DALLAS — Wyoming Seminary and Crestwood have owned the bulk of the field hockey headlines the past few seasons as state champions.
But the depth of quality programs stretches throughout the Wyoming Valley Conference.
One of the top programs in the league is Dallas, which has gone 30-12-1 in league play under coach Kylie Rosengrant over the past three seasons. The Mountaineers were among the league leaders this season in players signing to continue their field hockey careers in college on National Signing Day.
Seniors Lily Amadio, Michelle Thompson and Cortlyn Van Deutsch all put pen to paper Wednesday, officially joining their college programs.
Amadio to Central Michigan
Despite consecutive seasons among the WVC leaders in goals against average and save percentage, Lily Amadio looked at her future and didn’t see competitive field hockey playing a major role on the road ahead.
But the game would not allow her talent to go to the sidelines permanently.
The Mountaineers’ goalie is heading to Mount Pleasant, Mich., to play at Central Michigan.
“The coach contacted me and I flew out there,” Amadio said of connecting with the Chippewas. “I really liked it. I guess that’s how I found them — they found me.”
Amadio had nine shutouts over the past two seasons and allowed more than two goals in a game only six times. She looked at a number of prominent schools, but didn’t expect to need her stick and other equipment.
“Penn State, University of Maryland. I applied to a lot of places,” Amadio said. “But those places, I definitely wasn’t going to play field hockey there.”
While Penn State and Maryland are regularly in the national polls, Central Michigan is a well-kept secret in these parts. The Chippewas are a regular MAC contender, last winning the league crown in 2005 and playing the league’s final four each of the past seven seasons.
Central Michigan players do lead the nation in one key statistic.
“As far as academics, the team had the highest GPA in all of Division I field hockey last year,” Amadio said. “So I definitely want to keep my GPA up so, hopefully, we can get that award again. I hope I can help them with that.”
Plans are still falling into place for the goalie, as she has not yet made a final decision on a major.
“I think I’m going to major in international business,” Amadio said. “I’m not 100 percent sure yet, but they have a really good business school.”
About Central Michigan
Nickname — Chippewas
Conference — Mid-American Conference
2013 record — 7-12, reached MAC final
WVC connections — None.
In the neighborhood — 2013 non-league schedule featured stops at Delaware and Drexel.
Thompson to Columbia
Our Dallas isn’t Big D like its namesake in Texas. So when Michelle Thompson gets to New York City, it’s going to be a little different than what she’s been used to.
But she has no worries. The second-team All-State midfielder has a plan for herself at Columbia.
“I want to study chemical engineering and they have the Fu Foundation School of Engineering, which is about 25 percent of their undergraduate population,” the senior said. “It’s a lot of hands-on project work, which I’m really excited about. And Columbia … it’s in New York City, which is really exciting.”
There is a certain coziness, though, that Thompson has found in her collegiate decision. On paper, it might not seem to add up, as she heads from the Back Mountain to the nation’s biggest city. Yet a combination of her athletic prowess and academic talent led her to the perfect spot to see her future evolve.
Thompson’s list of final choices spanned the country, as Cornell, Stanford and Yale were on her short list. In the end, she decided to become a big-city girl.
“It was nice because the campus is somewhat enclosed, so you don’t necessarily feel like you’re right in the middle of New York City,” Thompson said. “But you do have the city atmosphere right outside central campus. I went on a visit and I just loved the coaches at the school. Everything just kind of worked out.”
Thompson was second on the Mountaineers with eight goals this season. She also led the team for a second consecutive season in assists — this season with a career-best eight. She is just as sound of a player in her defensive circle as she is on the offensive side of the pitch.
Now, she is looking to embark on the next step in her life, with field hockey still a staple.
Nickname — Lions
Conference — Ivy League
2013 record — 6-11
WVC connections — Lauren Skudalski, junior back from Wyoming Seminary.
In the neighborhood — Schedule features Princeton and Penn.
Van Deutsch to Slippery Rock
Cortlyn Van Deutsch always took a direct path to stop an opponent’s attack.
When it came to finding her future college, she built her model of an ideal school and simply found her perfect spot.
“They have an exceptional physical therapy program and they have a graduate program for it, too,” Van Deutsch said. “I was considering anything between two to four hours away, so it’s kind of far … right at my limit. But I chose it because the school is very good. I really liked the size of the campus.”
The Mountaineers midfielder/defensive back also considered East Stroudsburg, Scranton and Misericordia before choosing to take her game to the southwest corner of the state.
Perhaps her senior field hockey season was a foreshadowing of her collegiate choice. She scored all of her goals away from her home field in Dallas, including a her first two-goal game at Honesdale — one of the longer road trips on the schedule.
The longest road trip, out to Delaware Valley, also saw Van Deutsch net a goal.
So all signs from the field hockey pitch indicate a successful move to Slippery Rock. Van Deutsch expects the combination of sport and class to allow her to maintain her sharp focus.
“Academically, I want to keep my GPA up,” Van Deutsch said. “That way, I’ll have a better chance to continue into the graduate program. Athletics, I think, will help with me with time management. I’d have a set schedule. I feel like if I didn’t play a sport, I would not know what to do with my free time.”
She will miss her friends and teammates while off trying to crack The Rock’s veteran lineup. This year’s Slippery Rock roster featured only two seniors, leaving 10 incumbent starters in front of her upon her arrival.
About Slippery Rock
Nickname — The Rock
Conference — Pa. State Athletics Conf.
2013 record — 6-12
WVC connections — Lindsay Brown, junior forward/back from Crestwood; Courtney Lee, junior goalkeeper from Holy Redeemer; Julie Swiney, head coach from Crestwood; Maribeth Chesterfield, assistant coach from Wyoming Valley West (player) and Wyoming Area (former coach); Kailee Krupski, incoming freshman from Crestwood.
In the neighborhood — Schedule features Bloomsburg, East Stroudsburg and Kutztown.