Maryland vs Princeton

It was a Tuesday night, and my wife had off the following day and we decided to take the 75 minute drive to Princeton to watch the undefeated number 3 ranked Terrapins take on the Number 5 ranked Princeton Tigers in a 6 pm match. This game had several attractions for us. My daughter Sarah played for Maryland and she took the train down from New York to join us, we are still in contact with and friends with Missy Meharg, the very fine Maryland coach and Carla Tagliente, the Princeton head coach  was my daughter’s roommate at Maryland along with assistant coach Dina Rizzo.

It became sort of a reunion, as several parents from my daughter’s playing days showed up to view the game along with Mark Fratto who used to announce the Maryland field hockey games. He arrived with his new baby and was the surprise announcer that night. He has a business providing announcing for many sports events including championship boxing events. In addition, there were old friends from the BOT of US Field Hockey.

Just to make the evening even more friendly Fran Delahanty, Lafayette parent, took the drive over to watch the festivities. None. of us were disappointed as we saw an exciting game where Maryland won 5-4 in double overtime after being down 1-4. No one left the game early, no players or coaches were sitting down on the sidelines conceding, this was an intense, well played match by outstanding, well coached teams.

Maryland opened the scoring after only 1:26 had ticked off on the clock off a turnover by Madison Maguire who passed to Kyler Greenwalt who used a perfect reverse stick to rocket the ball past the Princeton Goalie. But Princeton was not going to lie down as they used their speed and skill to run off 4 goals in row, the first occurred as Clara Roth dribbled along the left side, sending the shot to the backboards at 6:44. Roth was to get her second goal 12 minutes later assisted by Davey Hannah. The third goal came ten minutes later came from Jane Donio-Enscoe assisted by Roth. The second period saw Princeton’s fourth and final goal nine minutes into the  half off a penalty stroke by Julianna Tornetta.

At that point Princeton had taken 5 shots and scored 4 goals and found themselves ahead 4-1. I was impressed with the speed of the Princeton forwards who raced to place themselves at the post at every opportunity, and were to get rebounds or receive long breaking passes from their midfield.

Despite the stroke and goal, Meharg’s halftime “advice” to her charges was beginning to take effect and following a 5 minute yellow card to Princeton’s Hannah Davey at 47:06 the Terrapins began to come back, first off a rebound by Kelee Lepage during a corner. We had to wait nine minutes for the goal that was to bring Maryland within one when Sabrina Rhodes deflected a Brooke DeBerdine shot at 56:54.

The players were exhausted, but I was impressed with Maryland’s patient persistence. With four minutes to go Meharg pulled her goalie and inserted a kickback. With less than 15 seconds left in the game Bibi Donraadt with the assist from Madison Maguire used  two deflections to score the tying goal to send the game to overtime.

Maryland had outshot and out cornered the Tigers but the Tigers were to use their speed and didn’t waste opportunities. The overtime would be anyone’s guess.

Lorenz090218_01
Nike Lorenz scored the winning goal

The first overtime was slower than one would have expected, but Maryland did get off one shot in the first overtime which like several before it in the regular period went off the mark. The overtime became more of chess match than a manic fast paced desperation sudden death it often times is. Perhaps it was the heat and humidity, or perhaps it was just the tension of the game that slowed the pace.

The game ended in the second overtime at 81:27 as Nike Lorenz dribbling to the left corner found some space and finished with her eighth goal of the season. We talked with coaches after the game and the responses were predictable. Maryland will continue on undefeated into their tough Big Ten schedule and Princeton will meet Dartmouth as they kick off their Ivy League schedule. I would not want to be Dartmouth!!

Maryland “Never Gave up” and overcame the 1-4 deficit, and Princeton used their speed to place people in a position to score. Very entertaining contest.

Lafayette Falls To Albany 4-0

DSC_5626
Adriana Pero sprints after the ball

One would have thought after the big win against Lehigh that Lafayette would have built around that emotion, but the team came out flat, giving up 3 goals in the first period on 3 shots with the second two goals coming within 20 seconds of one another. In fact, Lafayette had no shots in the first period at all and no corners with Albany earning three corners. It was hard to believe this was the team that earned a dramatic win only two days before.

Play was started slowly giving Albany time to get into their match up zone planting two and three Albany players on our midfielders and backs and turning play towards the Lafayette goal repeatedly.

