US Wins In Brutal 4-2 Match


The last time the US and Chile met, the US came out on the short end, after a last minute goal.   The US was expecting a tough game as Chile came into the match after having defeating Peru 13-0 on Monday. But it was a grueling come from behind effort by the US, after giving up goals in the 12th minute in the first quarter and in the 6th minute of second half. As the saying goes 2-0 may be the most dangerous score in field hockey.

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The officials came armed with multiple cards of green and yellow. The US received 3 greens in the first half with Erin Matson collecting two alone, one as time ended in the first half. Chile also received their share of yellows.  The last yellow card was given to US player Moyer with three minutes left in game and the US up by two goals.

Penalty corners played a key role in the game as Chile earned their two goals on penalty corners  at the 12 minute mark and the second half on a reverse deflection in the 36th minute. However the US was not to be denied today, and they got into gear scoring their first goal in the 49th off a nifty play. Matson hit a long hit to Ulmstead who passed to Gonzales back to Ulmstead deflected off of Manley to Matson for the first goal for US of the match.

One minute later Lauren Manley responded with a goal of her own to tie the game at 2 with 10 minutes left. At 53 minutes Ali Froede scored on another corner that deflected off a Chilean defender to make it 3-2.  Kathleen Sharkey got a fourth goal for the US as it again hits a Chilean defender making it 4-2 in the 56th minute,

There was no relaxation as Moyer received a 5 minute yellow as the US defense held strong for the last 3 minutes.


The US will play Peru in the last game of their pool and then it will be crossovers. The team showed their mettle and determination today and represented the US with distinction!! Go USA

This game is a lesson for our players at every level. Persistence, and hard work can earn you wins. This was a key win and our team played like the champions!! Head Coach Janneke Schoopman admitted the team was not playing to their full potential as they had difficulty connecting in the first half but she was pleased to see the team bring some “attitude” to the fourth quarter. Indeed they did!!!  Four goals worth!!!

Check back later and I will post more pictures ! It’s a shame there was no live stream. I know US field hockey tried hard and even offered to bring their own cameras etc, but the  company that bought the rights wouldn’t allow it. Hopefully, they will show at least the semi-final and final games for us to watch.

Magadan Scores In Dominating Win By US Over Mexico

Magadan looks to pass against Mexico in the Pan Am Games

In the first game of the Pan Am Field Hockey Tournament, the US took a 5-0 win against Mexico. The first half was a back and forth affair as Mexico turned back several good chances by the US. The US had 9 penalty corners alone in the half. With three minutes left in the first half, midfielder Danielle Grega found the back of the net with a deflection to give the Red, White and Blue the 1-0 lead going into half time.

Coach Janneke Schopman must have had a lot to say to the team as they came out with renewed vigor and Amanda Magadan got on the scoreboard in the thirty fourth minute with a deflection off a Sharkey  straight shot to right post, where Magadan dutifully put it in the cage for a 2-0 lead for the US.

Amanda deflects the ball for the score!!


This started a torrent of scoring when, after only 3 minutes having ticked off the clock, Lauren Moyer emerged out of a scramble in front of the cage to get the ball past the Mexican goalkeeper making it 3-0. One minute later Erin Matson made it 4-0 scoring off a rebound, initially delivered by a Hoffman drag flick during a corner. Matson, the inserter  deftly lifted the ball for the score.

Two minutes later Ashley Hoffman finished the scoring after Mexico pushed a US player inside the circle, and the US was awarded a penalty stroke. This was the final score in a 5-0 dominating win for US.

Step one completed, and now on to Chile on Wednesday at one o’clock.

Olympic Quest For Amanda Magadan And The US Team Begins Today, July 29


For Lafayette alumnus Amanda Magadan ,and the US National Field Hockey Team, the quest for Olympic glory begins today in a stadium in Lima Peru. The opening ceremony is over for the  Pan Am games and the US team gets down to work, defending their previous gold medal.  Another Pan Am gold in 2019 punches their ticket to the Tokyo Olympic games. This young hard working team has been reconfigured by Janneke Schopmann and has spent the past year sharpening their skills in the World Professional field hockey league where they played with the best. Amanda, in the past several years has earned over 69 caps in her time on the Junior and Senior squads. She is one of the final 16 established athletes selected for this effort.

The games will run through early August. The team currently ranked 13 in the world and is assigned to Pool B which includes Mexico, Chile, and host country Peru. Pool A includes the ever dangerous Argentina who is currently ranked number 3. So a repeat championship game with Argentina looks likely. However Coach Schopman cautions that Canada and Chile, in particular, have made great strides in recent months. We all know the game, and the ball can take funny bounces, but the team seems ready!!

