Patriot League Continued ….Boston University

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Boston University’s hallmark has been consistency…consistently good. This will be Head Coach Sally Starr’s 38th season at the helm of the Terriers. She is following a year in which the Terriers were 14-8 and undefeated in the Patriot League. Starr ranks 11th all time in wins and currently is 5th among current coaches. A stable staff has also been a characteristic for Boston. Her two assistants have been with the program 19 and seven years respectively.

Last year they scored 62 goals against 35 for the opponents and they score on over 20 pct of their shots. What is more remarkable is that they had only 108 corners, but the defense has only allowed 69 corners. Boston won the Patriot League title last year for the third time in four years after a 6-0 run through the league. Bucknell was the only team to lose in the narrowest of margins 2-1 in the championship game and 1-0 in the regular season matchup. Lafayette fell to them 5-1 in Boston.

Preparation is their methodology as they learn even from their unsuccessful efforts. Before the Lafayette game Boston, lost to eventual national champion 8-1. In the NCAA second round game they lost 3-1.

This year they will field 4 freshman, 7 sophomores 1 Junior and 5 seniors. Returning are all league selections Seniors Kali Shumock, and Allie Doggett along with sophomore Ailsa Connolly. Conolly was their leading scorer with 22 points and eleven goals as she continues as part of the New Zealand pipeline that has been so important in their recruiting. They are deep at goal as two goalies shared time in the cage. Senior Kathleen Keeegan is back as is Millie Baker a sophomore. Baker had a league leading 83 pct save percentage.

Their out of conference schedule is daunting as usual, with UCONN, Penn State, Northwestern, Princeton, Harvard and Boston College on the schedule.

The Terriers will vist Lafayette at home on September 29th at noon. Lafayette will face Liberty at home 5 days earlier and Boston will face Colgate the previous week and Princeton the day after. The last meeting at Rappolt between the two team ended in a 1-0 shootout win for the Leopards. Probably the toughest league game on the schedule, who will be ready???? We need supporters in the stands for this one!!! Defense will be key!!

The Patriot League …..First Up American University

American University will be attacking the 2018 schedule with a chip on their shoulder. Motivation will not be in deficit for this well coached team as they came up short in the Patriot League Championships, losing to Bucknell in a shoot out in the semi-final game. Steve Jennings returns for his 20th season at the helm having guided the Eagles to 10 Patriot League Championships and 2 elite 8 appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

The Eagles will be playing on a brand new surface installed during the summer and Jennings has hired two new assistant coaches. Kristin Matula who comes via UMASS as a volunteer assistant and a USA Field Hockey site manager. She played her hockey at Michigan State earning all big ten honors. A second assistant Rachel McCarthy who was interim head coach at Ohio University arrives also playing Divison one hockey at Louisville.  Steve also has a 3 year volunteer assistant Serge de Motle Veigo from Belgium.

Sam Di Maio rushes up field against American

Last year the Eagles won 13 and lost 6 scoring 62 goals in the process while only giving up 32 for a 3.3 -1.5 average per game. They earned 153 penalty corners. They lose to graduation Haily Bowcutt who scored  a team leading 11 points along with returning senior Rafaela Rubas. Maura Jacobs the teams goalie is back for her final encore between the pipes. Jennings has reloaded with an incoming class of nine.

He must feel good about his team as his out of conference schedule is impressive with Harvard, Delaware,JMU, ODU,Rutgers, and national champion UCONN listed as opponents. Last year the Leopards lost 3-1 in Washington. This year it will be at Rappolt Field. Both team will have six days to prepare as American meets ODU before their trip north and Lafayette will meet Providence.

Oct 20th at noon at Rappolt. I like the Leopards in this one. Go Pards.

The Season Begins…..But First There Must Be Preparation

Players enjoy a great tailgate lunch prepared by Parents

Yesterday was the beginning of the fall season as all assembled for the preseason ritual of medical exams, pictures, room organization and best of all a tailgate arranged by the parents. The emotions were varied, hopefulness, happiness ( at seeing old friends), trepidation from the new players and parents, confusion at new procedures, and sadness for separation from new parents and as their daughter advances on to new adventures.

In the end it was all positive and I am thrilled as ever this day has come. This is competing for a championship. They have the assets of experience, skill and strong leadership to get them to that goal. The future, as always, is filled with obstacles to overcome, but all of us believe this could be the year! I wear the championship ring from 2012, instead of my class ring, this could be the year I get to replace it!!

The first test of course will be a scrimmage with the fiesty Monmouth team on the 14th of August  at 2 pm at Monmouth (according to the Monmouth web site), to be quickly followed by a scrimmage with Drexel August 18 at 6pm ( according to the Drexel website). The Leopards will be playing the Drexel Dragons later on in the season. For those of you that may not have been to the Drexel Field  the Drexel fans are numerous and enthusiastic, so a great turnout for both games is encouraged.


