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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.