JPIL – The Inquirer: 19 Jan 2012

JPIL – The Inquirer: 19 Jan 2012

JPIL – The Inquirer: Indoor field hockey league starts up

January 19, 2012 | By Don Beideman, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER

Mystx and Xcalibur, two local club programs, are among the teams in a newly formed junior indoor field hockey league that plays its games at the 422 Sportsplex near Pottstown.

The under-19 Junior Premier Indoor League, sanctioned by the U.S. Field Hockey Association, has 12 of the top indoor clubs in the country from Connecticut to Virginia. The Mystx team, coached by former Mount St. Joseph coach Tina Reinprecht, is based out of Feasterville in Bucks County. Xcalibur, with cocoaches Brian Hope and Tammy Eisenhard, plays out of the Sportsplex. Many of the players are from the U21, U19, and U16 national indoor teams.

“This is the first league like it in the country,” said Nigel Traverso, one of the league’s organizers. “The idea is to improve hockey in the U.S. It’s an exclusive league set up for the best players, giving them the best competition on a regular basis.”

The league will hold the second round of games on its schedule Saturday, and it plays games all day beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Traverso acknowledged that quite a bit of travel is involved for some teams, but he noted that most club teams already have been traveling for tournaments on weekends.

Alyssa Chillano and Gabby Major of Spring-Ford, Kate Ferrara of Hill School, Jackie Hibbs of Wissahickon, Heather Morris of Owen J. Roberts, Meghan Murphy of Villa Maria Academy, and Nicole Wells of Baldwin
are among Xcalibur’s local players. Ann Burgoyne and Allie and Brooke Sabia of Mount St. Joseph, Jenn Harchut of Upper Dublin, Meghan
McCullough of Plymouth Whitemarsh, Alex Kuzma of Council Rock North, Brielle Hartzell of Unionville, Emily Guthier of Central Bucks East, and Heather Zezzo of Central Bucks West are on the Mystx roster.

“We’ve been discussing [the league] for the last couple of years,” Hope said. “Now, it’s here and every single game is high-caliber.”

McCullough, who will head to Quinnipiac after graduation, sees the new league as a way to sharpen her game. She’s a member of the U.S. junior U19 indoor team. “Our club team usually practices just once a week with an occasional tournament. With the new league, we get more time to work together as a club team,” McCullough said. “I get more touches on the ball and an opportunity to observe and play against some of the top players.”