In the past 10 years, Lancaster has changed before the eyes of its citizens. One of the biggest changes to the area is Spooky Nook Sports opening in 2013. Spooky Nook has brought many things to Lancaster one including the USA Field Hockey team.
The team joined the Nook in 2013 and signed a 15-year contract with them. The team coming to the Nook was not a surprising choice because half the team comes from south-east Pennsylvania. This partnership though was short-lived as the team is officially leaving as of February 2020. Rumors of the two cutting ties have been stirring since December 2019 and the team recently released a statement explaining their exit. The Founder of Spooky Nook Sport, Sam Beiler, said to Fox 43; “As the needs of the USA Field Hockey national team have grown over the years, USA Field Hockey’s needs have changed, and we have jointly decided that the Nook may not be able to accommodate all of those needs moving forward,”. A few weeks before the Nook put out this statement an anonymous player posted a petition bashing the Nook.
The petition stated the Nook’s outdoor fields were dangerous and not up to code. It also stated the food was uncooked and rotten, they got low-quality uniforms and they didn’t receive adequate medical services. The petition got close to 6,000 signatures and evoked ideas of the team leaving. The Nook agreed the outdoor fields were not up to standard but completely disregarded the other comments. Many field hockey fans were shocked because the team always seemed to enjoy playing at the Nook. Four years prior the head of USA Field Hockey even stated it was the nicest facility he had ever seen. So many wonder why the sudden exit from Lancaster. Once the news was heard one word popped into many minds of USA Field Hockey fans: Olympics.
For the first time since 2004, the womens United States Field Hockey did not qualify for the 2020 summer Olympics. After they didn’t qualify the team was looking through something or someone to blame. The obvious change was the location change. The team needed a scapegoat and decided the Nook was just that. It is a complete disappointment that the US won’t be represented in Japan but is the facility they were practicing really the contributor or is it the lack of skill and work ethic really what is to blame. The team has officially relocated to the University of North Carolina so fans will be watching in 2024 hopeful that this change will lead them to Olympic gold.