Leopards Travel To Colgate For Key Patriot League Matchup

Colgate defender moves in to block Bucknell shot

We are in, for all intents and purposes, playoff mode, as each league game has a crucial consequence for post season play. This week the spotlight will be in Hamilton, New York as Lafayette tangles with Colgate, the winner emerging with a leg up to qualify for the “third” championship season….the playoffs.  Colgate will arrive on the home turf with a 2-9 record but more importantly, an 0-3 record in Patriot League play. A loss would give them an all important 4 losses, with a virtual wall blocking them into the post season.  Lafayette has a 3-8 record but a 1-1 Patriot League record with a real shot at the playoffs, with a game remaining against Holy Cross, if won, along with a win on Saturday would virtually lock up at least a fourth seed playoff spot.

The recent Leopard record against Colgate has been a mixed bag, and wins have not always come that easily. Last year the Raiders arrived at Rappolt Field and gave the Leopards all they could handle before emerging with a 3-2 overtime win. In 2015 Colgate was to hold Lafayette to one goal in a 1-0 Leopard win. The previous year in Hamilton the score was reversed as Colgate emerged the victor 0-1. In 2013 the 4-3 overtime win in the playoffs  propelled Lafayette to the Championship. Two weeks ago Colgate held BU to two goals in Boston in a 2-0 loss.

Sam DeMaio and Cam Costello surround a Villanova player

Nothing should be taken for granted and Lafayette’s newly established offense should come to town ready to battle. Colgate has only scored 8 goals but given up 37, Lafayette has scored 22 goals but also given up 38. Colgate has taken 89 shots and allowed 179, Lafayette has taken 139 shots and given up 150. Even when Colgate gets a shot they score only 9% of the time, while Lafayette is scoring on 16 % of their shots due to their recent offensive emergence. Colgate has earned only 46 penalty corners while giving up 86, Lafayette has 69 penalty corners and given up only 47.

Even thought the stats favor the Leopard squad, I keep getting flashbacks of the 2014 game as Colgate scored on one of their few corners gently lifting the ball over the Lafayette goalie’s head late in the game. I don’t know how many shots the Leopards had but they were numerous.

Colgate will pull all the stops and I expect intensity born of desperation by the Raiders. I do not like us in a close game. The Leopards need to continue to find the back of the net in this one. They will travel Friday and practice at the Colgate field to be ready for a noon Saturday start. Go Pards!

Published by

William Rappolt

I am past chairman of the Lafayette Friends of Field Hockey and a former BOT member at Lafayette College. My wife and I are members of the Board of Trustees for USA Field Hockey Foundation. I am currently Chairman of that Board. I am the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 30 year fan of Division one field hockey

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