Daan Polders' whiteboard has seen better days.
Polders trekked the implement, a staple throughout his coaching career, with him to Villa Maria this season from his previous gig at Colorado Academy in Denver. But it has taken a beating.
The board has been stepped on, struck by misfired balls, and tripped over throughout the last three months - in addition to being subject to an occasional funny message or two scribbled by players.
Nevertheless, the board is still magnetized. It still erases, despite a bit of water damage. And with some duct tape, Polders was able to salvage it.
"Everybody makes fun of me because of my board," he joked while carrying it off the field at Emmaus earlier this week. "I've won two state championships with it."
Now, Polders will have a shot at his third.
After missing the state final for the first time since 2010 last season, the Hurricanes have climbed their way back. They will compete in the PIAA Class AA championship game at noon Saturday at Whitehall High against Crestwood, which knocked off Villa Maria at the same point in 2012.
The Hurricanes' successful run this year came after a tumultuous season last fall in which they missed the state tournament altogether during the absence of longtime, Hall of Fame coach Maurene Polley.
Polley, who coached the team for 45 years, suffered multiple strokes in April 2013 and has continued her road to a full recovery throughout this fall. Her medical situation forced her to leave her position as field hockey coach and athletic director at Villa Maria. Earlier this fall, she said she would be rooting for Polders to continue the program's celebrated tradition.
Largely, he has done just that. Polders' squad suffered only one loss this fall during a season he entered fairly unfamiliar with what he described as a more intense Southeastern Pennsylvania field hockey landscape and a group of players he had never worked with before.
"I started with my philosophy of coaching," Polders said. "As soon as the girls understood what we wanted and they bought into it, we began winning. . . . That's the biggest compliment you can get as a coach."
A native of the Netherlands, Polders played field hockey in the Dutch Major League and on the Dutch National Army Team before moving to the United States.
He began coaching at Michigan State in 2001, and later spent six years on the staff at Wake Forest. In 2012, he became the field hockey director at Colorado Academy, where he won back-to-back state titles. He also spent eight years coaching for USA Field Hockey.
Villa Maria announced the hiring of Polders last December, and he has been welcomed to the sidelines at the Malvern school this fall.
"He is so open and friendly toward us," senior Alexa Ostoich said. "We make him laugh. It's just so nice. He's been great."
This weekend in the state final, Polders said his team would play as if it's a normal game, adding that his players have made a lot of mental progression this fall. He enlisted the help of a sports psychologist to help in that effort.
In the midst of their final run with the team, Ostoich and senior goalkeeper Erika Miller said they're glad to have returned to the finals for one last opportunity at winning a state title.
"We faced a lot of adversity last year," Miller said. "It showed that just because you have a storied program doesn't mean you're going to walk all over everybody. Our hard work has paid off. It's a testament to Daan."