Champion’s Edge Field Hockey News » Coach & Player Press
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February 26, 2013

CE Profile: Michael Pallister

Michael Pallister’s affiliation with Champion’s Edge dates back to 2009. He has served as a head camp coach and now more recently contributes in a Director capacity, in addition to his duties as an Assistant Coach at Princeton University. At 6’9, Pallister is probably the tallest field hockey player/coach in the world. Routinely a camp favorite, the nimble-footed Australian is more than just a circus attraction on the field; he also knows a ton about the game.

Prior to joining the Princeton coaching staff in 2011, Pallister spent three seasons with the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Field Hockey program as graduate assistant while pursuing a Master of Business Administration. He also served a head coach with the Cape Ann Coalition club team in Massachusetts. Pallister spent the spring of 2012 in Vancouver, Canada, working as a coach with the largest club in North America, the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club. Through the WVFHC he was also involved with the high performance ADANAC program and assisted the Canadian U21 Junior National Team in their buildup for a European tour and World Cup qualifying.

A native of Canberra, Australia, Pallister represented the Australian Capital Territory in the National Championships as a junior before playing in the Men’s State League One competition for St. Patrick’s Hockey Club. He completed an undergraduate degree in finance and accounting from the Australian National University in 2004, before finishing an MBA at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth in 2010.

Vitals – in his own words.

Stick: 37.5″ TK Synergy 1 double shammied

Hockey Shoes: Asics Gel Fuji Racers

International Side: In the men, Australia, and for the women….. Australia (sorry USA)

Discovery Channel TV Show: My one addiction! Moonshiners, How its Made, Gold Rush, Swords, Swamp Loggers, Alaska, The Turtle Man “LIVE ACTION!” , Container Wars, and of course the grand daddy of them all… Shark Week!

Q: Australia has been massively successful on the international hockey stage for the past 15 years. What stands out to you as the biggest difference between the US and Australia in terms of youth development?

I started playing hockey when I was five in ‘Minkey’, the Australian version of mini hockey, which has organized leagues for under 7’s and under 9’s. From an early age you are taught the basics and simple tactical and technical progressions. By the time you are in the under 13 age group you are playing on artificial turf every game with access to both a youth league and also the mens grade hockey as well as high performance centres in most metropolitan centres. There are talent identification programs that pull in gifted athletes into government sponsored training programs. This is all before you turn 15! Growing up, one of the best things for me as a player was being able to play in the men’s grade with my dad. I was 14 or 15 and playing in the men’s competition with guys who have 30 plus years of experience.

The majority of girls I’ve talked to here in the US only started playing at middle or high school (12-14 years old) and are forced to try and catch up whilst playing in a shortened season, often on grass, with state modified rules (e.g. vision reducing goggles). Its tough!  There are a lot of clubs that are now offering juniors the opportunity to train and receive quality coaching which is really positive and a step in the right direction. These clubs that offer training outside of the 3 month school season are crucial for youth development. With the absence of any leagues it is these programs that drive youth development.

Q: As a strong proponent of year-round play, where do you see summer camps fitting into player development?

I love summer camps! I wish we had them in Australia. Summer camps give athletes the chance to be coached by some of the best coaches from within the country and also internationally. The good camps will provide a balance between being fun and relaxed while also really attacking the technical and tactical side of the game. You get to practice and play with players from all over the country and make a ton of new friends. You can scrimmage with college players and coaches and it just mixes up the monotony of club and high school hockey. We squeeze in 6-7.5 hours of hockey per day for three and a half days. Each day you get to watch film of the professionals executing the same skills as you are learning, train new skills, play small games, and finally full field games. You wont find another product that gives you exposure to all facets of the game like a well run summer camp. The overnight camps are like a working vacation and can really jump start your fall season. I know I personally enjoy every minute at camp, the kids are always keen to learn and have a laugh, and we have never lost a staff vs. camp all star match. Maybe 2013 will be different but judging by the quality of our staff I wouldn’t bet on it.

