Lafayette Enters League Play On Saturday Against Boston University

Amy Tuner shows her form as she takes a shot. The Leopards are deep in talent.
Amy Tuner shows her form as she takes a shot. The Leopards are deep in talent.

The toughest part  of the regular schedule is about to begin. Its the part that really means something in that each Patriot League game counts towards one, deciding who enters the League tournament, and two who will host that tournament. It is the only sure way to get into the national post season NCAA national championships. A win in the League tournament also earns the winner a ring and ticket to compete against the best in the nation.

Amanda Magadan is always a threat
Amanda Magadan is always a threat

Saturday the Leopards will be taking on a very skilled and well coached Boston University team. Lafayette has not beaten the Terriers since their entry into the league two years ago, as the Terriers hold a 2-0 margin. Every game has been a close, well contested contest, and I expect nothing less on Saturday. Lafayette has played one top 20 team, Liberty University and lost a 2-1 contest. Boston has  played two top twenty teams, Maine and rival Boston College, and lost one and won one. Both teams have been good in overtime Lafayette winning two.

Hannah Millen, three time patriot league defender of the week breaks through the Longwood defense
Hannah Millen, three time patriot league defender of the week breaks through the Longwood defense

Other stats are fairly close Lafayette has 20 goals to Boston’s 17, narrowly favoring Lafayette. Opponents have scored 9 against Lafayette and 11 against Boston. Lafayette’s shot percentage is .307 while Boston is .193. Boston’s SOG is 88 and Lafayette is 66. BU has 41 penalty corners and scored on 7, Lafayette has 27 penalty corners and has scored on five. Lafayette save percentage is 73 pct and  BU is .67.

Ellen Colbourne has speed to spare.
Ellen Colbourne has speed to spare.

This game could well be a defensive battle. If Lafayette can break through and aggressively get to the Boston goalkeeper, advantage Lafayette. If Boston’s high press prevents that, advantage Boston. Lafayette will have to make quick decisions in the  backfield and stop Boston getting off shots. Boston needs to do much the same with Lafayette’s advantage and success in scoring once the shot is taken.

The offensive corner battery can be deadly for opposing teams!
The offensive corner battery can be deadly for opposing teams!

I am sorry to say for fans, this will not be a runaway for either team but a tense battle until the final whistle. With the stakes high and skill of both teams, a one goal game is not beyond the realm of possibilities. The Leopards have something to prove against the ranked Terriers. So for them it is as much about respect as it is about establishing a winning record within the league. They are the visitors but Lafayette fans travel well.

It gets no easier as the Leopards on Sunday, will take on the UConn huskies, last year’s national champion and next friday will host the national runner up. Yes, this could be a defining week for Leopards.

Go Pards!!

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 20 year fan of Division one field hockey

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