Field Hockey Team Wins Duchesne Academy's First-Ever Team State Championship
Varsity Field Hockey won the TAPPS 6A State Tournament with a 6-1 final game.
The Varsity Field Hockey team at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart became the first team sport in school history to win a state championship after handily defeating All Saints Episcopal School 6-1 at the state tournament in Dallas last Saturday, October 27. Carol Longo, a senior who has been playing field hockey at Duchesne since she was in middle school, was named the MVP.
"We've worked so hard this entire season," said Head Coach Jenna Allen. "The girls knew they could win if they played with heart and hustle, and they did just that. The entire Duchesne community is so proud of this team and I am lucky to have such a great group of girls to coach."
The team faced local rival St. Agnes Academy on Friday night in the semi-final game which was a nail-biter going into overtime after regulation ended 0-0. In the second period of overtime play, Longo scored the game-winning goal with an assist from Ariel Schumacher, a junior who plays center midfield.
This is the second year in a row that Duchesne has competed for the State Championship title. Last year, the team came in second place after losing the championship match to All Saints 4-2. But with many returning players this year and a new head coach, the team had a successful run leading up to post-season play.
The TAPPS conference named several of the Duchesne players among the top athletes in the state, most notably Carol Longo who plays forward and is ranked as the No. 3 TAPPS athlete for goals scored. Longo scored a total of 22 goals during the season. Other notable playmakers include junior Sarita Arsham, who led the team's defense in saves, and juniors Ariel Schumacher and CeeCee Van Pelt, both center midfielders, who are two of the team's all around top playmakers.
The team is young with only four seniors who will graduate this year. The rest of the players will be eligible to return, setting the Chargers up for another successful season next year. Schumacher is already committed, as a junior, to play Division I field hockey at Lafayette College in 2020 after she graduates.
"The Varsity Field Hockey program has been on an upward trajectory for the past two seasons," said Athletic Director Rob Bagley. "Last year, we had a loss in the State finals and then our head coach left her position at the school, so we knew this season would be a tough year of transitions. But Coach Allen arrived in August, bringing with her the experience of being a Division I player at Villanova and years of post-college coaching experience, and she inspired her players to commit to nothing less than a State title. With plans to build a new artificial turf field, we look forward to the growth of field hockey at Duchesne from our Lower School all the way through to our high school seniors."