January 23, 2013

CE Coaching Profile: Homero Pardi

Hailing from Caracas, Venezuela, Homero Pardi’s affiliation with Champion’s Edge dates back to 2003 where he has fulfilled roles as both a Head Coach and Head Director of Camps. Athletes are quick to recognize him in his standard issued Oakley’s, a sun tan that can only be achieved through avoiding contact with sunscreen and his trademarked, bowling pin-shaped calves.Homero.2

Pardi currently serves as an assistant coach at Rider University in Lawrenceville, NJ. His cache of collegiate coaching experience includes Princeton University (2008-2011), Georgetown University (2003-2007) and Kent St. University (2002-2003). Pardi has also spent time as an assistant coach with the Venezuelan National Team (2001-2002), as well as director of the Venezuelan Indoor/Outdoor Hockey League (2001-2003).

As member of several Venezuelan indoor & outdoor national teams, Pardi’s international playing career from 1996-2004 includes participation in the Jr. Pan Am Championships (2), the Central American & Caribbean Games and the Pan-America Cup.

When he’s not busy coaching summer camps and college hockey in the fall, Pardi dedicates his winter and spring months coaching several high school indoor teams with Mystx Field Hockey Club (PA).

Vitals- in his own words.

Stick: TK Platinum 36.5 chamois grip double tapped

Hockey Shoes: Adidas

International Side: Gotta stick with my South American peeps… Argentina

Will Ferrell movie: Too many to just pick one favorite… but I guess I’ll go with Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby. “If you ain’t first, you’re last!”

Q: Indoor season is in full swing these days… How’s the level of play? What do you see as something in general that all high school athletes should be focused on improving?

The level of play is decent and the effort is there. I just wish clubs would put the same effort into outdoor hockey in the spring as they do for indoor hockey in the winter. The execution of basic skills (passing and receiving) remains a constant area of focus; once these skills are improved, athletes will be able to play a more creative style, i.e. recognize passing lanes and play a faster more competitive and enjoyable game.

Q: You’ve coached over 700 camps in the US in the past 10 years (or so it seems). What are some of the things you see as difference-makers in determining a good camp from a bad one?

Wow, 700 camps? 10 years? I guess I just realized I’m getting old!

The main difference is the coaching staff. Coaches should be knowledgeable and fun at the same time. This balance is important because if the coach is “too much fun” the athlete will not learn as much; on the other hand, if the coach is too “serious” the athlete most likely will not enjoy her camp experience as much.

Another important aspect of differentiating a good camp from a bad one is the facility. An Astroturf or Field-Turf surface plays a big role in the overall progression of a camp. The camp coach will be able to demonstrate, teach, execute and evaluate proper skills; the athlete can later take these improved skills and apply them on any surface without sacrificing technique. Running a camp on a proper surface will also make it easier to help the athlete to get rid of bad habits acquired from learning incorrect skills or playing on substandard grass fields.

I would also like to mention field space. I have seen camps that pack a field with over 100 athletes in a given session. This creates a problem when trying to work on things like outletting, small games to goal, hitting, flicking, etc. A well run camp will allocate the right number of players in one session (max 75). I can proudly say that over my time as a camp coach at Champion’s Edge we have worked diligently in taking care of these details (and more) to ensure the best learning experience for our athletes.

January 14, 2011

Harrington resigns as Brown Head Field Hockey Coach

Tara Harrington.  Courtesy of Brown U. Sports Information.

Tara Harrington. Courtesy of Brown U. Sports Information.

(Jan. 11).  Tara Harrington has resigned from her position as head field hockey coach at Brown University after going 17-51 in four seasons.  Having spent the past 12 seasons as a member of the Brown field hockey staff, Harrington is now shifting into a career in University Advancement at Roger Williams University in Bristol, RI.  Her resignation comes a couple of months after first assistant Christy Utter’s departure following the 2010 fall season.

