It’s been hours of practice, drills, and other preparation but come tomorrow, the 2019 edition of Lafayette Field Hockey gets to apply all that training against a real opponent in a controlled scrimmage against the Fairfield Stags in Fairfield Connecticut. Fairfield used to be a member of the Patriot League about 15 years ago, until the league decided that all schools must be all sports members of the League. Two years ago the rivalry was renewed with a home and home series. In the first game Lafayette won with several outstanding performances by our younger players. Last year Fairfield traveled to Easton for the first game of the season and came back with a 3-1 victory.
Lafayette opened the game with an unassisted goal from Caroline Turnbull but Fairfield was to answer with a goal less than a minute later, from Kaley McMullen. That was followed by a late period goal by Iona Armour, and a second period goal by Danielle Profita. Lafayette was to outshoot Fairfield 13-10 and out corner them 6-4 but couldn’t seem to find their way past goalkeeper Zoe Rosen. Rosen and Profita are back as is Turnbull from Lafayette.
Fairfield is the preseason favorite to win the NEC this year as the Stags went to the MAAC championship game finishing with a 12-9 record. Rosen, by the end of the season sported a gaudy 1.05 goals against average during the year, seventh best in the nation. The Fairfield coach Jackie Kane like the Lafayette Coach Jennifer Stone is a Pennsylvania native and both are returning alumna coaches of their respective schools. The Leopards were 4-2 in the Patriot League and made it to the PL playoffs last year.
So, even though this is “just” a scrimmage, the meeting poses some interesting challenges and good competition to prepare for the regular season. The score may not be that important, but Lafayette coaches will be looking at the effectiveness of new personnel combinations and how quickly the first year players are adjusting to the college division one game.
I expect virtually everyone will get to see action tomorrow which makes it all that much more interesting for fans. The Coaches will use the opportunity to answer questions of their own. It will be 12 days when the action will be for the record books, tomorrow will be an important step in being prepared for that day.