Two years ago I was on the sidelines at Spooky Nook, Pa., the national training center for the US team. It was the national tournament where individual players would be selected for the various national teams. Lafayette had several other players playing, and I took the opportunity to take a look at all the young hopefuls, but I wanted to see how our Leopards stacked up particularly. They had all been preselected to play from regional tryouts across the country ,and several of our players had make this cut.
Coincidentally, I was standing next to a college coach I knew who has had several national championships and she asked me who from Lafayette was on the field. Amanda Magadan was playing in that particular game and after several minutes the coach remarked to me,” What great balance and ability, how did I miss her??” Amanda was entering her sophomore year and I said, she is going to be a great player.
Last year, her junior season, she was the leading goal scorer as a midfielder, captain of the team and was a first team Patriot League and all region selection. Since then she has been selected to the US Under 21 team culminating this week in the selection to the Junior US Pan Am Championship team to take place from March 30- April 10. She will be playing against like teams from Canada, Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago, and Venezuela. In all, nine countries will be competing for a gold medal.
Amanda has already played against teams from Holland, England, Canada, and Japan but this is the first tournament for Amanda. ” Getting the opportunity to play in an organized tournament is different, adding a new level of intensity,”Amanda remarked recently. Coach Stone added, ” To be selected to represent the United States in the Junior Pan-Am games is quite an honor.” The senior squad won the title last year.
Interviewed last week during the half time of the Lafayette Men’s Basketball game she expressed her excitement and hope to bring back the gold, but also saw it as a learning opportunity,for when she returns for her senior year to her Leopard teammates, as they try to return to the Patriot League and NCAA tournaments.
When asked by the reporter how she sees her future in hockey and beyond, she said she takes in one day at a time. She is a psychology major with a GPA average over 3.5. She returns to a very experienced team with what looks like a talented group of first year students with a broad national and international background. The new group of freshmen will be announced officially in April on the NCAA national letter of intent day for field hockey.
The team meanwhile will engage in an indoor tournament March 5-6 followed by the spring outdoor season and several scrimmages and tournaments on the east coast.