Today the team will kick of off play at 3pm against Mexico. Mexico is currently ranked 30th in the world and finished 6th in a recent tournament in Japan. The last time the two met it ended in a 6-0 win for the US, with team captain Kathleen Sharkey scoring a hat trick in the process.

Don’t think for a moment that the team is taking this game for granted. Unfortunately this game will not be live streamed but I will try to cover the result, and action in a timely manner. Hopefully the semi-final and final will be telecast on ESPN 2.


Meanwhile, the Lafayette Field Hockey team begins a quest of their own in several weeks.with their first scrimmage set in a mere three weeks.


Stone Announces Balance Of Incoming Class

Simone Hefting

In an unusual Sunday afternoon release on go leopards and a concurrent video , Head Field Hockey Coach Jennifer Stone rounded out the incoming class for the fall. Previously on Twitter and followed on this blog six months ago a group of five was announced, Tara Hamilton from North Vancouver, Shea Balderson from Moorestown N.J, Hanna Lewis from Lebanon, Pa, Sydney Woolston from Berlin N.J., and Natalie Fuertsch from  Pottstown,Pa. In her interview, she was obviously excited by her incoming class. Many have performed at various tournaments and camps since graduation. Tara Hamilton has already played with current Lafayette midfielder Audrey Sawers in the national under 21 Canadian tournament. Sydney Woolston has been seen at Spooky Nook the national training headquarters for the US Team and Hanna Lewis was singled out by Stone for her efforts at a camp this summer.

Left out in the initial announcement but known by those close to the team are two recruits from Europe who could be difference makers, Felcitas Hannes a 5’3″ forward from Cologne, Germany and Simone Hefting a 6′ defender from Den Bosch, Netherlands.

Last spring, captain Lisa Van der Geest mentioned the incoming class at the team banquet. Not only is the head coach excited about the incoming class but the current players are looking forward to the new class to replace a very talented senior class who graduated two months ago.

Simone Hefting played for HC Den Bosch her entire youth. They were champions of South Netherlands from 2012-2015. They won  the Dutch outdoor championships in 2017 and repeated in 2018. Van der Geest, an all American last year described Simone to me this way. Gesturing with hand near her waist, Lisa opined, ” I am here.” Then moving her hand over her head, “Simone is here.”  Not good news for Patriot League opponents!!!  Our defense looks well in hand.

Felicitas Hannes

Felicitas Hannes played forward for Rot-Weiss Koeln and play in 10 German championship runs first being in  the U12 division in 2012, She and her club won West German U18, and U19 indoor championships.  Her talents are not limited to hockey as she tutored her peers in math and voluteered for a sport program for refugee children in Cologne. She will enjoy teaming up with our talented forward line once she arrives at Lafayette. And so will our fans.

We are down to a mere few weeks before our young women return to the Hill and Rappolt Field. This could be a fun season!!

Before We Realize, The Season Will Be Upon US


Summer break is nearly over and the pages of summer work outs, the clinics and camps  are slowly behind the Lafayette student athlete, and in less than a month, they will be returning  to campus to begin the final preparation and rehearsals for the fall season.  By this time next month, their first division one competition, in the form of a scrimmage will be upon them. About 85 percent of the seventy plus schools have already published their schedules, and they are beginning appear in publications like “Field Hockey Corner.”

But the campus itself is beginning to come alive. You can see small bands of athletes organizing for captain’s practices. The Football team will be the first to arrive and the start of their summer workouts might be more of a subtle change in routine, as you can already see larger and larger groups working out under the hot sun at Fisher Field.

For those of you thousands of miles away in Germany, Holland, and Vancouver it’s been very hot here in the US Northeast with temperatures reaching close to 100 degrees, I can only imagine the heat on the astro-turf surface. As parents and student athlete alike arrive in less than a month, they will see a campus in the midst of large changes.

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The new integrated science center is nearly completed, Just in time, as STEM offerings are being enhanced. The school will be offering a new BS in engineering which will complement the other more specific engineering offering. The new dorms have begun construction on Cattell Street. They will be ready for occupants in 2020. They will include a plethora of new retail shops on the bottom floor replacing the old worn out housing and retail space that has occupied the Hill for years.

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The freshman college population will well exceed 700 as the school advances to their short term target of 2900 students. In the coming years we will see additional changes and renovation to accommodate the new populations. On the list of renovations according to highly placed sources, will be the science building, Kunkel Hall, the student housing at Marquis, McKean, and others.

