It’s been a rough two weeks for the Leopards but they showed tremendous character on the field friday night turning back an equally intense Bucknell squad in a 1-0 win. The win puts Lafayette back in the hunt for a slot in the Patriot League playoffs as Holy Cross fell to Boston University 8-1 on the same day. There is now a three way tie for two spots in the playoffs with Bucknell, Holy Cross and Lafayette knotted at 2-2. Bucknell will meet Holy Cross next week and finishes Patriot League play with Boston University. The Leopards will meet American University next week and finishes with Holy Cross.
Before a nice autumn evening crowd of 258 the opening minutes were not to disappoint either fans as the intensity was to build the entire game. Bucknell’s Meagan Keeney was to take the first shot of the game as 9:19 ticked off the clock . Goalie Sarah Park was up to the challenge and turned it away. Two and one half minutes later Bucknell earned the first corner and Lexi Quick’s shot was again turned away by Lafayette.
The first substitutions began and the strength of the Lafayette bench began to show when finally, Lafayette was to earn their first corner 24 minutes into the first period. Senior Meg Lillis’ shot was turned away by Bucknell goalie Emily Finn. There was to be five more shots in the first period by Lafayette while Bucknell was to manage two more.
But it was the second period when Lafayette was to turn on the intensity as the Leopards collected 10 more shots to Bucknell being completely shut out from attempts at the cage. Every Lafayette player participated in the defensive “tour de force.” Lafayette used seven players in wearing down the Bisons while Bucknell substituted five. In penalty corners the home team was to dominate as well, earning 6 to Bucknell’s single corner in the first period.
It was during a penalty corner at 45 minutes into the game that Lisa van der Geest was to deliver the crucial difference maker. Using the veteran battery, Colbourne inserted and Shanks stopped, executing a machine-like precision corner to deliver the ball to Van der Geest who launched a rocket for her first goal of the season to the delight of Lafayette fans and teammates. It was at that moment the Leopards stepped up their game, shutting down the Bison attack, while taking ten shots to nil in the second period. Appropriately Lisa van der Geest was to take the last shot of the game on a corner with less than two minutes to go, hitting the post.
The Leopards will move on with their fate in their own hands playing post season hockey at the moment. Richmond will visit Rappolt Field on Sunday in an out of conference contest on Sunday. The game will be live streamed at noon.