As we approach the end of the season, it’s a period of melancholy and celebration. The saddest and happiest parts of college sports is that we get to see these young athletes perform and grow, but especially at Lafayette, it always seems to be an process that gets shorter as I grow older. Everyone graduates, and it becoming a transition on and off the field. We have gotten to know these wonderful families, and their amazing daughters and now we are down to perhaps, two game left in their college athletic careers. Yes, we will welcome them as alumni and they will always be connected to the history of the field hockey program at Lafayette, but not seeing their exploits in uniform is a little sad.
It is appropriate that the last home game will be against arch rival Lehigh. This senior class has never been beaten by Lehigh, and this game could have significance, if Bucknell were to falter at Colgate on Saturday. If Lehigh were to win and Bucknell loses, Lehigh will be in the playoffs. The same applies to Lafayette, should they prevail. So battle they will, this Friday night, and for the seniors it will be an extra effort to create a memory they can carry with them in the years ahead.
But today I celebrate this senior class. Coach Stone has described them as all extraordinary leaders on the field and off, and I would agree with that. Each is a contributor and had an impact on the team and at the College as a whole.
Number 8 Ami Turner
Ami arrived four years ago as our first foreign player from North Vancouver,B.C. She had an exciting resume, having played a variety of sports besides field hockey, including rugby, and basket ball. She was MVP and Captain of her provincial team and scholar athlete. My impression of her on the field was one of unflappability. Ami can play any position on the field and has, with the exception of goalie. In fact, if called on for that, I am sure she would have been a great goalie.
She was an early impact player appearing in 10 games her freshman year, and getting her first career assist against Penn. She upped her game her sophomore year by starting all 17 games, scoring goals and making assists during the season.
In her junior season she blossomed into a key player starting all 19 games finishing second on the team in points. She had a game winning overtime goal against Longwood played after a long lightning delay. Ami had the lone goal against nationally ranked Albany and the game winner against Lehigh to seal Lafayette’s 10th consecutive win. She was tied for fourth in the League in assists.
This year she is tied in points at fourth with one goal, and second in assists and shots so far. I can always get an athletic shot of Ami on the field diving, and lunging trying to make a difference. She is an excellent student and will graduate next spring with a degree in economics.
Number 15 Amanda Magadan
Amanda could be described as our most distinguished player. She has been a key player all four years, and recognized as one of the top players in the United States. For the past two years she has been a member of the US under 21 team, and will participate in the Junior World Cup this November in Chile.
She was a contributor to her Lafayette team right from the get go, playing in all 18 games her freshman year. Her stick skills and athleticism have always be her greatest asset. She arrived at Lafayette after a storied career at Randolph High School in New Jersey. As good as she was in field hockey she was an excellent softball player as well.
She was an all Patriot League selection her sophomore season and became a key goal producer including a goal against Lehigh.
She picked up the pace in her junior season becoming a unanimous first team selection after leading Lafayette in goals,points, shots, and shots on goal. She even made her second career defensive save against UConn. She had at least one point in 12 of 19 games.
This season she leads the team in goals, points and shots, all the while being keyed by every team Lafayette played. Perhaps the best compliment I heard about Amanda was made by a Big Ten coach who was watching her in the US team tryouts, ” How the hell did I miss her.”!!
Well, we didn’t, and we were the better for it. Amanda will receive her degree in Psychology and Economics having been a dean’s list student. Perhaps we will see her in the next Olympics as well.
Number 24 Aliza Furneaux
Aliza’s impact came as the result of hard work and talent. She only appeared in two games her freshman year. But she was not to be denied and cracked the starting lineup her sophomore year making a defensive save against Boston College. She developed into a star defender her junior year starting in every game she appeared in. The defense was outstanding that year, allowing one goal or fewer in seven games. She continued to be distinguished by her skill in defensive saves .
She was named the Patriot League defender of the Week after shutouts of Colgate and Yale. Her block against Yale sealed a victory for the Leopards in that game. Perhaps not appreciated during that junior season was her ability to find shots as she had six overall, four which were on goal.
Her senior season saw her move to the midfield where her stick handling ability , speed and field sense were taken advantage of by the Leopards.She has one goal so far this season on four shots. However, most memorable was her game winning shot in the overtime shootout with Boston University. Character and leadership is her hallmark.
The impression as player she leaves with me, is her advances up the field, using her speed and her sense of the field when she passes.
But she is also an accomplished student maintaining a high GPA in her chosen field of Civil Engineering. She has an interest in the environment, and a her student research has led her to receive numerous honors, including a prestigious summer internship with the EPA. A leader on the field, and in the classroom , she leaves a very large footprint when she graduates.
Number 33 Katelyn Arnold
Intense, is the word I would use for Katelyn, Lafayette’s fine goalkeeper. After having an amazing High School career Katelyn was certainly circled as one of our top recruits that year. She made two appearances her freshman year including one start. As is customary for goalies they have to wait their turn and in 2014 Kaitlyn earned seven starts on some our toughest opponents , Penn State, UConn, Penn, and got her first shut out at Holy Cross.
Her junior year was a break out year as she recorded three shutouts, a Patriot League high for the year and earned an all Patriot League Team recognition. She was named co-captain by her teammates in her senior year and made a number of spectacular saves especially in the 2-1 win over Boston University in a shoot out.In conference, she has a 78 percent save percentage to date, facing 61 shots by the othe Patriot League teams.
So far she was one of 11 Patriot League performers who were named to the all-American academic team, and is a two time NFHCA Scholar of Distinction, an award given to those who maintain a grade point average of 3.9 or better.( I doesn’t get better than her 4.0) This fall at the Maroon Club Hall of Fame dinner she will receive the Scholar Athlete Award for singular achievement on the field and in the classroom.
She will receives her degree in Economics/Government and Law at graduation.