Lower Dauphin names assistant Erin Catalfano as the Falcons next head field hockey coach

The Lower Dauphin School District has hired its next head field hockey coach.

Erin Catalfano, who has been working with Linda Kreiser since 2011, was recently promoted to lead the illustrious Falcons program. Kreiser announced her retirement in March.

“It’s hard to know where to start when speaking about the impact that Coach Kreiser has had on my life,” Catalfano recently told FAN. “I am one of the fortunate few that know her as not only my coach, teacher, and mentor, but also a colleague, friend, and confidant. She’s the big sister I want to be just like. She’s the mother that protects me and guides me. And, she’s the grandmother, who brings all the sugar and sweets.”

Lower Dauphin field hockey has a pristine reputation. Kreiser, who is still actively playing for USA Masters at the age of 70, has told FAN that she has faith in her assistant coaches. When she participated in the 2022 World Cup in South Africa, Catalfano spoke on her behalf.

And, a few times during both districts and state playoff games, Kreiser allowed Catalfano to make the big calls.


“Like so many who came before me and all that have come after me, Coach Kreiser shared her love of the game,” Catalfano said. “After graduating from LD (shout out to the Class of 2004) and graduating from college (go Temple), I was not ready to leave the game in my past.”

Catalfano coached college hockey for two seasons, she said. But, it wasn’t the right match. She said something was “missing” and she stepped away in the summer of 2011 to put her “mental health first.”

“Not long after, I got a call from Coach,” Catalfano said.

The next comment that followed was a Kreiser question.

“‘Hey, I heard you’re around, will you come coach our goalies,'” Catalfano said.

Without hesitation, Kreiser’s invite was accepted.

“So without hesitation, I was part of LDFH again as a volunteer coach,” Catalfano said. “And the feeling of something missing floated away. That’s the effect she has on people. Everyone is important and everyone has a role to help the team. I can’t imagine where my life would be today if I hadn’t gotten that phone call.”

Kreiser has been coaching at Lower Dauphin for 45 years. In her final season, she took her team to the Pennsylvania Class 3A District 3 and state championships.

The Falcons are a nationally ranked high school team. Kreiser finishes her career as the second most winningest high school field hockey coach in the nation.

“I am so happy for Coach as she celebrates her retirement as head coach of Lower Dauphin Field Hockey,” Catalfano said. “To go out on top with a District and State Championship is the most fitting way to conclude. She deserves all the praises and commemorations that come her way because she has literally changed so many lives.” 

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