We are all together

Some notes about the team. There are two players who have twin siblings. One player has dual citizenship with the United States and Germany. One player lives in Ireland but is a US citizen, seven players participated in national championship competition this summer, several players had internships or research at the college this summer, and one was a tour guide for the admissions office.

I was delighted to see Sophie Carr walking without her knee brace as she continues her recovery from knee surgery. Everyone else looked fit and healthy, and ready to begin the arduous and what will seem endless preparation leading to that first scrimmages.

But that is how championships are built!!



Hannah Millen number12 receives the first proposal ever at Rappolt Field. She was a star defender for us several years ago. She  receives a proposal ( yes knee and all ). After a “are you sure??” Agreement all around. Congratulations Hannah!!

Leopards To Be Led By Troika In 2018

The ballots were submitted  and the decision is in, the Leopard team will have in front of them a troika of captains from diverse nationalities. Senior defender Rachel Bird from North Vancouver B.C, senior midfielder Theresa Delahanty from Washington Crossing, Pa., and junior all-league defender Lisa van der Geest from Oegstgeest, Netherlands will lead the team. All three have demonstrated skills on the field and in the classroom and are obviously well respected by their teammates for their accomplishments and leadership skills.

Co captain senior Rachael Bird absorbs the review of the 2017 season

The first one in alphabetical order, is Rachel Bird. Rachel is a graduate of the Oaks Leadership Academy and is in her second year as captain. The economics major boasted a 3.93 GPA in the last published account. It was the highest GPA on the team and one has only to engage her,  and immediately, her intelligence and education becomes obvious. Her athletic skills are considerable and my impression is that she has that “big” hit you look for in a defender who can clear the ball. Hampered in part by injury early last year, she saw action in eight games, contributing to three shutouts. The previous year she was a key contributor on a defense that posted a pair of shutouts and allowed one or fewer goals in six games.

In 2015 the Leopards came in third in the league  and getting into the Patriot League tournament. She had a defensive save against Penn.

She came to Lafayette with significant honors from High School including Captain, team MVP, Tournament MVP and was the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete of the Year at West Vancouver. while making the North Shore First Team All Star List.

Theresa Delahanty explodes into the Cornell defense

The second senior is Theresa Delahanty, an engineering major from Council Rock North High School. Theresa made the US Indoor Squad this past spring and was selected for the Under 21 national tournament at Spooky Nook, Pa. the training ground for the US National Team . “T” as she is known by her teammates has played in every game her entire Lafayette career. She is a fearless but smart player at midfield. She is quick to see openings and a path for the ball to get the circle. T is often near the circle and a playmaker.   Memorable goals include a goal in last season’s win against Temple.

She is a plus in the locker room, contributing to team morale and her many friends can attest to her good and generous nature. Winning comes naturally to her as a four year starter on her high school team. They reached the PIAA quarter finals in 2014. That year she was on the Courier Times Golden first team selection. She played for the Mystx field hockey club and  while in school, earned designation on the Distinguished Honor Roll from 2011-15. She also was selected to the National Honor Society  and the Science National Honor Society.

Van der Geest on an offensive corner

The third member of this captain’s Troika is junior Lisa van der Geest. Lisa comes to us from Oegstgeest, Netherlands and went to Rijnlands Lyceum. One of Lafayette’s excellent defenders she can be seen on both ends of the field. In 2017 she was an all league selection for the second straight year. She earned a well deserved PL Defensive Player of the Week on 10/16. She led the team with six assists and tied for third with 10 points.

‘She also started all 18 games in 2016. She was first in assists on the team, and second in points. Her five assists was the most by any freshman in the Patriot League. Her success here in the United States is a continuation of her sterling career in the Netherlands. She was part of a regional championship team  who placed second in the National School Championships. She played club hockey for Leidsche en Oegstgeester.

She is no slouch in the classroom with a 3.66 average and speaks multiple languages.


This is an excellent leadership group who will make this team a factor in the league and beyond. I would love to see the team and especially these three in the NCAA tournament!!!!



Lafayette Field Hockey Adds Jaclyn Hibbs To Coaching Staff


Jaclyn Hibbs is a former all conference and all region selection from the University Albany and I have learned she has agreed to join the staff of Lafayette Field Hockey. Jaclyn comes directly from Eastern University, a division three school where she was responsible for improving the defense. Hibbs played defense at division one University of Albany, a frequent opponent of the Leopards.

Jaclyn was a member of the 2016 Albany team and earned all Northeast Region honors as well as all conference honors as a senior. She was a defensive specialist on her  nationally ranked  squad. The 5′ 1” star hails from North Wales, Pa. and played for  a local club team.

In 2014 she was named to the U-20 national team. I am assuming she will have defensive responsibilities but I was unable to confirm that at this writing.

In addition, the Leopards have added a German player on the squad and at this writing her name was not posted on the roster. Her name is Kara Tiedtke.  Her sister plays for the University of Connecticut.Welcome to our field hockey family, Kara. We are pleased you decided to join us!!

One additional piece of information Kara’s great grandfather went to Lafayette!!!