Lafayette To Meet Saint Joseph University In Spring Game

The Leopards will travel to City Avenue in Philadelphia for the second day of spring competition by playing a regular game with the Hawks of St. Joseph University. The Hawks are led by third year head coach Lynn Farquar. St. Josephs returned to the A-10 championship game for the first time since 2008 after an undefeated league season. They lost to Umass in the championship game. The Hawk’s offense will provide a strong test for the Leopards as the Philadelphia squad averaged almost 3 goals a game, including a 4-0 win last year against their only Patriot League opponent Bucknell.

Sophmore all american Anna Willocks provides offensive punch for the Hawks

St.Joe’s return 16 players including their sophomore all american star Anna Willocks from New Zealand. They will have a freshman goalie in the cage who had an  average 1.8 goals against average during  last season.

This will be St. Joseph’s first outdoor contest while the Leopards had their first outing last Sunday against Lehigh, Cornell,and Temple. The Leopards will also return a large group led by all-conference players Ellen Colbourne and Lisa Van der Geest. Lafayette is relatively healthy and will substitute liberally during this off-season contest while moving people around to new positions and trying new strategies and lineups.

Most likely Lafayette will split goal keeping duties between Ellie Ulery and Sara Park who both saw no game action last year. The Leopards will also be looking for attacking mid fielders to replace graduating senior all american and national team member Amanda Magadan. But there is a plethora of talent returning, and it all may hinge on how players work together. The play of Kristen Taylor was very solid last week and I am certain she could be a key factor in the returning midfield along with rising senior Meg Lillis.

Cam Costello shows her defensive skills against Boston last year

One area of work to watch for will be on attacking corners where goal production will need to be improved. However, last week’s experience should be valuable in making progress this Sunday. The defense is very solid with Van der Geest and rising senior Cody Hunsicker providing much of the leadership to a veteran group. Veteran defender and rising Junior Rachel Bird is still nursing sore shins but it should not effect her regular season. On the offensive side I will be watching our veteran freshmen Rosa Jonckeer and Cameron Costello as they get their second bite at true competition this spring. We will also see junior Rosie Shanks return to the field to bolster our offensive scoring after recovering from a minor injury last week.  Rising senior Kaitlyn Ewing will provide strength and athleticism to the forward unit

Sam DeMaio will give her all on the field!!

The Spring season will provide an opportunity for other players to show what they can do. I expect to see improvement from Theresa Delahanty, Adriana Pero, Samantha DeMaio, and others as they step onto the turf. Ana Buzzard, Caroline Turnbull, Liza Welch, and Jenn DeLongis will also be in the mix.

As new faces occupy new places on the field, coach Stone will be looking to the intangibles that will provide a championship unit for regular season play.

The game will start at 11 am on Sunday.

Meanwhile the Field Hockey Bracket challenge continues as 2007 -17 categories looks to be pulling ahead in the both the parents bracket and alumni brackets. To play, we need to you click on the field hockey challenge on…!!!

Past,Present And Future Combine For Lafayette Field Hockey Weekend

Allison Schoch and recruit Aubrey

In a weekend filled with nostalgia, friendship, and hope, Lafayette Field Hockey had a weekend celebration filled with events. Saturday morning began with the annual alumni vs the current players facing off at Rappolt Field. The alumni were joined by the soon to be alumni senior class as they took on former teammates at the site of past victories and championships. The abbreviated game gave the alumni a chance to “redemonstrate” their skills and relive glories on the turf.

Kirby Szalkowski and Ellen Colburne compete

It was actually a very competitive game as the alumni showed for the most part the skills were still there. The two current goalies were used to cover the current alumni as graduating senior Katelyn Arnold ( last season’s goalie) showed her athletic skill by playing in the field. Former all- american Brittany Blass showed she hasn’t lost step while playing in the midfield ( Brittany begin physician’s assistant classes this summer). National team member Amanda Magadan drew a lot attention as well. Allison Schoch and Kendall Weedling brought their recruits for the classes  of 2035 and 2039.

Kelsey Mead, Haily Keenan, and Ami Turner encourage their alumni team

The game and turnout demonstrate that their athletic experience has generated lifetime attachments as alumni and current players swapped experiences and caught up on their lives since graduation.

After the game, it was the current team’s turn to celebrate the past season and honor the senior class. The seniors began by reviewing the highlights and fun they had during the last four years as parents, fans and next year’s sophomores, juniors and seniors joined in the frivolity. Next up was the juniors who gave their sendoff. Coach Stone presented the annual awards.

