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.
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!!