AstroTurf launches Field Hockey Advisory Council

Dalton, GA. – AstroTurf, the inventor of synthetic turf and leading innovator in the industry, is partnering with some of the top leaders in the sport of field hockey to launch the AstroTurf Field Hockey Advisory Council.

Since its debut at the 1976 Olympics at Molson Stadium in Montreal, AstroTurf has continued its long history of innovation and leadership in the sport of field hockey.

AstroTurf continues to change the sport with the introduction of Poligras Tokyo GT (Green Technology) that was used during the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

AstroTurf is also proud to be the surface of every NCAA Division Final Four since the tournament left natural grass.

As AstroTurf continues its commitment in developing the best possible products for each sport, we felt it was important that we are getting input from those whose expectations for safety, durability, and performance are of the highest priority.

AstroTurf® has a long history of innovation and leadership in the world of field hockey. Back in 1975, it was AstroTurf ® that helped change the sport when the first International Field Hockey game was played on the company’s synthetic playing field in Montreal.

At the same time, field hockey has shaped AstroTurf®’s history. Always focused on offering athletes the best possible playing surface, it was the company’s quest to develop specialized knitting equipment and innovative manufacturing processes that have kept AstroTurf at the forefront of the industry and established its reputation as a leading provider of field hockey’s most elite surfaces.

AstroTurf® is recognized as the Official Artificial Surface Provider of both USA Field Hockey and the National Field Hockey Association and a preferred supplier for FIH. With the new field hockey field at The College of New Jersey, the company is also proud to be a part of the journey of such an incredible group of college athletes.

“We are thrilled to have such a talented and respected group of coaches on our AstroTurf Field Hockey Advisory Council,” said Melissa Twist, AstroTurf’s National Manager of Field Hockey Sales. “Their insights and expertise will help us continue to innovate and elevate the sport of field hockey on AstroTurf surfaces across the country.”

The council will meet to discuss product expectations, challenges, and technological advancements that are coming more and more rapidly in field hockey surfacing.

The first AstroTurf Field Hockey Advisory Council features an all-star lineup of coaches from some of the top college programs in the country on numerous levels.

Missy Meharg
University of Maryland
Maryland Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex
AstroTurf 12

Meharg completed her 35th season at the helm of the Maryland field hockey program in 2022. Voted National Coach of the Year an unprecedented nine times, Meharg has exemplified the tradition of excellence Maryland field hockey has become known for. The program has captured 26 conference titles, been to the NCAA Semifinals 21 times and won eight National Championships. In 2021, Meharg became just the third Division I coach to reach the 600-career wins mark. As of 2022, she has compiled a career record of 624-160-9. Meharg has coached 56 All-Americans and six Olympians.

Pam Bustin
Duke University
Williams Field at Jack Katz Stadium
Poligras Toyko GT (Green Technology)

A two-time ACC and NFHCA South Region Coach of the Year and a member of the USA Field Hockey Hall of Fame, Pam Bustin has revitalized the Duke field hockey program in her 11 seasons in Durham, guiding the Blue Devils to a 136-80 ledger and a trip to the 2013 NCAA title game. During her time in Durham, Bustin has overseen numerous All-America selections, All-South Region picks and All-ACC honorees.

Carla Tagliente
Princeton University
Bedford Field
AstroTurf 12

Carla Tagliente took over the Princeton University program in 2016. She has compiled a record of 65-37, including taking the Tigers to one NCAA championship game and three NCAA Final Fours. During the 2019 season that Princeton go 16-5 overall, the Tigers registered a 13-game winning streak which was the program’s second longest streak ever. Princeton went on to win the Ivy League title and reach the National Championship Game for the fourth time ever. Tagliente was honored as Ivy League Coach of the Year. Her first season with Princeton (12-8) was a magical one as the team received its first at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament in program history en route to a Final Four berth.

Dina Rizzo
Princeton University, Associate Head Coach
Bedford Field
AstroTurf 12

Dina Rizzo is in her eighth year on the Princeton staff and third as the associate head coach.
Rizzo made her way to Princeton after spending the previous six seasons as the associate head coach at Maryland. During her time with the Terrapins, Rizzo helped the team to back-to-back national championships (2010-11), four Final Four appearances, two ACC titles and two straight Big Ten regular season titles (2014-15). She contributed to the development of 42 National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association (NFHCA) Academic All-Americans, two Olympians, four national team members, 23 All-Americans, 28 all-conference members and two Honda Broderick winners.

