Nov. 21, 2010


By John Packett
Special to

Messiah must not be destined to win the Division III field hockey national championship.

The Falcons have played in 14 final fours and eight title games - all under the direction of coach Jan Trapp - and are still looking for the winning piece of hardware.

The latest disappointment came in Sundays 2-1 loss to Bowdoin on penalty strokes at Christopher Newport Universitys Captains Field, but Trapp says she feels more for the players than herself.

I dont worry for me, whether its going to happen or not,” said the veteran, 38-year coach. Thats not a thought. You always want to see your girls win that prize. Its always hard to go away without the top prize …. always.”

Messiah, which also finished as the bridesmaid last season when the Falcons were beaten by Salisbury 1-0, lost the penalty-stroke phase of the game 3-1, which made it even more difficult for the players and coaches to accept.

Its a tough way for it to end, but you cant keep the girls out on the field any longer,” said Trapp. One hundred minutes of play [counting two overtimes] and some of them played all that 100.”

In contrast to Trapp, Bowdoin coach Nicky Pearson has directed her team in three of the past four national title games and won all of them. She is well aware of the high regard that all of Trapps peers hold her in, despite the lack of national crowns.

I think everybody in field hockey has great respect for Jan Trapp and what shes done over an extended amount of time,” said Pearson. I would imagine that anybody that wasnt connected with Bowdoin wanted her to win today.

They feel like shes deserved this because of the years shes put in and all the success shes had.”

For her part, Trapp will keep trying and maybe that elusive title will one day belong to Messiah.

As I told the girls when the game was over, they are ours,” said Trapp. We love them and we wouldnt trade any of them for anyone else. They are just awesome young ladies. They played their hearts out. Bowdoin had great strokes and a really tremendous goalie.”

In the end, that was just enough to keep the Falcons empty-handed for another year. But the odds are, with Trapp remaining at the helm, theyll be back for another crack at it.