Memorable wins build winning traditions, and it is fair to say the successes of the present are built on the shoulders those who passed by yesterday. Lafayette players still hold a myriad league records, unbroken even today. The rosters from yesterday are replete with stars that have carved their place into the record books. Lafayette has had its share of all-Americans and all-Patriot League performers. But as a fan it is individual games that stand out to me and keep me interested.
During the next month I will feature several team efforts that stick out in my mind in no particular order. The first is a game on Sept 9,2009. Penn State arrived with their national ranking to Rappolt field. In the first half a stingy defense holds Penn State to just one shot. During the game Lafayette collects 11 shots, 4 from Kelly Hilovsky, 2 each from Amanda Saber and Deanna DiCroce and 1 each from Caitlin Titus, Meghan Ciccci and Cara Lyons. Kelsey Andersen, our goalie, puts on a clinic turning way 4 shots during the game. After a 0-0 tie in regulation, then freshman Deanna DiCroce, within two minutes into overtime, scores an unassisted reverse stick shot breaking the tie and winning the game.
Here is an account of the game from a local TV station.
DiCroce was to go on to receive numerous honors in her career as did Kelsey Andersen. This was no fluke win, as the Leopards out shot Penn State 11-8 with each team getting 3 corners. In recent years Penn State has not played Lafayette ( the only Pennsylvania team to beat them). Maybe we are a little too dangerous for the Lions?? Perhaps in the NCAA playoffs we can renew the rivalry.
If there is anyone else that either played in this game or watched it please comment below!!
I will continue with more memorable games in the coming days and weeks!
Kelsey Gula, from the class of 2014, has agreed to provide the color commentary for the fall broadcasts of home field hockey games of the Lafayette Leopards. The broadcasts are carried by the Patriot League Network which provides play by play in high definition for all Patriot League contests and other home games. Fans get to view the games via computer if they wish.
Kelsey is a a senior underwriter for Cigna, a major insurer in Philadelphia and she has agreed to provide expert analysis of the game as it is broadcast from Rappolt Field. Kelsey played in virtually every game of her career and started every game her senior season. Gula was a co-captain in that senior season. During her career she helped the Leopards to two consecutive Patriot League championships and two appearances in the NCAA championship tournament. During her time on the team, the Leopards received its highest national ranking ever of seventh in the nation.
Kelsey was a dual major at Lafayette majoring in art and economics. While at Lafayette she took courses in film and media and appeared in several broadcasts, including broadcasts on PBS devoted to current event issues. Kelsey continued to connect with the college after her graduation in 2014, attending alumni events and helping in career nights devoted to helping current team members in their career choices and searches.
Kelsey was recently elected to the Board of the Friends of Field Hockey. She is active in local charities. She lives near and stays connected to her former teammates. Kelsey’s expert commentary adds a new feature to the Field Hockey broadcasts. Both Coach Stone and the PLN team that broadcasts the games are delighted to have Kelsey on board and so will the fans!!
For many college field hockey fans we are entering the vast empty space of the summer doldrums, but ironically this is the period where champions get made or fail. In the coming weeks, there will be final exams, graduations and all that entails for young people at this time in their lives. However, there will also come the preparation for the coming season. They will soon receive training packets from the coach. Diligence to that sort of preparation is not only for them but a responsibility to their teammates. There will be only two weeks of extensive training starting August 11th and an exhibition game with Rutgers University six days after reporting on August the 17th.
For our first year student athletes there will be additional readings and class selections as well for their first academic semester as a college student. Yes, the summer is time to decompress a little but the next chapter can creep up with increasing speed. It is an exciting time filled with anticipation,trepidation and preparation. Each new team member will have already received contacts from the current team. Many current team members will remain in the area and captains practices will be scheduled. It would not surprise me to hear that many will arrive at Lafayette earlier than the 11th to practice and bond on their on.
Having gone through this as a student ( eons ago) and a parent ( a little less than eons ago) it is like turning a page and a different mindset is required especially for our first years. For the veteran teammates also,it will mark a period where they will take on new roles as leaders. For coaches there is preparation as well. College sports demands a 24/7 perspective, preparing for current contests, near future contests and recruiting for the following year. It is my understanding Jennifer has already received some interesting commitments for 2017.
For the team that reports for preseason, there will be several new changes, there will be new uniforms, new plays and strategies to learn, and an additional assistant coach. Hopefully, the team will have already been practicing together without coaches, attending and even instructing young players at camps and clubs. There will be high performance organizations, and for Amanda Magadan several international competitions with the US Team.( The first will be a game with Chile at the “Nook” on May the 20th).
Also congratulations to several members of the team on their academic successes, Katelyn Arnold our excellent rising senior goalie was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honor society for the best scholars in US colleges and universities, and Aliza Furneaux , our rising senior defender and chemical engineering major who has received a prestigious internship with the EPA this summer based on her academic work. There will be many as well who will make Dean’s list. When their final grades are posted, I will post them here when it is made known.
So perhaps the summer doldrums are not so dull after all!!