Jarred Martin
Ohio State University
Buckeye Varsity Field
AstroTurf 12 System 90

Coach Jarred Martin has posted a record of 67-62 since taking over for the Buckeyes in 2017 and has the team positioned for success for many years to come. His 2019 squad featured one of the nation’s best offense – it was 10th in the country in goals per game (3.06 per game). After the COVID-19 pandemic moved the 2020 fall season to the spring of 2021, Martin guided the Buckeyes to wins in seven of their final nine games and a spot in the Big Ten Tournament title game for the first time in 11 years. Martin, a native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., retired from the U.S. Men’s National field hockey squad in 2012 after 12 seasons with the team.

Tara Zollinger
Shippensburg University
Robb Sports Complex

In 2021, Zollinger (100-22) directed the Raiders to a perfect 20-0 record, resulting in Shippensburg’s fourth NCAA National Championship in school history. It marked the first time since 2010 that a team won a NCAA Division II Field Hockey Championship with an undefeated record and marked SU’s first undefeated season since 1977. The Raiders also snapped a 16-year drought with the school’s second Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Field Hockey Championship. Zollinger was named the 2021 PSAC Coach of the Year, her first PSAC Coach of the Year award, and the first time an SU coach received the award since 2011. During the 2021 season, Shippensburg led the nation in goals per game (4.95), scoring average (4.92), scoring margin (4.33), assists per game (3.30), points per game (13.20) and shutouts per game (0.60), and ranked second in penalty corners per game (13.40). The Raiders allowed multiple goals against in just three games, and one goal or less in the final 14 games of the season (including nine shutouts).

Katharine DeLorenzo
Middlebury College
Peter Kohn Field
Poligras Platinum

DeLorenzo has led the Panthers to tremendous successes since arriving for the 2001 season, including an impressive 351-63 record. In that time, the Panthers advanced to the NCAA Championship game on 10 occasions with 19-straight trips to the NCAA Tournament (2003-22). Overall, DeLorenzo and the Panthers have won six NCAA Championships (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022), becoming the first program to win five-consecutive titles. During her time at Middlebury, DeLorenzo, who has a career record of 425-126-2, has coached four NFHCA National Player’s of the Year and dozens of All Americans. She also has numerous Coach of the Year honors.

Michelle Madison
University of Virginia
Turf Field
AstroTurf 12 System 90

Head coach Michele Madison (444-273-8 career record, 21 NCAA Tournaments, 5 Final Fours), a member of the National Field Hockey Coaches Association Hall of Fame and a former assistant US National Team and Olympic coach, is in her 18th season at the helm of the Cavalier field hockey program, leading UVA to 14 NCAA Tournament berths, including national semifinals appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2019, and winning the first ACC title in program history in 2016. In 2017 after leading her squad to the regular-season conference title, she was named the ACC Field Hockey Coach of the Year, becoming just the second Virginia head coach to win the honor. Madison became just the ninth head coach in NCAA Division I history to hit the 400-win mark, hitting the milestone in 2019. She has accumulated more wins than any other coach in Virginia program history. Madison, a former member of the NCAA National Field Hockey Committee, has served as a collegiate head coach for 32 years. She is the only person to take three different Division I programs (Temple, Michigan State and Virginia) to the NCAA Tournament.

Jennifer Averill
Wake Forest University
Kentner Stadium
Poligras Platinum

In 31 years as head coach at Wake Forest, Jennifer Averill owns a record of 411-224-3 as a Demon Deacon and an overall mark of 431-256-6 in 32 years of coaching. She has built the Wake Forest program, almost from scratch, into a perennial national power. The ACC recognized Averill’s continual improvement with her eight ACC Coach of the Year awards, including her most recent honor after the 2022 regular season season. Averill has guided the Demon Deacons to three-straight NCAA titles in 2002-04, while finishing as the runner-up in 2006 and 2008. The 2002 title marked the first national championship by a women’s athletic program at Wake Forest. Additionally, Averill’s squad has been selected to the national tournament 18 times during her tenure, with the most recent selection coming in 2022.  In 2022, Wake Forest’s victory in the ACC Championship quarterfinals against Duke helped the squad become the first Wake Forest team since 2008 to win at least 15 matches in a season. Wake Forest finished 2022 winners of 15 of its last 19 matches, outscoring opponents 51-20 during that span.