In a hard fought battle the Leopards battled number 20 James Madison University in a 3-1 loss at Rappolt field. This was less than 24 hours after they finished an overtime game with American University. It took 23 minutes and 45 seconds for JMU to find the back of the cage as goalkeeper Kaitlyn Arnold had another great game in the cage recording six saves, many of them spectacular while diving and leaping in the air.
The half ended with the score 1-0 but it only took 3 minutes and 45 seconds for Amanda Magadan to even it all up 1-1 with her sixth goal of the season. The game went back and forth as the Lafayette defense turned back several strong attacks by the JMU midfielders and forwards. In the end, fatigue seemed to set in as JMU was able to score two more goals to lock up the win.
JMU had 15 shots, nine of which were on goal, while Lafayette had nine shots, five of which were on goal. If you were to break it up by periods, James Madison had 11 shots in the first half against five for the Leopards while shots were equal 4 to 4 in the second period.
The team will play the first of two remaining Patriot League games against Bucknell on Saturday. The Leopards will need to win both games to assure themselves of a berth in the Patriot League tournament. A loss by Bucknell will eliminate them from post season play. The Leopards can build on these two past games to take to Lewisburg. Lafayette is in my estimation a good team, and should they get the offense rolling could not only win next week but take that momentum into post season play.
Rosa Jonckheer’s return to the attack should stimulate the front line and take some pressure off of Amanda Magadan. They should be able to hold on to the ball longer and give their defense a break. There were some great moments in the last two games and the Leopards will all need to raise the level of their game collectively, and then they could present Bucknell with formidable problems.
Bucknell is very good on their home turf, a slightly harder turf than is found at Rappolt Field. The Leopards will travel on Friday to prepare for the Saturday game in what will be played in a playoff atmosphere. It should be great for hockey fans!!