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UWMHC abroad - Conquering America

5 months ago By Magnificent Men

Mathias tells the story of his summer holidays, winning the first ever USFHL championship with Greenwich FHC of New York.

“There were $2 beers” Mathias Swerdlow

Most of the club spend the offseason doing precious little. Some try and get fitter in order to improve their performances, but many simply try and see how many jam tarts it is possible to eat in one day without getting sick (Ten). Mathias, however, has done neither. In his offseason from his proper club, he went back to America and won the national championship (pictured at the top, 5 from the right). 'salright isn't it? Here's his account of it.

When most people imagine the “American Dream”, they think of that managerial job at a midsize printing company, the beautiful stay at home wife called Mary-Lynne, two kids: Troy and Ashley… and spending summer weekends at the cabin in Cape Cod. Life doesn’t get much more complicated than hoping the Yankees win and praying Troy aces his SATs and gets into Yale, just like Daddy. But not me, my American Dream took me to Lancaster, Pennsylvania; the home of the Pennsylvania Dutch (a sleepy community of Amish who live in houses without electricity and ride horse drawn carts around town).

Within this countryside paradise stands Spooky Nook Sports, the largest indoor sports centre in North America, a place that makes the New Cryfield Pavilion being built at Warwick look like a set of goal posts in your Nan’s back garden. With two water based pitches, one of which was covered, and the area being test run before the Pan-American Games, I knew I was in for something slightly more serious than playing Midlands 1 on a cold Saturday afternoon in Stone.

My local team, Greenwich Field Hockey Club of New York won their NE regional qualifying league and made the cut for the National Championship Tournament, earning the right to compete with teams from across the United States.

First up on Saturday afternoon was a game against SFHC, a tough match that came down to the wire. Once the rust was out of our legs, a late goal salvaged a battling draw, leaving honours even at 2-2. The evening match came against the Midwest Warriors, with a 4-0 win boosting confidence in the Greenwich camp. After this a whole tournament social ensued, with plenty of wings and plenty of $2 beers flying around (a welcome sight for the NY locals). Despite an early 7:30 start, the boys in red came out fighting, winning their final pool game 3-2 against a strong Philly side. It was back to the hotel for a long nap for the team before coming out in the afternoon to play DC Dragons for the National Championship.

A feisty affair, matched with a late winner gave the Greenwich Field Hockey Club a 2-1 win and their first National Championship, a moment made even sweeter as the trophy was lifted by one of our own, Warwick and Team Chirps esteemed alumnus Will Jones. I’ve been trying since I was 7 years old to win a national title in the UK without triumph, but I guess it’s true what they say: America really is the land of opportunity.

-Mathias Swerdlow

Updated 15:02 - 7 Sep 2017 by Magnificent Men

Where next?

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UWHC Charity Tournament A record number of teams turned up to play in the biggest iteration of the UWHC Summer Sixes so far, raising more than £580

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