DSC_5610
Liza Welch charges into the Lafayette circle

The second half was better as Lafayette managed seven shots to Albany’s 6 and giving up one goal in the process. Penalty Corners were even at 4 as Albany chose not to execute its last corner with no time left and the score 4-0. It was a remarkable display of good sportsmanship as the game had already been decided.

DSC_5605
Theresa Delahanty drives through two Albany defenders

Midway through the second half it looked like Lafayette had executed a corner perfectly as Ana Steps delivered what appeared, to most knowledgable people, to be a goal high into the cage. It seemed clear to people who were watching from the stands there was no backswing, therefore a legitimate goal. But there was no dispute from the Lafayette bench which may have had a different view, when the goal was disallowed. Personally, I can’t wait to see the replay on the PLN to see for myself.**** I am sooo in favor of instant replay!!!

Meanwhile, the team that lost on Friday to Lafayette lost 5-0 to Fairfield, a team Lafayette lost to in the first game of the season at home 3-1.  . Meanwhile this weekend American lost the BU 2-1 in overtime  and Bucknell lost to Syracuse 3-0. BU today, got thumped by Penn State at Maryland and Colgate fell to Bryant 2-0. Holy Cross lost to LIU Brooklyn and Dartmouth this weekend as well.

Next up is a game at Drexel on Friday night. Drexel lost to Penn this weekend 2-1 and next Sunday Lafayette will be at home to nationally ranked Liberty University who beat Virginia this weekend 3-2. The next Patriot League game will be against BU at Rappolt on Sept. 29 at noon.

 

****Addendum

Looked at the replay and the goal by Steps looked fine to me with no backswing. There was no protest from the Lafayette side and a lot of protest from Albany. Maybe there was a foul that I didn’t see.

 

The Leopards Prevail In 3-2 Overtime Win

There was no doubt that this was a game that both teams needed, and it had all the drama and excitement of a Lafayette/Lehigh encounter. Forget the records, this was a game played at a high level, with many individual stars. The overall stats reflected a Lafayette domination of the field. The Leopards had a 19-6 shot advantage, which was compensated by Lehigh’s excellent goal keeper, who made 8 crucial saves. Lafayette led in penalty corners 12-2, but Lehigh was to take advantage of every opportunity as their defense stood strong under a Lafayette onslaught of shots and circle penetrations.

_middle_zDSC_0398
McAndrews gets ready to shoot

Scoring started with less than a minute to play in the first period, as the tandem of Kristen Taylor who delivered the cross, and Grace Angelella who settled the ball, delivered, to give Lafayette the half-time lead. With about 11 minutes having run off the second half clock, Lenke Havas from Lehigh made a shot that sailed over Sara Park, the Lafayette goalkeeper knotting the game a 1-1.

 

_middle_zDSC_0044
Lisa van der Geest steals the ball from a Lehigh attacker

The crowd of 512 urged their teams on and Lehigh was to strike 3 minutes later giving Lehigh the lead. The Leopards redoubled their efforts and less than 1 1/2 minutes later Lafayette was to come back to tie it with a Van der Geest strike from a penalty corner assisted by Theresa Delahanty and Cameron Costello. Through the end of the period Lafayette was to earn several penalty corners, but couldn’t quite find the formula to crack the Lehigh goalie’s stops. With the crowd roaring during the period, it ended in a tie and it was on to overtime.

Memories of last year’s overtime loss must have flashed through many on the teams’s minds as they lined up for the start of the first overtime. I must say this fan was no stranger to anxiety at the moment, but it was freshman Molly McAndrews who delivered the winning goal through the legs of the Mountain Hawk goalie ending the game after only 20 seconds into the period.

_middle_zDSC_0366
Grace Angelella attacks the Lehigh goal.

The night was enhanced with spirited cheering from the sidelines and had all the interest of any Lafayette/Lehigh contest. It was a well earned win, and appreciated by all. The stands were decorated with sign’s and balloons and the team was greeted with words of appreciation for the outstanding effort.

