Leopards Start Off On The Right Foot ( or maybe paw in this case)!!

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The scrimmage was played under game conditions at Fairfield and for 3 quarters it was pretty much a stand off. But the in fourth quarter, Lafayette found it’s pace and timing.  The athleticism that was evident in the previous three quarters began to pay off. It all started with a strong strike by Grace Angelella from the top of the circle, that found Felicitas Hannes  in front of the cage for the deflection. The other goal during regulation time came later in the fourth quarter from a now familiar rocket by Lisa Van der Geest past the Fairfield goalkeeper.

The third goal was from Ana Steps receiving a pass on a give and go during the 7 v7 practice round. Now, the score doesn’t matter all that much in a scrimmage, but I was impressed with the athleticism and the improvement from everyone on the team. Secondly, the newer players were making their presence felt.

If people know me, I never pander, but this was an impressive afternoon. lf I detailed every contribution, it would have to be an alphabetical list from the entire Lafayette side. This will give Coach Stone an enviable problem. There are A LOT of good hockey players on this team. The Leopards will be deep, and she could put almost anyone on the field without a concern. The question will be, who will be the best under particular circumstances during the season. A great problem to have!!! It also means practices will be challenging and competitive.

I am loathe to acknowledge specific players for fear of leaving someone out, but there were several that deserve mention because they either surprised how quickly they became adapted to the college game, or a veteran who has made strides from last year. Firs,t I was pleased to see Sophie Carr back on the turf. Anyone who has experienced a serious knee injury must know the courage it take to get back to the same level without some trepidation. She showed me her character, and played well, even mixing it up in front of the circle. Well done Sophie!! It shows the great courage and character that we all know you have.

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Simone Hefting, is as advertised and is a terrific athlete. She showed her skill will be of great benefit to the team as the season progresses. I feel compelled to mention Sydney Woolston, who showed her strength and competitiveness, and was noticed not only by me, but several of the Maroon fans on the sideline. Both of our goal keepers, Sarah Park and Haile Abbott, looked more than ready, After all what is better than 0 goals against!

As a playmaker Grace Angelella showed great visibility of the field and leadership from her midfield position. Audrey Sawers will intimidate defenses, and Caroline Turnbull and Cam Costello are the gears that make it all work together. Ana Steps seems inspired and Lisa, well, she is Lisa. Mary Gould showed the work she has put in being prepared for the season. Hanna Lewis was a terrific surprise. Forgive me, I have not seen a tape on you before, but I am looking to see more of what you displayed today.

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This team is good maybe even very good. The next test is Albany on Wednesday and that will be a step up. It’s only the beginning and no doubt in order to beat our Patriot League foes we will have to be even better, but today was a good start!!

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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