In most sports accounts, the writer concentrates on the player who scores the touchdown, goal, or makes some spectacular play and I will give credit to all those I mentioned in the title. But I also want to especially emphasize the final member of the team, Et Alia. Don’t go rushing to the roster list, or the final account of game on goleopards.com because Et Alia will not be mentioned. Et Alia is a latin phrase that appears often in legal text as the abbreviation et al, meaning everyone else. This game was won by Et Alia, the entire team. It is no secret, that the entire team was in a slump. After tuesday’s game against Penn there was depression settling over Pardsville. The Leopards looked out of sync, and out of sorts. Et Alia was not to be found.
But something changed in the last four days. The team that arrived on the field on Saturday for this important league game was not going to be denied. Bucknell arrived with impressive history having won the Patriot League regular season and not losing a league regular season game in two years. In fact, they had beaten the Leopards each of those years. But these games with Lafayette were always close and well fought. I have to admit I arrived at the field this year with some trepidation. A repeat of last tuesday would mean certain defeat and a struggle to make the playoffs.
As expected the Bisons arrived with a good plan, they were going to press high, and double team the Leopards outside players to shut down the transition game and keep the Leopards out of their offensive end. They were aggressive, and precise in execution. They also gave Amanda Magadan, and Ellen Coulbourne extra attention but they couldn’t guard “Et Alia.”
The Leopards took advantage of opportunities, and as we know pressing constantly, takes some sacrifice in energy and defensive coverage downfield and the Leopards took advantage. Yes, Bucknell had a 17-8 advantage in shots, and a 10-4 advantage in corners. But as some sports sage said long ago statistics are for losers. Lafayette on this day used a team effort which included the efforts of Arnold, Macrae, Weeding, and Shanks who helped put points on the board and stopped goals when needed.
First Arnold came with save after save. Some were ordinary kick saves but there were others of the leaping variety. I believe Katelyn Arnold is the best goalie in the League and she proved that to the crowd and her opponents. Scoring started early with a Kendall Weedling goal delivered off an alert pass from Paige Macrae who had an outstanding afternoon. The two were able to take advantage of a fast break and took on the Bucknell goalkeeper two on one with Weeding deftly delivering the shot from goalie’s right side. The second goal was nearly 41 minutes later from sophomore Rosie Shanks who also executed a break, after a steal by Hannah Millen who passed to Macrae. The Bison were executing a break of their own when the Millen to Macrae pass to Shanks found her near the top of the circle facing the Bison goalie who had come out of the cage. Weedling meanwhile came speeding up the other side of the circle and Shanks shifted her focus to Weedling creating the hesitation needed in the Bison goalie, to allow a clean shot at the goal. It was a rocket that sounded with smack that was heard throughout the field.
Macrae was to get a goal of her own during a penalty corner as Amanda Magadan received the ball at the top of the circle delivered a pass to the reliable Paige Macrae who deflected the ball soundly into the cage for her third goal of the year. Bucknell was still to be heard from as Nicole Rupnick received a pass from Amy Mucelli and shot at 66:40 of the game into the goal.
The game was to end, as time ran out on a Bucknell corner which was stopped by a defensive save by Hannah Millen. Although it was meaningless toward the final outcome, it was a metaphor for the whole game. Bucknell battled to the end but Lafayette was not to be denied today by “et alia”,….. the team.
The Leopards are now 2-1 in the league and will meet 3 other league members in coming weeks, American this coming Saturday, the much improved Holy Cross Crusaders, and finally Colgate who eliminated Lafayette last year from the playoff. Lehigh with 4 loses has already been eliminated, and Boston University has clinched a berth with four wins.
The Leopards also welcomed back assistant coach Joey Civico who returned to the sidelines.