_middle_aDSC_2025
Kristen Taylor shadows a Lehigh player

It is hard to single out difference makers because this was truly a team effort, but clearly the team captains deserve the credit for keeping this team centered on what needed to be done. Theresa Delahanty returned to the turf from her hand injury and was a contributor all game, including providing an assist to Co-captain Lisa van der Geest for the goal that tied the game.  Rachel Bird was to propel the ball downfield numerous times to set up the play. Kristen Taylor was to impress with her athleticism on numerous occasions. I had to marvel at the skill of our players who were able to turn the play around time after time. Freshman McAndrew’s move to get the goalie to commit and the shot that ended the contest will certainly end up on someone’s highlight reel.

It was the TEAM that made it happen. They obviously had a mission this week, and they performed. Well done ladies.

It’s All About The Math

OK, short article but perplexing math problem. If Lehigh has a 75 % save percentage and 14% shot percentage, and Lafayette has a 63 % save percentage and a 10% shot percentage how many shots will Lafayette have to take and how many shots does Lafayette have to restrict to Lehigh to win on Friday. Hint: it’s a series of simultaneous equations. It goes without saying the problem is Ceteris Paribus.  ( For your non math types that means “all things being equal”)

Lehigh has allowed 100 shots in their 5 games so far this season, Lafayette has allowed 65 shots in 5 games.

Second part of the question if both teams play to form …who wins??

DSC_5490

It’s A New Season It’s 0-0…And It’s Lehigh

Friday night at 7 pm the rivalry continues as Lehigh comes to Rappolt Field for the first Patriot League game of the season. So the league record is 0-0 for both teams and if either wants to be in the playoffs at the end, this is the game to win! Lehigh is 1-4 in out of conference games and Lafayette is 0-6. However, taking into account strength of schedule  as calculated by FieldHockeyCorner.com Lafayette ranks 16 places ahead of Lehigh. Despite having the easier schedule the stats seem to line up against Lehigh in most catagories. Lafayette has scored 7 goals in 5 games while Lehigh has 6 goals in 5 games. Lafayette has take 83 shots vs 65 shots by opponents. Lehigh has taken 43 shots vs given up an astounding 100 shots ( twenty per game). Lafayette has given up 19 goals in 5 games while Lehigh has given up 16 goals in 5 games.

Lisa van der Geest has been Lafayette’s major weapon with a league leading 27 shots, while Oliva Perrone is ranked fifth with 12 shots this season. Lehigh’s other weapon is Leah Mullery who is tied for third in goals with 3 to her credit.

safe_image.php copy
Liza Welch uses her skill to approach the goal

The astounding 100 shots allowed, sticks out to me but is mitigated somewhat by the 75% save percentage by Paige Innarella. Lafayette does lead Lehigh in corners with 37 vs Lehigh’s 26 remembering Lafayette has one more game under its belt.

If Lafayette can move its goal percentage from about 10 pct to 17 or 18 pct that should yield us about 4 goals. If. we can move our save percentage to 65%  we could hold Lehigh to under 2 goals.

But figures are tricky. This a rivalry game that both teams need. I think Lafayette has the athletes and the Leopards are playing at home. I am sure both coaches are burning the midnight oil looking at tapes, as are the players. It’s alumni weekend and the partisans should be on our side.

I believe the hockey gods favor us in this one, and I am a believer in the ultimate skill and heart of this team. The weather will be iffy but I am sure the score will not be. GO PARDS!!

Lafayette Slips to 0-4 On Tough Loss To Temple At Home

In a game that had all the tension, speed and excitement that any fan could want, Lafayette couldn’t quite pull this one out. This was  a game of two teams looking for their first win. Temple came into the game at 0-4 and Lafayette at 0-3 but one would have thought this was a game between undefeated teams. It was a hard played  with lot’s of speed and skill, as the Leopard’s performed with a loose, but aggressive style not seen this year. For their efforts, Lafayette outshot the Owls 18-10, shots on goal were 10-8, and they out cornered Temple 9-5. However, in the stat that matters ,Lafayette again could not convert opportunities into goals and lost 3-2.

Temple opened the scoring at 11:17 into the game, with a bouncing shot that went over goalkeeper Sara Park’s head into the goal. The Leopard’s did not give up, and controlled the field getting multiple corners, the last occurred with no time left on the clock. Sophomore Grace Angelella made a beautiful deflection off of an Audrey Sawer shot stopped by Liza Welch after the insertion by Ana Steps.  The score was knotted at 1 apiece going into the half.

DSC_5515
The ever present Audrey Sawers shows how its done in front of a record crowd.

