Regions’ Field Hockey Stars Help US Women’s Team Defeat Two Olympic Favorites

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Blue Bell native Katie O'Donnell Bam courtesy of the University of Maryland.

The United States women’s field hockey team, consisting mostly of players from the Philadelphia area, has already managed to topple two favorites in the first three days of the Olympics giving hope they might win a medal for the first time since the 1984 Los Angeles games, writes Ryan Lawrence for Philly Voice.

Penn State Field Hockey Coach and Aldan native Charlene Morett
Penn State Field Hockey Coach and Aldan native Charlene Morett

In addition to eight players being from the Philadelphia region, an amazing 13 out of 16 are from the tri-state area.

“We take a lot of pride in it,” said Penn State field hockey coach Charlene Morett an Aldan native who was part of the U.S. field hockey team that won bronze thirty-two years ago.

Having half of the winning team from such a small area of the country is not that unusual considering the strength and the history of field hockey in Philadelphia.

“It’s always kind of started as a schoolgirl’s game out of Philadelphia,” said University of Maryland coach and Kennett Square native Missy Meharg, nine-time national coach of the year who currently has a pair of former Terrapins on the Olympic roster in Jill Witmer from Lancaster and Katie Bam from Blue Bell.

The game later spread to Ursinus and West Chester, and further to Lock Haven with its popularity in colleges leading to its inclusion in Philadelphia-area high school curriculums.

“When I try to explain to anyone why this area is so strong,” said Morett, “it’s really because when Constance Applebee brought the sport over from England, she brought it to Bryn Mawr College.”

Read more about the amazing field hockey team at Philly Voice here.

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