington High School
South Burlington, Vermont
Soucy led the top team in the state and the #16 team in the Northeast Region to the Division 1 State Championship in her 22nd season at the helm. South Burlington defeated Rice Memorial 2-1 in the final in a come from behind win, the same fashion they lost in the final last year to CVU. The Wolves finished 16-1, outscored opponents 63-10, claimed their 12th state title in program history, bringing Soucy’s all-time coaching record to 271-61-18.
Independence High School
Darrow led Independence to a history-making season, claiming the VHSL Class 5A State Championship with a 1-0 win over First Colonial, finishing the season at a perfect 22-0 as the #14 team in the nation and #2 ranked team in the Mid-Atlantic Region. What’s most impressive is that Independence is a new school that just opened it’s doors and started a program in 2019. The Tigers join Loudoun Valley, who won the 4A State Championship this Fall, as the first Loudoun County teams to win state championships since field hockey has been offered as a Varsity sport for just 7 years now.
Arrowhead Union High School
Brengosz led Arrowhead to the 2023 Wisconsin State Championship, finishing the season with an 8-7 record. Coach “Melbs” has had Arrowhead at the top of Wisconsin’s standings throughout her 15 years of coaching. This is her third state title as head coach.