There is no evidence to indicate that Harrington’s resignation has anything to do with the fact that the Brown University field hockey team has to play their home games on Warner Roof.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

January 12, 2011

CE Director Kristen Winn Featured as an Ultimate Performance Clinician

Kristen Winn, Head Field Hockey Coach at Princeton University and one of CE’s camp summer camp directors, will be speaking Jan. 13 & 14 at the Ultimate Performance Coaching Seminar in Atlantic City, NJ.  Her topics include “All About Midfield” and “Goal Scoring”.

We’ve dropped a short clip below offering a preview of Kristen’s topic on “Goal Scoring”.  All aspects of the video production are the work of Princeton based producer and director extraordinaire, Doug Myers.

January 10, 2011

Tagliente Named UMass Head Field Hockey Coach

Carla Tagliente.  Courtesy of Northwestern University Sports Information

Carla Tagliente

Last Friday, the University of Massachusetts named Carla Tagliente head field hockey coach.  Tagliente replaces Justine Sowry who was named head coach at Louisville last month.  Tagliente arrives at UMass after spending the last eight seasons in the Big Ten with stints at Iowa (’03-’05), Michigan (’06-’08) and Northwestern (’09-’10).  Tagliente currently serves as head coach for the U19 U.S. National Team.  Her distinguished resume also includes 78 caps as U.S. National Team member.

Tagliente is a veteran Champion’s Edge camp coach dating back to 2003.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

January 4, 2011

Division I Liberty University Adds Field Hockey

Jodi Murphy.  Image courtesy of Richmond University Sports Information.

Jodi Murphy. Image courtesy of Richmond University Sports Information.

Not sure how we missed this, since the press release was issued November 18, 2010…

Liberty University of Lynchburg, VA has added women’s field hockey to their roster of NCAA Division I sports.  Former Richmond assistant coach Jodi Murphy has been named the program’s first head coach.  The inaugural season will begin this coming fall, 2011.  Liberty will maintain independent status for the 2011 season and join the NorPac conference starting the fall of 2012.  An informational meeting regarding the program is open to Liberty students on Jan. 25.

Given then timing of the announcement, one would expect a heavy 2011 roster of walk-ons, as most 2011 high school scholarship athletes are likely committed by now.  Judging from the facilities photos, it appears the field hockey games will be played on field turf.  This could prove to be difficult to overcome when scheduling, especially as a new program, as most teams desire to play  on a water-based playing surface (the international standard).  Look for the majority of Liberty’s games for now and the foreseeable future to be played on the road.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

December 27, 2010

Cathro Joins Field Hockey Staff at UNC

Guy Cathro.  Image courtesy of Syracuse University Sports Information.

Guy Cathro. Image courtesy of Syracuse University Sports Information.

Guy Cathro has been appointed an assistant field hockey coach and Director of Player Development at The University of North Carolina.  He has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at Syracuse University.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the record snow fall in Syracuse this year”, said Cathro.  Unfortunately, I won’t be taking my shovel and snow chains to Chapel Hill, but I have an amazing ice scraper that I’m looking forward to sharing with my new colleagues.”

Okay – the quotes are completely fabricated.  You can access the official press release from

Cathro has served as an assistant coach at the New Jersey High Performance Training Center with head coach and CE Director Kristen Holmes-Winn. New Jersey has won the US Field Hockey Women’s National Championship three out of the last four years.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

December 16, 2010

Justine Sowry Named University of Louisville Head Field Hockey Coach


Justine Sowry. Courtesy of U. of Mass. Sports Information

Justine Sowry has taken over as head field hockey coach at the University of Louisville.  She’s fresh off guiding the 2010 University of Massachusetts field hockey team to it’s third A10 Championship during her 4 year tenure.  Sowry replaces Pam Bustin, the new head field hockey coach of Duke University.

Read the full press release from University of Louisville Sports Information.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

December 15, 2010

CE Camp & Clinic Alums named 2010 H.S. Field Hockey All-Americans

Twenty six percent of this year’s Harrow Sports / NFHCA High School Regional All-Americans are Champion’s Edge Field Hockey camp & clinic alums.  Is that a lot?  Not sure, but it sounds impressive.  Congrats ladies.  Hopefully your CE camp t-shirts still have a few miles left in them.

