What Does A Leopard Field Hockey Fan Do Now?

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Ellen Colbourne delivers the ball upfield into the circle for the assist against Temple.

It’s now been over a week since the last whistle ended Lafayette’s field hockey season. It was a season that began with large hopes, but I would be lying if I wrote that I left the site of the  last game satisfied. There were highlights, no doubt. There was no lack of heart in this team as a series of one goal victories stirred us all in the stands with hopes of  great things to come. The athleticism of Amanda Magadan, the skills of newcomers Rosa Jonckheer, Lisa Van der Geest, Cam Costello and others certainly raised expectations.

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Rachael Bird shows her form, skill and strength delivering the ball upfield

The loss of Rosa due to injury was certainly a blow to our offense. but the amazing win with then number nine ranked Boston University in a shootout will certainly be embedded  in my memory, as one of the great victories the program has had in its storied history. We were close, in an overtime loss to American University and to my mind certainly belonged, at that point, to the upper tier of  the Patriot League. However, it was the loss to Holy  Cross  that demonstrated our offensive weaknesses. Make no mistake about it, Holy Cross played an inspired game and continued their gritty play straight into the playoffs with an amazing performance by their goalie who endured nearly 30 shots, letting only one in. The critical loss to Bucknell at Bucknell was just piling on disappointment.

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Magadan scores and Van der Geest stands at the ready on an offensive corner against American

The team was not done even after the Bucknell loss, as they prevailed in a game with a  Lehigh team that had nearly two weeks to prepare. Going down one goal, this team was not going out with a Senior night loss to an archival. They came back with two well executed corners and a stout defense to seal the victory. Ironically, the two goals were symbolic in that the first was from senior Amanda Magadan, and the second from part of our future, Lisa Van der Geest. Jonckheer was there as a threat but the time off, and lack of practice was too much of burden even considering her considerable talents.

All Patriot League honors were well deserved and spread out  between señior Magadan, junior Colbourne, and freshman Van der Geest. Co-Captain Katelyn Arnold was a rock in the goal especially towards the end of the season but the lack of scoring punch was noticeable.

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Always a threat Rosa Jonckheer works her way around the Temple defender

In several weeks, there will be a celebration with Megan Monahan ( her maiden name),  being inducted into the Lafayette Hall of Fame. She holds virtually every offensive Patriot League and Lafayette offensive record to this day. Perhaps we can channel some of that skill to next year’s team.

This week Coach Stone will be announcing our fall signees. So it will be time to reload. This is still a young team. I can’t wait to see how this team evolves. We have a very solid defense even with a new goalie, our offense will be reinvigorated with a healthy Rosa Jonckheer, a motivated senior season with Rosie Shanks, and a host of freshman who will have a year under their belt with a  winter and spring of training.  I look forward to seeing what Coach Stone does with this cache of talent.

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Shanks penetrates the circle against JMU

The bottom line is the Patriot League is improving, but so are we. The top of the Patriot league  will be nationally ranked, and I see a time when the league will provide more than one team into the NCAA’s. It is a reminder, that it will not get easier and our team will need to get better. If everyone makes even a small step to get better, as a team we can make a large stride forward.

Make no doubt about it, we are NOT interested in a “participatory experience”, we are looking for championships. We need to be unafraid to admit it and get to work!!

Lafayette is planning a study to improve the performance of all Lafayette sport teams, in the League and Division one. A consultant has been hired. More about that in my next article.

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 the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 20 year fan of Division one field hockey

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