The college is also committed to change and improvements in the athletic department. Sherryta Freeman, now more than a year into her job as Athletic Director, is changing the face and resources of the department for a reinvigorated sports program. There is a new women’s Lacrosse Coach, and additional staff for the Men’s Lacrosse program as well as the women’s basketball program. There is a new administrator for compliance ,who I understand will also have some sports responsibilities.


I have also learned from high sources that a new fence surrounding the field hockey field is in the works, and upon inspection recently I see small flags on the outside where the fence will go. Upon arrival at Metzgar Fields the new construction of fences and welcoming signage finally makes Metzgar have the look of the  beautiful campus Lafayette is. Also in the works are permanent bathrooms adjacent to the field hockey stands, which will bring comfort to our many fans. The timing is unclear but I am assured they are on the way.


We will welcome seven new families and they will learn quickly how the program is a family friendly activity. There is excitement always, and this season is no exception. The Patriot League is as competitive as ever and as we begin that schedule, Lafayette will be facing familiar coaching organizations, each with the goal of not only making it to the post season league playoffs but the NCAA national tournament.

There will be some new opponents and according to their already published schedules we will be seeing  App State, and Monmouth among others for the first time in a while. There will also be the familiar names we have seen in the past according their schedules, Penn, Temple, Liberty, and Richmond have us on their websites. More about that in later posts. I plan to go over each Patriot League team later this summer and I eventually will have something to say about our out of conference games as they approach.

For me its been a long summer waiting. but its almost over!!


It’s All In The Details At Individual Camp

Head Coach of the Lafayette Leopards, Jennifer Stone, has annually organized two camps in early July to help young players develop their skills, and to improve team  dynamics. The first of those camps is a camp devoted to individual skill development, and the second camp is a team camp.  The camp instructors and demonstrators are the Lafayette coaching staff, and some of the current Lafayette players. This year there was an added opportunity for athletes preparing for the fall season. Stone invited two members of the USA Field Hockey team defender Julia Young and Midfielder Amanda Magadan to instruct. For those of you looking for a metaphorical comparison, it would be like two members of NFL champion New England Patriots giving instruction on how to play football.



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The two USA players are part of a young squad, that will be defending their title at the important July 26-August 11 Pan Am Games this summer in Lima Peru. As an olympic qualifier, the games have added significance. Both athletes have a list of honors too long for this blog. Amanda and Julia both graduated from college in 2017, Amanda from Lafayette, and Julia from UNC. Both were named all-Americans and first team all-conference.   Both were members of the World Gold Cup  semi-final teams in South Africa in 2017. That was after working their way up to the US Team through the various junior national teams. Amanda has 67 international caps, and Julia has 44 caps. Illustrating the youth of our national team, only 7 team members of the 27 listed on the roster have more caps.

I was able to have a short conversation with both of these athletes and posed a few questions  to them:

What makes or defines an “elite athlete.?”

Both agreed elite athletes have to be able to put in the work,  and prepare every day. In Amanda’s USA bio she quotes Emerson, ” What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you.”  In Julia’s bio she says, ” Hold yourself to a high standard and don’t stop raising the standard as you grow and get better.”

Can you spot a future US Team member early?

Both agreed, you can only see potential, but that potential has to be nurtured. Julia started playing  futures in 7th grade in 2004, Amanda  an excellent softball player, only began playing field hockey in 2009.

What is the one skill you practice everyday?

Again the two elite athletes agreed, as they almost said in unison “the right foot pass.”  Now as a 25 year hockey dad, that was a new one, and it had to be explained to me. Since the stick is always in essence a ” right handed” instrument, the tendency is to step with the left foot when passing. Developing a right foot step can give you an advantage against a defender and a player can shield the ball from the defender.

How do we “grow the game.”

As a trustee for the US Field Hockey Foundation I was curious about their vision. Julia felt people need to hear more about the game, and there is a need for more publicity about Field Hockey to get people interested. Amanda pointed out the need for equipment for younger players to play, and cited that the team has been giving sticks to younger players to encourage them. That was symbolically demonstrated at the FIH game with Germany this year when before the game sticks were given away by the team.

Julia and Amanda demonstrate for campers

The rest of the day was filled with drills and Coach Stone organized stations around the field where individual skills were demonstrated and tried under the watchful eye of Julia, Amanda, Coach Stone and her staff.

The 30 or so campers were certainly advantaged to have the opportunity to learn skills that will used in their respective fall seasons.

I was pleased to have the opportunity to speak to these young women. This fall I will be expanding my writing beyond just Lafayette Field Hockey. I may start covering and attending other college games in the future, and I will certainly be covering the journey of the US Team in their quest for Olympic recognition.