Lafayette entered two teams into the Big Apple Tournament, but ran into an obstacle on the way to the Pottstown Pennsylvania site. Unfortunate for the team, four of the team members came down with a flu-like illness and a fifth is nursing a leg injury. That left coach Stone with ten healthy players to play six 40 minute games. If all had gone as planned, Lafayette would have played with two teams of six players with two substitutes. Coach Stone left the solution up to the players. Play all 6 games and forfeit three of the games since the original entries were not there, or play 3 games forfeiting the 3 games that would have been played. The players decided to take the hard way….play 240 minutes of hockey (6 games), shorthanded, practically back to back. What I saw was the determination and competitiveness that will represent Lafayette College in the fall.
The first two games were difficult, against nationally ranked Maryland and Albany. It was in the third game that they began to find their heart and skill. It was against McMaster University from Canada. They began with an early goal from defender Cody Hunsicker in the second minute of the game. Katelyn Arnold was magnificent in goal playing every minute. Sophomore Katilyn Ewing found the back of cage for the first of her four goals ( at least) during the day in the 19th minute, to seal a 2-0 victory.
The Leopards then moved on 10 minutes later to Rutgers University, playing a game that would officially be recorded as a forfeit, but was actually a 4-1 win. Hunsicker, Furneaux, and two more goals from Ewing were the highlights, in a strong overall game, which demonstrated a total team effort.
There was one more forfeit game with Drexel which I did not witness ,and was closely followed in 10 minutes ,with Rutgers’ second entry. Our Leopards managed 5 goals and tie at the end of regulation. Ewing got her fourth, Magadan another, Hunsicker with her third, Ellen Colbourne, and Ami Turner also got on the board by the end of regulation. Unfortunately, an overtime goal from Rutgers, as our team was playing past their 240th minute, gave Rutgers the win.
To me, this showed the heart that this team will bring to the turf in the championship season this fall, as the team personality has emerged. The next competition will be at Temple University in Philadelphia, outside on the turf. Hopefully Lafayette will be there with a full spring roster. Also the new recruiting class of eight will be announced very soon in April. They will certainly add to the depth and bring their own skill set to this courageous group.
Addendum: In the second day of the tournament, Lafayette, playing a remarkable 320 MINUTES OF HOCKEY over two days, lost to Rutgers 2-1. Colbourne scored to tie the game in the second half but Rutgers scored with seven minutes to go. Still, a remarkable effort for the Leopards this weekend!!!