Leopards Must Now Think About The Remaining Patriot League Games


Rosie Shanks heads for the goal as Lisa van der Geest powers a shot on a corner

In a weekend that can be characterized as discouraging, the Leopards lost two games by one to nothing scores to teams, which on paper they should have won. On friday they outshot, and out cornered Lehigh by a wide margin. They successfully moved the ball up and down the field but didn’t finish, even with 3-1 breaks and good opportunities.

On sunday, against Villanova it was much the same, as frustration on the field transmitted to the stands.  Missed opportunities included corners where the ball was not moved outside the circle before a hit,  went past the goalie resulting in two disallowed goals.

It was posited to me on Saturday by an unnamed  person, that the team took Lehigh too lightly. That was an astonishingly ignorant comment to anyone that saw the effort on the field. This is a team with good smart athletes who have proven they can win. They have good skills, speed and are diligent. Breaking out of the funk is a challenge for all. There is a solution and it lies in the locker room. Bucknell could be the proof of that. I know it’s there and look forward to Friday.

I am with them as are all their fans. This could prove to be a life learning and unifying experience for the entire team!

 Being a Teammate is more than sharing a uniform for four years

Friday night we learned of the tragic death of a young man who was the six year boyfriend of Brittany Blass ’14, a Lafayette all-american and captain of her team. His name was Joshua C. Sollenberger and he must have been a remarkable person. I never met him but he must have been extraordinary to capture the heart of Brittany who was probably one of the more accomplished young women to pass through Lafayette. She is currently studying to be a physician’s assistant.

His passing was sudden and totally unexpected. An athlete himself, he was studying computer and informations sciences.

The funeral was Saturday and Brittany’s teammates ( I will not call them former teammates) showed up in force and traveled from as far away as Colorado on short notice to support Brittany. Brittany was herself diving in to support Josh’s parents and assisting in the final arrangements and speaking at the service.

That is the meaning of teammates, it is a lifelong connection that does not end at graduation. It has been my privilege to see almost 20 years of extraordinary young women pass through the Field Hockey program and this is not a surprise.

It is my prayer that God offers his peace to Brit and the Sollenberger family. I thank God for Brit’s family of teammates who were there for her.

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 currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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