It was a threatening day in more ways than one. First, there was the challenge of driving proximate to New York City on a work day. Second there was the uncertainty of bad weather that could delay a game at a field that had no lights. Third, once arrived we found out that instructions to park adjacent to the playing field was changed and parking was not allowed because it was secured because of the presidential debate next week (really!!?). That applied to handicapped as well as the team bus. That decision was made about the same time as the game was to start. So there was the 1/4 to 1/2 mile walk to and from the field with a potential thunder storm on the way.
On the positive side there were more Lafayette fans than Hofstra fans! The game started out like Lafayette was to dominate. It was a beautiful aggressive start as the team marched down to the Hofstra side of the field challenging from the beginning. It was exciting aggressive hockey. After about five minutes had passed, the Leopards lined up for a corner and you just knew good things were going to happen…..goal!! Van der Geest rockets a ball towards the goal and Magadan finishes with a Lillis assist. Our heroes are ahead one to zip!!
At this point we were all hoping we could add to our advantage and have a comfortable win. Hofstra had other ideas. After the goal ,instead of being demoralized the home team buckled down and for the rest of the game delivered 4 unanswered goals. The seriousness of Hofstra was demonstrated in the fact they only used 3 substitutes all game keeping their best players on the field right to end as they scored with minutes left. It was a sad, disappointing drive home for fans and I am sure for the team as well.
As I have said on numerous occasions, this is a good team but we are reaching a crucial, difficult part of the schedule and this three game stretch has its challenges, Hofstra was the first, but the Leopards will now meet the number 9 and 11th ranked teams in succession. Boston, our first challenge on Friday night is a “twofer.” The patriot league championship goes through them, and as a ranked team it is an opportunity to stake out a claim for higher aspirations.
I truly believe we have the talent, and the next two days of preparations, I am sure will be intense. However, it will be the mental preparation that will be paramount in having a successful outcome. It is one reason I love sports, and little understood by the uninitiated . It is the difference between casual games for recreation ,and a real contest in a competitive sport. Much like real life. Go Pards!!