Seniors Ami Turner, Amanda Magadan, Katelyn Arnold and Aliza Furneaux relive 4 years of fun.

Kaitlyn Arnold received the Academic Excellence award with her 4.0 average. Amanda Magadan got the Iron Leopard award for her physical fitness. Aliza Furneaux was named by the team as the unsung hero. Everyone will remember her heroics in the effort against then number 9 ranked Boston University when she scored the winning goal in the shootout.  The players award was given to Arnold as she demonstrated all that the field hockey program represents. Coaches awarded Ami Turner the “coaches award,” for her extraordinary effort on the field. Finally, the Rapppolt Most Valuable Player award went to all-american and now US team member Amanda Magadan.

Seniors grab their mementos after the banquet

The assembled players, coaches and fans were then treated to a highlight video of the season as the team will now move on to the next chapter. The video was professionally put together by assistant Coach Emily Janis.

Sunday was all about the future as spring games began in earnest with a series of games against Lehigh, Cornell, and Temple. Not only was there liberal substitution, but many of players were moving in different positions. Both goalies saw action in two games each, as the Leopards gave up four goals in four games.  Ellie Ulery was only scored on once during the afternoon during a corner, a hard low shot was deflected by the Temple attacker which resulted in the lone goal against her for the afternoon.

Ellen Colbourne grabs the ball against Lehigh

The Leopards opened the tournament with a 2-1 victory over Lehigh with Park giving up a goal, but the Leopard offense opened with a quick pace as they attacked their rivals. The afternoon was successful in that there was a lot of playing time for all. Rosa Jonckeer, who was hobbled by mid season injuries last year was effective on the attack as was Ellen Coulbourne and Kristen Taylor. Lisa Vandergeest was exciting as the striker on corners and Meg Lillis looked strong in the midfield. Cody Hunsicker put in a solid performance.

Corner offense springs into action

Rosie Shanks will return to the field next week after suffering a minor injury unrelated to field hockey, while Rachel Bird nurses some sore shins and making sure she will be ready for the fall. Cameron Costello looks like she is ready to take the next step up, as Theresa Delahanty showed improving stick skills. Kaitlyn Ewing was in the mix all afternoon in the attack.

In fact, the whole team showed the results of their hard work during the offseason and I look forward to more of these spring games and to watch all our younger players progress and contribute.

It’s March Madness…Field Hockey Style

The Friends of Lafayette Field Hockey is challenging field hockey alumni as well as past and current parents to take part in a bracket challenge from Mar 23- April 13. Alumni and Parents have been challenged to make a gift during the designated period. The amount of the gift is not tallied just the fact that you gave.

Liza Welch and Lisa Van der Geest combine on a corner

The game is divided by graduation year and by parent year. Daily updates will be provided via Twitter from the Lafayette Maroon Club  and weekly tallies can be found on the field hockey twitter, facebook, and instagram Lafayette field hockey accounts.

If 100 DONORS participate in the challenge, an anonymous alum will contribute $5,000 to support the field hockey program. In addition, the winning group will win a catered pre-game or post-game tailgate at a mutually agreed upon Field Hockey game in 2017. If you make a gift online or by mail specify Field Hockey Bracket Challenge in the appropriate box.

Cameron Costello looks for teammates against JMU




Only the participation rates matter.

The amount of money raised is not  a factor

Minimum donation to be eligible is $10

We encourage online donation but mailed donations are gratefully accepted

No one donor or group of donors can donate on behalf of the entire group ( e.g. one entry per person)


Aliza Furneaux and Rosa Jonckeer block the advance of a Fairfield player

The groups are:




1996- 2000




Parents 2007-2017

Parents 2006-and earlier

Pass on and share this article with your friends and teammates. Let the game begin!!!

Spring Practice Begins In Earnest

Team members Elllen Colbourne Kaitlyn Ewing, Liza Welch, and Amanda Magadan begin workout.

It was March 21st, the beginning of Spring, but the much of the intercollegiate athletic facilities had all of the feel of late fall. The Leopards football team opened outdoor practices, and the field hockey team was hard at work on their turf field sharpening  their skills in preparation for spring competition debuting this Sunday. Fortunately, the spring weather cooperated and it appears winter was being left behind.

The team gathers for pre-practice insturction

At this point in preparation, its all about regaining fitness and fundamental skills before the team begins to arrange themselves as a functioning unit. Practice, therefore was more drill than scrimmage. It does give one pause to witness the individual skill required to play the game. There isn’t one player on the field that can afford to be weak on the individual skills of blocking, tackling, passing and receiving the ball. That includes the goalkeepers, who aside from practicing these fundamentals, also must spend time in the cage nailing down their position.

