After about 4 1/2 hours of scrimmage our Leopards should be pleased with the outcome. They took on the University of Virginia and held them scoreless, they then scored two goals against Penn and held them scoreless, and to finish the afternoon, tied with a game Rider squad who scored 57 goals last year 1-1. If you add it all together a 3-1 afternoon of hockey. The Maroon and White can walk away with a well done!! Aside from the outcome, everyone ( aside from the walking wounded), made it on to the turf giving the Leopard coaching staff a good look at everyone.
Those Pards who did not see a lot of action last fall got a chance to show their skills against good competition. In addition, veterans can say they are getting ready. I know I am a “homer,” but this team is showing me a lot. There is no reason they could not make a lot of noise this fall in the Patriot League and beyond.
To give you some perspective, Rider had there way with Lehigh last week 5-1 and Penn played a tough Bucknell squad ( however according to the Penn parents they played their current seniors). Lehigh will be bringing in a large class of 8-10 recruits and Bucknell looks to have 5-6 recruits to replace a talented senior class.
The first game was the second of the day and the first game for Lafayette and Virginia. They played equally between the both sides of the field. Virginia’s passes were crisp and Lafayette began to work together well. Our defense, led by Lisa van der Geest held the Cavaliers scoreless and even more impressively, held them to zero corners. Both teams,. had good chances for goals Virginia’s chances were turned away by Sarah Park. Grace Angella came close in the second half only to have her shot thwarted as Sam Di Maio was there hoping for the deflection.
Virginia is playing in the final four game in basketball, tonight so they wanted to return to Charlottesvile As a result, elected to play three games in a row. This left Lafayette to play Penn and Rider back to back in the finale in the afternoon.
After a long break Lafayette met Penn, and started quickly as DiMaio found the baseline and with a nifty reverse stick flip, found the back of the cage making in 1-0 with barely one minute having run off the clock. The second goal came on corner with Lisa van der Geest launching a rocket past the Penn goalie for a 2-0 lead. The leopard defense again rose to the occasion keeping play mostly on the Lafayette offensive side of the turf.
The final game was against Rider who has several scorers who can find the net. They looked to find a fast break off turnovers and did manage to get a two on one break with a Rider forward flying down their right side and managing to find the crossing pass to a teammate on the left side. Haile Abbot who had replaced Sarah Park had made several veteran level saves during the game but was put in a difficult position.
But the Leopard offense was again to use their skill in the second half when Jenn DeLongis delivered a bouncing shot past the Rider goalie to tie the game. That was how it ended.
The weather was great, the competition was good, and the Leopards should have had a satisfying ride back to Easton. All our subs acquitted themselves well, Mary Gould, Greta Kullby ( who saw a lot of minutes), Eva Kaplan, and Alex Talkow played impressively. Hailey Abbott was up to challenge in the cage while she took her turn in the last game against an aggressive Rider squad.
Next week the Leopards travel to Towson to be challenged by a VERY tough Maryland squad, a good VCU team and an improving Towson team. The Abbotts will be in evidence and Hailey’s twin sister plays for Towson. ( Their mother is sewing a shirt that has Lafayette on one side and Towson on the other). Last information is the games start at 11:00 next Sunday at Towson.