Thursday, March 19, 2009

Winners all-round

TROY, N.Y. - The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) field hockey team earned a 2008 National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division III Academic Team Award with a team grade point average of 3.53 for the fall ’08 semester. Rensselaer ranks second in Division III and third nationally when including all divisions.
This is the third time in the last five years RPI has been ranked in the top five. The Red Hawks were first in both 2004 and 2005.
“We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our student-athletes on the field and in the classroom.” said head coach Bridget LaNoir ‘99, a former RPI field hockey and ice hockey captain who has been the coach since 2001. “Our student-athletes work extremely hard to achieve goals they are passionate about.”
Swarthmore College is first in Division III with a team GPA of 3.59. Haverford College is third (3.51), followed by Connecticut College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which are tied for fourth (3.50). LaSalle University is first in Division I (3.56) and Kutztown University has the highest team GPA in Division II (3.51).
Individually, Rensselaer placed 16 team members on the National Academic Squad, including three four-year award recipients in seniors Lisa Pak (Methuen, MA/Methuen), Stephanie Petta (Hopewell Junction, NY/John Jay) and Sara Stylinski (Southington, CT/Southington).
The field hockey team also saw 23 of its 25 members qualify for the Dean’s List last semester, including three student-athletes with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. There were 15 members who earned a 3.50 GPA or better.
The Red Hawks, who finished 8-9 and played in the Liberty League Tournament Semifinals, helped RPI student-athletes post an average grade point average of 3.07 for the term. That GPA ranked higher than that of the entire campus, which had an average of 3.04, as well as that of non-student-athletes, which was also 3.04. Eleven of Rensselaer’s athletic programs boasted average GPAs of 3.20 or better.

Pakistan name Azlan Shah Cup squad

Shakeel Abbasi (right)

The National Selection Committee of the Pakistan Hockey Federation (PHF) has announced the selection of 18 players for the 18th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup Hockey Tournament.

President of the PHF Qasim Zia, Secretary Muhammad Asif Bajwa, Chairman of the Selection Committee Hassan Sardar, members Rana Mujahid Ali, Khalid Bashir, Farhat Khan, Muhammad Shafiq and Coach Shahid Ali Khan observed the trials at National Hockey Stadium in Lahore.

Full Back Zeeshan Ashraf named as captain and Muhammad Imran vice captain. The announced players are Goal Keeper Nasir Ahmad, Full Backs Muhammad Imran, Zeeshan Ashraf, Ehsan Ullah, Halves Zeeshan Ali, Sibtain Raza, Muhammad Saqlain, Rana Asif, Fareed Ahmad, Sajjad Anwar, Dilawar Bhatti, Forwards Waqas Sharif, Shakeel Abbasi, Shabir Khan, Abbas Haider, Tariq Aziz, Shafqat Rasool and Akhtar Ali.

The Azlan Shah tournament will be held from 5-12 April in Ipoh, Malaysia. Pakistan, Malaysia, India, New Zealand and Egypt will take part in the tournament. Pakistan will play its first match against Malaysia on 5 April, second match against New Zealand on 6 April, third match against Egypt on 9 April and last pool match against India on 11 April, while the final and position matches will be played on 12 April.

Source: PHF

Terengganu march into semis

By Ajitpal Singh

TERENGGANU have advance to the semi-finals of the National Under-16 hockey competition when they came back from a goal down to edge Singapore 2-1 in Group B at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
Singapore, the last year’s runners-up, scored first through Karleef Saal Abdullah in the ninth minute.
Terengganu only found their momentum in the last five minutes of the match against the defensive-minded Sin gapore side.
Firdaus Shuib leveled the score with a field attempt in the 65th minute and Firhan Ashari sounded the board off a penalty corner conversion, two minutes later, for the winning goal.
Terengganu team manager Shamsul Ismail said it was rather difficult to break into the Singapore’s semi-circle.
“Singapore played defensively and it was initially tough to get the goals. However, my charges continued to press hard and it paid dividends,” said Shamsul when contacted in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
“My players proved today (yesterday) that they are a determined lot. I have told my charges to make impression against Negri tomorrow (today) to top the group,”
The toss for the other semi-final spot in Group B is between Negri and Penang, who each have nine points.
Negri play Terengganu while Penang face Singapore to day..
Meanwhile, Perak, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor will battle for semi-final spots in Group A and all three teams must win today to keep their hope alive.
Yesterday, Selangor waited until the last minute to score the winner against Perlis to win 2-1 yesterday.
Selangor’s goals were scored by Shahrul Dennis and Narmesh Singh in the 10th and 69th minutes, respectively.
Perlis replied through Amirul Hafizan Kadir in the 38th minute.
RESULTS-- Group A: Kuala Lumpur 3 Pahang 1, Perak 2 Kelantan 0, Perlis 1 Selangor 2;
Group B: Penang 3 Kedah 1, Singapore 1 Terengganu 2, Johor 0 Negri Sembilan 1.
TODAY-- Group A: Pahang v Selangor (8am), Kuala Lumpur v Kelantan (3pm), Perak v Perlis (5pm);
Group B: Johor v Kedah (8am), Penang v Singapore (3pm), Negri Sembilan v Terengganu (5pm)

