Lafayette will meet Hofstra at Rappolt Field on Friday at 7 pm as both teams face off for their first game of the season. The two teams met for the eleventh time last year in Hempstead resulting in a 4-1 win for the Pride. It was a game of momentum as Lafayette got out to an early 1-0 lead off a Magadan goal with less than 6 minutes ticked off the clock. But The Pride was to tie the score with minutes left in the first half deadlocking the game at 1-1.
While both teams came out strongly in the second half, it was Hofstra that was to take advantage and scored 3 goals, the last coming with less than 4 minutes remaining. Lafayette was on the short end of shots 10-18, making 8 saves vs 6. Hofstra also had more penalty corners leading 8-2 in that category getting five in the second period alone. They finished the year 9-10 overall and 1-5 in league play. That was last year.
This year they are a bit of a mystery. They return 12 players from last year but only 3 of those were starters last year. They will be led by graduate student Marloes Schavemaker ( a preseason all CAA selectee), senior goal keeper Carys Swan ( who was the back up keeper last year played in eight games with a 4 goal per game average and a 63.6 save percentage), and junior forward Madison Sauve who was the Pride’s leading scorer last year with five goals and five assists in nineteen starts.
Hofstra will start the season with one preseason game under their belt which I have not been able to find anything about. The rest of the team is a mystery, fielding 13 freshmen ( two of whom are red shirted from last year).
This could be a high scoring affair but one never knows. Possession will be the key to the game, as well as circle penetrations and corners, giving rise to scoring opportunities. The Leopard defense is experienced and strong which may give Lafayette a slight nod, but first games are hard to predict and this one seems, given uncertainties, especially difficult to handicap.
Both teams will have new goalies in the cage, with Pride co-captain Swan in that key role, having at least some time in the cage over the last several years. Hofstra is picked sixth in the seven team CAA this year, but that is anybody’s guess given the new roster, and playing in a league with the National Champion (Delaware) on the league schedule. ( Lafayette also plays Delaware in October and plays JMU who is picked second in the CAA in the fourth game of the season).
If we knew the outcomes ahead of time, there would be no reason to play the game, as the saying goes. As a first game, this could be anyone’s game to win. Who will be more ready?!!
I understand the game will be live streamed on goleopards.com at 7pm EDT.