It only took 2 1\2  minutes into the second half to get a go ahead goal off a beautiful penalty stroke shot by Ana Steps, beating the Owl goalie. It was to be the last score by the Leopards, as Temple tied it a 53:26 on a cross and shot to the right side and went ahead with the winning goal at 62:26 during a corner and deflection to the right side.

The Leopards had several last chances with a number of back to back corners,  with the last starting with no time left on the clock. The Leopards could not convert allowing the Temple Owls to escape with a 3-2 win.

There were several spectacular plays on offense and defense, one most memorable was a Rachael Bird stop, thwarting a two on one break with the Leopard goalie caught in an awkward position. Lisa van der Geest had several long passes that got the offense going with Audrey Sawer showing her skills offensively and defensively all over the field.

For this game I saw several difference makers but Lisa van der Geest, Rachel Bird and Audrey Sawers stood out. Ana Steps stood out to me as well as she showed great determination. I am always impressed with the hustle of Grace Angelella who not only scored but was seen chasing down numerous balls along the sideline.

I thought the Leopards deserved this one, but the game is, who scores the most goals. This team is getting better and you can’t keep that talent down for long. Maine is next before the first Patriot League game with Lehigh next week,  and given how this team can play I like us alot in that game. But first Maine.

This contest was played in front of 725 fans and was well populated by both sides which added to the excitement. This may have been a record home crowd.

 

Protecting Our Young Athletes Part 2

Last week I spent several hours with Dr. Jarrod Spencer, nationally recognized sports psychologist. Dr. Spencer is the author of “Mind of the Athlete—clearer mind, better performance.” Amy Swenson, two time olympian for the US Field Hockey Team writes, ” Any athlete who wants to take their game to the next level should consider the mental concepts in this book. Dr Jarrod Spencer will improve your performance.” In the forward  Matt Millen four time super bowl champions says, ” What gets overlooked in training, for the most part is the mental aspect, which is far more important than the physical part.”

Sitting in his office, Jarrod opened with some astonishing statistics regarding stress on college campuses assembled by the American Psychological Association.

30 PERCENT : the percentage rise in students seeking appointments at counceling centers between 2009-10 and 2014-15 even though there was only a 5% increase in enrollment

61 PERCENT: The. percent of college students seeking counseling who report anxiety.  Depression 49 %, stress 45 percent, family issues 31 percent, academic performance 28 percent and relationship problems 27 percent.

Given the increase in counsel seeking, which is greater than the increase in population consider that the mean student to counseling staff ratio is 1,737:1.

DMXQfc5XkAAU9jb
Dr.Spencer lectures all over the country to young athletes about mental health

Also almost equally alarming is the number 56 percent….The percentage of of counseling center directors who say their professional identity is psychology. Thirty percent say it is social work, 10 percent other, 2 percent higher education administration , and less than 1 percent medicine and nursing.

These statistics cover the general student body and not in isolation the competitive athlete who experiences stress at a much more intense level. In most cases the student athlete’s most important contact for mental health is their coach. But what if the coach is applying the wrong solutions and increasing stress? It is he or she that may be the problem. Coaches at the collegiate level are not required to register for course taking and  certification by authorities to recognize mental or physical abuse like secondary school coaches or even scout leaders.

Dr. Spencer points out that many Division one schools are hiring Directors of Sports Psychology, a position like other medical related training position and have a separate reporting stucture outside of the athletic department. These LICENSED psychologists not only could work with athletes but with coaches so early intervention and coaching techniques could be used to avoid serious issues.

The NCAA recognizes this as a serious issue so what are the obstacles??  Funding is the simple answer, but money seems to be found most everywhere for other priorities. In many cases, referrals are available, but there is no ongoing secure monitoring going on in most athletic programs.

Dr.Spencer works with professional, Olympic, college, high school athletes and coaches and teams across the country. Teams he works with include, University of Maryland, Old Dominion, and Lehigh . He has also worked with individual athletes from the University of Michigan, UNC, Ohio State, Princeton and many more.

He is available in the Lehigh Valley at his company office of Mind of the Athlete 3400 Bath Pike Suite 302 Bethlehem, Pa 18017. Tel 610 867 7770.  His email is drjarrod@mindoftheathlete and his web site is http://www.mindoftheathlete.com