I always approach this part of the season with mixed emotions, as the seniors play their last division one game on their home turf. Each class has given me special moments over the past years and left me with their their own brand and style. This class ( who will graduate on time this spring) is no exception. In most of the sports, even at Lafayette, there are those who drop out for various reasons, but this class has stayed intact. There is a remarkable camaraderie, that I am sure will endure even after graduation.
Kaitlyn Ewing charges after the ball
Meg Lillis goes toward the goal
Cody Hunsicker competes for the ball
Rosie Shanks spies the ball
Ellen Colbourne breaks upfield early in the game
Ellen was elected as one of the team captains this year. This was no accident since she completed the Oaks Leadership academy with distinction. She had been so successful, she was asked to return to help new participants in the program. Ellen so impressed those around her she was selected to be on the search committee for the new athletic director. Perhaps the most important search for the college outside of president.
An economics major, Ellen hails from New Westminster, Canada. Her impact on the team was immediate using her experience gained competing in her home national tournaments. When I think of Ellen I think of speed and effort. Ellen literally gives 110 percent on the field. She seems to have the wings of mercury as she speeds down the turf. She was selected as a Patriot League second team all star and is the center of attention by opposing teams.
She has played virtually every game for the Leopards during her career and her innate leadership skills inspire teammates and fans alike. Every team that plays the Leopards knows they must somehow stop Ellen to stop the Leopards.
Her academic achievements are no less impressive. Her 3.36 average qualifies her as a Dean’s List Student and membership in the Patriot League Honor Roll and the National Academic Squad. She is an active member of Athlete Ally.
There is a seriousness of purpose to her that makes her stand out. My highlight was her lone goal against Colgate two years ago, rocketing a shot from the edge of the circle after sprinting upfield…. winning the game. After graduation she plans to return to Canada and will be involved in field hockey in some capacity.
This psychology major is all about precision and strength. She has been lauded by the strength and conditioning team as perhaps one the strongest and devoted players on the team. Her play on the field is one of intelligence. She is coachable and knows where she is on the field at all times. It is no accident as she is a remarkable Dean’s List Student majoring in psychology. She is also on the Patriot League honor role.
The Springfield, Pennsylvania native earned her first start in 2016 against Boston University in which the Leopards upset the then ninth ranked Terriers in a shoot out . She was persistent early in her career and has earned significant minutes each year and was a contributor in a win against Lehigh in 2016.
She appeared in every game this year at forward, and played important roles while on the field. The Leopards will miss her intelligence on the field next year. My feeling is there are great things ahead for this excellent student athlete after graduation.
Cody is one of those players who can be described as gritty. One of the two elected senior captains, she is never afraid to be in the mix on important plays, and has demonstrated her versatility time and again. From her earliest moments in a Lafayette uniform she has been a force on defense. She has a “big hit,” that can drive the ball upfield in hurry. Her abilities have been used as a striker on corner offense.
Most unique about Cody is her ability to make defensive saves. By my count during her career she made at least five during her 4 year career. It was a no brainer to put her in as the “kick back,” in situations when Coach Stone had decided to pull the goalie and add an additional field player.
This year she has scored two goals while on the corner offense set. Cody is an exciting player and you can always find her there in key situation.
She also excels in the classroom as a B.S in Biology with a minor in Anthropology and Sociology. She participated in the Oak Leadership Academy and attended the U.S Naval Academy Leadership Conference at Annapolis. She volunteers for Athletes Ally and last summer was selected for the US High Performance Squad. Outstanding on the field and in the classroom.
This Economics and Government and Law major from Reading, Pennsylvania has gradually emerged as a key member of the team at both midfield and defense. She first caught my eye three years ago at the Boston University game. To describe her as dependable would understate her importance. She rarely makes a mistake and her powerful tackles oftentimes turns the play in our favor.
After only playing in seven game in her initial season Meg became a significant contributor in 2015 and 2016 playing in every game. But it was in her senior season when, in my opinion she came into her own. The more difficult the game the harder she has played. She had an excellent game against American and has become a wall to many of our opponents.
She will be the second field hockey player in my memory that will graduate early ( in December). She has a double major in Economics and Government and Law, as well as a minor in Mandarin Chinese. All this with a 3.69 GPA. She was named to the NCAA Division 1 all academic squad for three consecutive years. Meg was inducted this year into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national Political Science Honor Society.
She has to be a coach’s dream as she demonstrates a hockey intelligence on the field and has the ability to execute a tactic flawlessly. She is a fearsome competitor during corners.
Rosie had a spectacular debut as a Leopard in an early game at Quinnipiac. Down by two goals with less than five minutes to go Rosie entered the game and scored two scrappy goals to tie the game. One goal was made while on her knees. It was this intensity that became Rosie’s moniker for the next three years. She was the one getting the difficult goals, on rebounds or during a scrum in front of the circle. What fan can’t appreciate that desire!! Her determination and cleverness near the goal has given me many memories.
Rosie came to us from Glasgow, Scotland where she earned full colors for her service to sport at the Craigholme School. She also played for Clydesdale Western Ladies Hockey Squad where she was a top ten scorer. She was also selected to the under 18 Scottish National training squad. Only 15 at the time she was the youngest player selected. As a member of the under 16 national team she played against teams from Belgium, Holland and Wales. Her energy around the Lafayette campus is legendary. I have talked to several of her professors who love her in the classroom…and why not?? She has a disarming assertiveness that will serve her well in whatever she decides to do.
She has four goals and two assists so far this year, with big games to go!! I will miss her intensity and so will the Leopards.
She has played in virtually every game and over her career to date I count 14 goals and six assists. The back of the cage is where she is going while on the field…. with intensity. I can’t see anything but success in the future for this history major, as she seems to know how to succeed at whatever she attempts.
Every class leaves a legacy to build on and this class is no exception. Go Pards!!