Leopards Rise To The Occasion And Beat Number Nine Boston University

First a confession, as I drove to the game tonight I rehearsed in my mind paths to victory against Boston University, a team that had won seven straight games,  blanking their opponents for over 150 minutes. Yes, Lafayette was 5-2, a record not to be taken lightly, but as I had written, I thought this team had not played their best game yet. But tonight, they demonstrated the heart and character that Coach Stone always says she looks for in her players when she recruits. This is one of those games these athletes will look back on 50 years from now, seared in their memory. If I were to name the players who made significant contributions to this win, it would include every player on the roster including those who did not make it onto the field. This was a total team effort. The above video captures the intensity close to the field in its beginning moments.

Meg Lillis splits the defense on a drive upfield

The evening started on a downer as I learned that Lafayette’s leading scorer and reigning Patriot League rookie of the week, Rosa Jonckheer would not be playing due to an injury. But this was a night of character and leadership, that would allow this team to overcome obstacles. Leadership belonged tonight to the coaches and seniors. Amanda Magadan was seen all over the field inspiring and encouraging her team. Her unassisted goal at 21:09  was a tribute to her skill and perseverance. As she dribbled past several BU defenders she was not to be denied. She ended very near the end line at the left post at difficult angle on the goalie’s stick side. She reversed her stick and found the right corner of the cage slamming home a goal that was to be the difference for most of the game. Lafayette goalie and senior, Katelyn Arnold had the best game of the season, preserving the 1-0  Lafayette edge for all but the last four minutes and twenty two seconds. In those sixty five minutes and eighteen  seconds she was to turn away corners and field shots that seemed to energize the team after every save. But it was her later heroics in the overtime and shootout that would stand out equally well in my memory.

Aliza Furneaux closes in on the BU defender

Even after the tying goal by Hester  van der Laan,  which was scored after an initial save by Arnold, it became clear to many, that Lafayette was not going to collapse. Again and again Magadan was to put Lafayette in position. Senior Ami Turner, as is customary for her, was found diving and making plays all night while getting 2 shots. It was up to the fourth senior Aliza Furneaux to provide the ultimate strike in the last shot of the shootout.

The overtime periods were to provide drama as Boston was to get two shots on two corners which were turned away by Arnold and the defense. Lafayette even survived a green card to  Ami Turner in the seventh minute of the first  overtime. But the Leopard defense stood tall. Both teams fought exhaustion as they faced a second fifteen minute overtime. This time each team was get off a shot, one by Hester van der Laan and one by Amanda Magadan with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime.

The shootout….Each team lined up as each goalie was to face five field players attempting to score in eight seconds. The first up was Ally Hamel, the three time patriot league defender of the week… miss, as Arnold turned the shot away…next was Ami Turner who could not find the cage in her turn….second round was to see Grace Boston score for BU, Amanda Magadan was to take her turn and was taken out by the goalie but was to sweep the ball in anyway while on the ground…tied!! Taylor Blood scores on her turn.. Ellen Colbourne appears to score,  bouncing  the ball off the inside high post and the official rules no goal, Coach Stone and Magadan have an unfruitful discussion with the officials ( replay will show it was a goal), Hester van der Laan misses on her turn, sophomore Kristen Taylor fakes out BU goalie Cammy Jensen and scores, knotting the game once again, BU’s Allie Renzi get close on her turn, but the ball bounces harmlessly to the side…… Last shooter is Lafayette’s senior Aliza Furneaux, she moves to the right, blocked by Jensen, but takes control of the rebound and pulls back placing the ball in the cage one second before time expires…Leopards beat the number nine team in the nation, the preseaon pick for patriot league champion, and take a huge step forward to the league tournament.

http://www.Goleopards.com captures the moment in a picture you should see. I was too frozen in my seat to get down to the field to record it, but I have a mental DVR of it along with the rest of this game I can keep forever!!



Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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