There were some mild surprises over the weekend. If you had told me, preseason, that BU would be undefeated at this point I would not have batted an eye. However, having Colgate stand undefeated also would have been slightly unexpected, but we must consider the competition. Colgate played Central Michigan who was 0-18 last year and followed with LIU Brooklyn who didn’t have a field hockey program three years ago. American had two competitive games one with Richmond, which they finished in style but succumbed to a tough St. Joseph team two days later. Lehigh lost two over the weekend and so did Bucknell who will have work to do before commencing a difficult schedule going forward. Holy Cross was thumped badly by a very good Maine squad despite the return of the Crusaders ace goalkeeper. Lafayette of course dissapointly dropped their first game to Fairfield, but Fairfield put an exclamation point on their early season success by defeating Villanova on Sunday.
I was able to watch a good portion of both games, and I must say both were entertaining. Friday’s game was a demonstration of the Steve Jennings press and attack style and was impressive to watch, as Richmond was stymied for most of the game. American got off a dominating 19 shots to Richmond’s 9 and earned 10 corners to Richmond’s 4 in the process. Three of the goals came in the second half and American’s new first year players played a significant role.
Sunday was a different outcome as Saint Joe’s fifth year coach Lynn Farquar solved the press and outlasted the Eagles 2-1. Coach Farquar has done one of the nicest jobs coaching, these past five years, by taking a non-descript St. Joe’s program and making it a nationally ranked power this year. The game was fairly even with the deciding goal occurring in the second half. Shots were even at 9 while American out cornered the Hawks 7-5. It was in the midfield that the game was won as St.Joe’s directly attacked the press by out dribbling the Eagles one on one and then launching hard, long, penetrating passes, keeping American on their heels. For a moment, this looked like the Beth Anders teams at Old Dominion, Farquar’s alma mater.
Colgate won two but the competition was certainly not of the caliber that other Patriot League teams faced. But a win is a win and this Colgate team needs to learn how to do it. Congratulations, especially for Sunday’s win which was a come from behind effort.
Boston traveled to New Hampshire for a tournament and took home the iron, beating two respectable opponents Northeastern 4-1 and host New Hampshire 4-0. Scoring a league leading 8 goals will put the other Patriot League teams on notice. They have perhaps the toughest schedule in the League and their offense will serve them well. I did not see any of their games
The Crusaders traveled to Maine and the Bears mauled them 9-1, taking 36 shots to do it while Holy Cross managed only 4. The difference in corners was equally gruesome as Maine got 18 to the Cross’ 3. Is Maine that good….maybe? Holy Cross has a fine goalie as she was able to stop 19 but when you’re inundated with 28 SOG how can she be faulted?? I wouldn’t want to be a Crusader at this week’s practice with Northeastern next up!!
This was a real surprise to me as Bucknell traveled to Longwood and lost 2-1. But as I checked the box score I had to check twice. The game was played in front of 2,073 fans. That is NOT a miss type. That had to be a factor in the game as stats were very close. In short, it was shots in Bucknell’s favor 14-11 and Longwood got the nod in corners 7-6. Longwood scored the winning goal in the second half and the record setting crowd, I am sure, had something to say about the defensive effort toward the end of the game. Impressive!!
JMU was less unexpected but I thought the Bison would give them more trouble. It was 3-0 in a “not” close game………..I’m still shaking my head… 2073 fans in FARMVILLE, VA…. Maybe the Bison were too!!
The Mountain Hawks only scored one goal in two games and dropping both of them. In the first game against Lock Haven the 1-0 loss hid the domination of Lock Haven who put up 23 shots to Lehigh’s 6 and out cornering Lehigh 10-1.
The second game stats were better with Lehigh taking 19 shots to Sacred Hearts 11 and leading on penalty corners 15-8. All good, except for the score which ended 2-1 in Sacred Heart’s favor. Lehigh scored their only goal with 4 minutes remaining.
I have already written about Lafayette’s 3-1 loss to Fairfield. The stag’s bus did not return to campus until after midnight but they rallied on Sunday to beat Villanova . The Leopard’s will take on Richmond on Friday in Richmond’s home opener. Richmond lost to Rutgers handily on Sunday. All three… Lafayette, Richmond and William and Mary, who will play this weekend will be looking for that first win of the season. First game Friday at 3 pm.