P W D L F A Pts
Perak 4 3 0 1 10 4 9
K Lumpur 4 3 0 1 10 4 9
Selangor 4 3 0 1 6 4 9
Kelantan 4 2 0 2 8 8 6
Perlis 4 1 0 3 7 11 3
Pahang 4 0 0 4 5 15 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Terengganu. 4 4 0 0 14 3 12
Penang 4 3 0 1 12 7 9
N Sembilan 4 3 0 1 6 5 9
Singapore 4 1 1 2 7 5 4
Kedah 4 0 1 3 3 14 1
Johor 4 0 0 4 3 11 0

Terengganu make their move

By Ajitpal Singh

FORMER champions Terengganu continued their stunning run in the National Under-16 hockey competition when they destroyed Kedah 7-0 in Group B at the Seremban II Stadium in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
With the victory, Terengganu have collected a maximum of nine points from three minutes and a favourable result against last year’s runner-up Singapore today will ensure them the semi-final ticket.
Terengganu team manager Shamsul Ismail said his charges have been superb so far in the competition.
“I’m happy that the players have peaked accordingly but the best is yet to come from them. As for now, they are playing at the right momentum and tempo,” said Shamsul when contacted in Negri Sembilan yesterday.
“Confidence is on a high among my players and to build on this, they must stay unbeaten in the group stage Our aim is to win the title.”
In last year’s competition, Terengganu were shown the door in the quarter-finals.
Firhan Ashari was the toast of the Terengganu team with three goals in the second, seventh and 18th minutes.
The other goals were scored by Nursyafiq Farhain Salim (37th), Zulhairi Zulkifli (52nd), Rasul Yusof (62nd) and Firdaus Shuib (64th).
In Group A, defending champions Kuala Lumpur notched their second victory in the tournament when they edged Perak 3-1.
Perak took an early lead through Dzahiruddin Ilyas penalty corner goal in the 17th minute.
However, KL replied through a brace from Taufik Hamid in the 21st and 23rd minutes and Muhammad Nur (35th).
RESULTS: Group A -- Kuala Lumpur 3 Perak 1, Perlis 3 Pahang 2, Selangor 3 Kelantan 1.
Group B: Kedah 0 Terengganu 7, Johor 2 Penang 3, Singapore 0 Negri Sembilan 1.
TODAY-- Group A: Kuala Lumpur v Pahang (8am), Perak v Kelantan (3pm), Perlis v Selangor (5pm);
Group B: Penang v Kedah (8am), Singapore v Terengganu (3pm), Johor v Negri Sembilan (5pm).

P W D L F A Pts
Perak 3 2 0 1 8 4 6
K Lumpur 3 2 0 1 7 3 6
Kelantan 3 2 0 1 8 6 6
Selangor 3 2 0 1 4 3 6
Perlis 3 1 0 2 6 9 3
Pahang 3 0 0 3 4 12 0

Group B
P W D L F A Pts
Terengganu. 3 3 0 0 12 2 9
Penang 3 2 0 1 9 6 6
N Sembilan 3 2 0 1 5 5 6
Singapore 3 1 1 1 6 3 4
Kedah 3 0 1 2 2 11 1
Johor 3 0 0 3 3 10 0

Challenge II for Mas women

THE Malaysian women’s team will compete in their biggest international tournament this year at the Champions Chal lenge II in Kazan, Russia on June 21-27.
Malaysia, who were first reserve, were invited by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for the tournament after qualifier the Netherlands Antilles withdrew.
The other teams in the Champions Challenge II are Belgium, Ireland, Chile, India, Ukraine, Canada and Russia.
The Malaysian team, coached by Yahya Atan, are ranked 24th in the world.
This is the first time, the national women’s team are competing in a tournament of such repute.
Malaysian Women’s Hockey Association (MWHA) secre tary S.Shamala said the tournament will open new doors for the national team.
“It’s like a new dimension for us, which in a long run will help improve our world rankings and simultaneously create more opportunities to compete in higher level events. The tournament is one of the build ups towards the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. ,” said Shamala yesterday.
Shamala said the team, in preparing for the Champions Challenge II, will likely compete at the All-India Cham pionships next month.
“We have made arrangement with our counterparts in India and are awaiting reply,” she added.
The Champions Challenge II is also to gauge the national players before the Asian Cup in Bangkok, Thailand on Oct 6- 15.