Missing on the field this afternoon, in a competition with Villanova University, were well known Leopard seniors, but the new Leopards displayed a revamped structure, and some players found themselves in different positions. Coach Stone started to experiment with new lineups for 2018, as well as unveiling some different wrinkles for the upcoming season. I’m sure I am not qualified to describe Stone’s strategy ( and we’ll save it as a surprise for the fall), but the team is getting comfortable with the changes this spring. The most obvious difference to me was Anna Steps move to a more mid-field position from the backfield, and this seems to be more suited to her abilities. She moved with confidence through the middle of the field and showed her potential as a scorer.
Audrey Sawers saw plenty of action and continues to improve, while Lisa van der Geest is rock solid in her leadership position in the backfield. Sophie Carr showed plenty of energy on field especially as she gets near the circle, while Grace Angelella will be dangerous anywhere near the goal.
While the younger players advance, the rising seniors provide stability and strength. KristenTaylor showed why she can be depended on with her sure stick work, and Theressa Delahanty is in on many an attacking play. Rachel Bird was solid as was Adriana Pero and Liza Welch.
All was not perfect as the change in strategy caused some miscues and shots still need to be less hesitant. Outlet passing suffered somewhat from the lack of familiarity as well. The Leopards will have four more opportunities to practice their skills against opponents this spring, the next will be on April 6 at 6 pm at home against Monmouth. After a short break at the end of the spring competitions they will begin preparation for their series in South Africa in early June.
The scrimmage was under game conditions of two 35 minutes periods and then two 7 v 7 periods with two practice rounds of shootouts.