MidAtlantic Region

Hannah Barreca, Shore Regional High School

Teresa Benvenuti, Oak Knoll School

Colleen Boyce, Voorhees High School

Catherine Caro, Bridgewater Raritan High School

Carly Celkos, Eastern High School

Madison Copeland, Peddie School

Shannon Johnson, Shore Regional High School

Mideast Region

Echo Bretz, Lehighton High School

Jenna Chrismer, Crestwood High School

Christyn Davidson, Wilson High School

Elizabeth Fedele, North Penn High School

Laura Gebhart, Donegal High School

Madison Harding, Central Bucks High School

Lauren Hibshman, Parkland High School

Sarah Hospodar, Merion Mercy Academy

AshLeigh Sebia, Wyoming Seminary

Northeast Region

Shannon McSweeney, Phillips Academy – Andover

Marissa Shaw, Nokomis Regional High School

South Region

Julia Aymonin, Tabb High School

Brianna Jasenak, Tabb High School

Mia Kane, Charlotte Latin School

Loren Shealy, Charlotte Country Day School

West Region

Mary Susan Bro, Lake Forest High School

Sydney Kirby, Hathaway Brown School

Kasey Quon, Lake Forest High School

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

December 14, 2010

2010 Harrow Sports / NFHCA High School All-American Teams

Award season rolls on as Harrow Sports and the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School have announced the 2010 High School All-American Teams.  The first and second teams are comprised of athletes from the various Regional All-American teams, which were featured in the previous post.  CE wishes to pass along a hearty congratulations to all athletes.  We wish you all successful and productive college careers.

First Team

Hannah Barreca Shore Regional High School West Long Branch, NJ

Abby Bascetta Granby Memorial High School Granby, CT

Abby Beltrani Ward Melville High School East Setauket, NY

Emma Bozek Lakeland High School Shrub Oak, NY

Echo Bretz Lehighton High School Lehighton, PA

Maxine Fluharty Sussex Technical High School Georgetown, DE

Laura Gebhart Donegal High School Mount Joy, PA

Jordyn Hamilton Pinkerton Academy Derry, NH

Sarah Hospodar Merion Mercy Academy Merion Station, PA

Debi-Michelle Jantzen Shoreham-Wading River High School Shoreham, NY

Sydney Kirby Hathaway Brown School Shaker Heights, OH

Jordan Page Cocalico High School Denver, PA

Kelsey Smither Lakeland High School Suffolk, VA

Becky Stiles Shawnee High School Medford, NJ

Taylor West Pocomoke High School Pocomoke, MD

Emily Wold Freehold Boro High School Freehold, NJ

Second Team

Corinne Allen Eastern High School Voorhees, NJ

Kate Barber Lafayette High School Wildwood, MO

Teresa Benvenuti Oak Knoll School Summit, NJ

Jenna Chrismer Crestwood High School Mountain Top, PA

Christyn Davidson Wilson High School – West Lawn West Lawn, PA

Stefani Day Palmyra High School Palmyra, PA

Lucy Dikeou Kent Denver School Englewood, CO

Jahna Driscoll Greene Central School Greene, NY

Anya Gersoff Cherry Creek High School Greenwood Village, CO

Mallory Mason Westminster School Simsbury, CT

Kristen Reitano Princess Anne High School Virginia Beach, VA

Shannon Scavelli Lakeland High School Shrub Oak, NY

Nicole Sevey Skowhegan Area High School Skowhegan, ME

Loren Shealy Charlotte Country Day School Charlotte, NC

Katlyn Soucy Palmyra High School Palmyra, PA

Renee Suter Penn Manor High School Millersville, PA

We find it worth mentioning that in order to be eligible for selection as an All-American on the first or second team, an athlete was required to participate in the USFHA National Hockey Festival, November 25-28.  Final selections to the All-American Teams were based on an athlete’s performance at the Festival tournament, an event which is mutually exclusive of the high school field hockey season.

[Matt Winn, CE Business Director, is solely responsible for any intended or perceived editorial content in this post. Questions or concerns? Email Matt directly at]

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