Everything seemed to come together for the Lafayette Field Hockey team in a four way tournament played in perfect weather Saturday afternoon. The sun was out all day warming the field and the stands filled with fans. For Leopard fans it was especially good, as they produced a flood of goals against a field of three opponents they will meet this fall. Patriot League foes Bucknell, and Colgate were present as was Ivy League rival Cornell. Last year the Leopards had beaten Bucknell and Colgate by one goal margins and lost to Cornell by two goals.
Delahanty and Welch Scores Two
Theresa Delahanty, the Leopards center midfielder scored two goals while showing her usual aggressive play challenging each opponent to stop her penetrations into the scoring circle and ball distribution. But it was also an aggressive defense that ultimately gave Lafayette fast break and ball control all afternoon. Opponents were limited in shots and corner opportunities as goalie Sarah Park showed an aggressiveness in the cage that turned away what scoring opportunities there were.
Since there was no official scoring and I will try to give credit to what I thought I saw and could remember, but if anyone at the game would like to PM me I would gladly correct or add information.
The first goal of the afternoon was during a corner opportunity by Audrey Sawers who was dangerous to opponents all day demonstrating her reach and strength. Bucknell was the opponent and at the end of the 25 minute game, it was Lafayette with the win 1-0.
Next up was Colgate who was stymied as Delahanty, Liza Welch and Caroline Turnbull used a variety opportunities in corners and second and third shots to find the back of the cage.
In last game Cornell fell in a 2-1 finish, as Lisa van Geest and and Theresa Delahanty tallied to put the Leopards in the lead for the tournament giving them the opportunity to play Bucknell in the championship game.
The game went back and forth but Lafayette was to use an exciting counterattack attack to Bucknell’s usual high press. Kristen Taylor was to score a beautiful goal thwarting a Bucknell scrum in front of the cage. Welch was there for her second goal as the two goals were to give the Leopards a well earned 2-1 victory.
The Lafayette squad was to benefit from the rising senior leadership, all day, from Adriana Pero, Liza Welch,Kristen Taylor, Rachel Bird, and Theresa Delahanty. Bird’s return to the defensive backfield having recovered from a concussion suffered in the first spring competition was helpful to a strong defensive backfield led by rising junior Lisa van der Geest.
Opponents next year will not be pleased to play a team that is deep and as I observed on the sideline they were talking and working together like a well lubricated engine. Passes were made to where teammates were GOING TO BE rather than were they were at the time. They showed strength and aggressiveness at goal getting second and third shots while being in good position for deflections.
While the team will now take a short break to study and engage with their books for final exams they will return to the practice field in late May to prepare for their international tour to South Africa. After that, it’s training on their own as many will remain on or near campus this summer before the grind of early preseason training and the real championship season.
Sadly, it will be my last real view of the team until the summer, but there will be a view of the freshman at summer camps and their may yet be some additions to the group of first year recruits.