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FSL Field Hockey: Moorestown Friends Gets Home Field for Quaker Cup, Spoils Germantown Friends Playoff Hopes

By Mark Zimmaro (Photos by Mark Zimmaro), 10/24/23, 12:15PM EDT


By Mark Zimmaro

MOORESTOWN - There were simply no losers this year in Friends School League (FSL) field hockey.

In one of the most competitive seasons of field hockey in the league’s history, the gap from first to eighth place is perhaps the most narrow it's ever been.

The top half of the standings (Academy of the New Church, Shipley, George School and Westtown School) punched their tickets to compete for the FSL title. The bottom half of the ledger (Moorestown Friends, Germantown Friends, Friends Select and Friends' Central) will duke it out for the Quaker Cup prize among the remaining teams.

This year, either trophy could be anyone’s game.

Moorestown Friends' Isabella Didie scored the crucial goal in a 1-0 win

Heading into the final week of the regular season, the playoff brackets were far from finalized as Germantown Friends had a chance to sneak into the top four with a win over Moorestown Friends on Tuesday along with a potential Westtown loss to Shipley. 

The Foxes had other ideas. A goal by senior Isabella Didie just 2:49 after the opening whistle was the deciding factor in a 1-0 win for Moorestown Friends. It was Didie’s sixth goal of the season and played a huge role in the fate of both teams.

“It felt really good,” Didie said. “We really needed this win so we could play at home for our tournament, so it definitely felt really good. We were really feeling it. We do a lot of team bonding so I think we were feeling bonded as a team and that’s what got us the win.”

It was big for the Foxes as they will have home field advantage in the Quaker Cup. It was a crushing loss for the Tigers, who were trying to make a massive jump from a winless team the last few years to a playoff contender. The Tigers were just snakebitten in scoring as the remaining 57 minutes slowly ticked away.

“It’s hard,” said Germantown Friends coach Rachel Steinman. “Props to Moorestown. They came out with a lot of fire to compete. They might have known what the stakes were for both them and us. We didn’t match that energy and our struggle right now is being able to compete for a full game.

"But there were a lot of positives too. After the first quarter, we maintained control for a majority of the remaining quarters. It’s unfortunate that they got one goal off of one breakdown but that’s how it is in field hockey.”

As disappointing of a result as it was for the Tigers, they accomplished quite a bit this season and became a tough opponent every game. The Tigers ended up 2-5 but lost four of those games by just one goal.

“As a whole, and as much as the losses sting, seeing this team really come together and move the ball well and work as a unit has been an awesome year,” Steinman said. “Playing on turf at La Salle (University) has significantly improved our game. We’re becoming a team that you can’t take easy. We’re not a guaranteed win when you play us anymore.”

For Moorestown Friends, the Quakers were disappointed to miss out on the playoffs but a Quaker Cup would send the Foxes off on a high note.

Moorestown Friends' Olivia Neri on playing in tight games and securing home field advantage in the Quaker Cup

Moorestown Friends is competing in its final season in the Friends School League and will join the Burlington County Scholastic League next year. You can bet they’d like to take a trophy with them.

“Getting home field in the Quaker Cup is really important,” Moorestown Friends senior Olivia Neri said. “Playing at our home field is familiar. That’s what helps us win games.”

Moorestown Friends will host Friends Select in the Quaker Cup semi final. The Foxes blanked the Falcons, 3-0, in Philadelphia on Oct. 10. Germantown Friends will host Friends Central in a rematch of the season opener which the Tigers took 1-0 in Wynnewood. 

A Numbers Game

It’s truly remarkable how close the entire slate of Friends League Games were this season, in comparison to previous years. There were 13 one-goal games during the regular season compared to nine last season. The last time it was even that close was in 2018 when there were a dozen one-goal contests.

Even more eye-opening is the decrease of blowout games. Each year from 2017 through 2019, there were eight games each season that had a goal margin of five or more. Once the sport returned from the pandemic in 2021, there were 10 games decided by five or more goals. Last year there were nine. 

This year? Just two. And they were by exactly five goals each. Entering the postseason, Friends Central had the worst goal differential in the league at -16, which is a far cry from previous years that saw goal differentials in the -40’s and -50’s.

Here’s hoping next season is just as good!

Playoffs Have Arrived

Friday’s regular season finale between Academy of the New Church and Shipley decided which team would take home field advantage throughout the playoffs. As expected, it was a good one between last year’s finalists who were both undefeated entering the game.

ANC burst out to a 1-0 lead before Shipley took the next two goals to swing in front. Chloe Robertson tied it back up for the Lions in the third quarter but Shipley struck twice in the final stanza to take a 4-2 victory and give the Gators the top seed and home field throughout the playoffs.

The Shipley win snapped a regular season Friends League winning streak of 21 straight games for the Lions, which dated back to the 2019 season.

The Gators will host Westtown (3-4) in the semifinal on Tuesday as the teams just met last week with the aforementioned 6-2 Gators’ win. The Moose are in the playoffs for the first time since 2019 when they reached the championship game.

George School is the third seed and the Cougars rebounded nicely after a couple of tough losses to the top two seeds to open the season. George School ran the table with five straight FSL wins to finish 5-2.

You can expect a fired up Cougars team as it suffered its worst loss of the season at the hands of the Lions on Sept. 26. That was nearly a month ago and the George School has picked up a lot of momentum since then. Expect another close one.


Shipley School 7-0

Academy of the New Church 6-1

George School 5-2

Westtown School 3-4

Germantown Friends 3-4

Moorestown Friends 3-4

Friends Central 1-6

Friends Select 1-6

Top 4 play in FSL Playoffs

Bottom 4 compete for Quaker Cup