For most people observing practices, repetitive drills might be boring but to intense fans it’s a chance to observe the athleticism of these athletes. Ellen Colbourne, one of our rising seniors, demonstrated why she excels in games. She is fast, skilled and demonstrates leadership every time she touched the ball. Lisa Van der Geest shows the balance and reach that we have observed during a game.

Ellen Colbourne executes the two touch drill

As the afternoon wore on you could see the muscle memory click in on everyone, but there is more that isn’t always evident on game day. There is a closeness on this team. They are friends. They tease and kid one another while encouraging their teammates to get better. The game is not played in isolation of one another. This isn’t an individual sport, but a sport where the whole can be better than its parts. That of course is the lesson learned in team sports.

Gabbie Ulery in the goal

During goalie drills, assistant Sarah Dalrymple reminded the goalies that the beginning of the offensive attack can be the save and clear. “No second shots,” was the reminder to the goalies while their teammates labored on the other side of the field.

Lisa Van der Geest sharpens her skills

Meanwhile, Coach Stone stressed balance and vision, looking forward for space in a two touch drill that increased in speed as the drill wore on. Even the coaches don’t let their skills atrophy as Head Coach Stone coached the US under 17 team in North Carolina last week during spring break.

Recruiting goes on as it looks like Stone has secured verbal commitments from a number of recruits to  join the team in 2018 and 2019. There are six commitments ready to be Leopards this fall, but Stone is open to adding perhaps one more, even after the April NLI signing. Reloading is an ongoing and constant process for division one sports.

This sunday is the first competition for the team and the schedule looks like this:

11 am Lafayette v Lehigh

11:40 Temple v Cornell

12:10 Cornell v Lehigh

12;40 Lafayette v Temple

1:10 Cornell v Lafayette

1:40 Lehigh v Temple

2:10 3rd v 4th

2:40 1st v 2nd

addendum: Senior Amanda Magadan, and USA Team member, participated in some of the drills and in a brief conversation with me revealed her amazing schedule. Not only is she working working hard to complete her Dean’s List level academic work, but practices with the US Team on Monday’s and Friday’s. An amazing schedule for an amazing athlete.

Maintaining Fitness For Field Hockey Is More Than Running In Circles For The Leopards

A yoga class at my gym (ACAC) in West Chester

A week ago I gave Coach Stone a call to see if I could peek in at a training session. I was hopeful of catching the team out on the turf to get some pictures of the 2017 version of Leopards Field Hockey. As luck would have it, it  was near mid-terms and semester break, and that particular mid week practice was of the indoor variety. Thinking I already had a number of pictures of the team running around the track or lifting weights, I decided to pass, but part of the return email was intriguing. “We’ve decided that we would do a yoga session,” wrote Coach Stone. So I immediately decided to do some research on the subject of Yoga and Sports Training.

I found in my own health club, yoga has become a mainstay. Yoga instructors tout its benefits. ” Unlike other forms of training, yoga has many layers of benefits for the athletes,” opined one instructor. ” It can increase mental concentration and improve flexibility, and balance, as well as prevent common injuries, and hone skills common in many sports.”

First practiced in India ( a well known field hockey playing country), Yoga use poses, or  asanas to prepare the body, much the same way any athlete would prepare for a sports competition. The benefits are available for elite athletes or weekend warriors like me. After pushing the body to the max, resulting in weakness and injury, yoga can help the body to strengthen and restore overtaxed muscles. It elongates tight,shortened and fatigued muscles, while bringing calmness and clarity to the mind. Just the trick right before mid-term exams.

Yoga can act as a biofeedback tool, that can aid athletes to develop better body awareness helping the athlete  avoid stress related injuries. Many competitions result in a tremendous pounding, and shortening of the muscles. Tight muscles can be brittle and hard, writes Rebecca Browning a famous triathlete. The athlete needs to enhance elasticity of those muscles. Tightening of muscles makes the athlete work harder decreasing competitive effectiveness.

Coach Stone writes, ” we have been integrating yoga in our general fitness program recently, with good success.” Never a ‘stone’ unturned to get victory in the fall!!

Training continues with the players getting ready for that first competition on the field with spring games on March 26 against Temple, Lehigh and Cornell.

Meanwhile we are planning a special “event” that will bring into competition, decades of alumni and benefiting our field hockey program. Keep in touch….which decade will prevail?? Or maybe it will even be our current and alumni parents??