Six Seniors Making A Huge Impact On Lafayette Field Hockey

With four games to go in the regular season, it seems a little early to talk about our seniors who are playing for Lafayette for the last time this fall. There is more to be accomplished, and goals to be attained, in my view, but this Sunday will be Senior Day when we traditionally honor our seniors. All have been significant contributors over their careers, but I think it is appropriate to put it all in a succinct writing. Again, they are not done yet, and I expect there will be more history to write in the coming weeks.

Sam DiMaio, Cam Costello, Jenn DeLongis, Lisa Van Der Geest, Caroline Turnbull and Sarah Park have all fulfilled the promise they showed, when first announced as recruits 4 and 5 years ago. Each has had a unique contribution on the field, and have learned to overcome obstacles to arrive this year, in what may turn out to be an historic season!!

 

Number 2 Sam DiMaio

 

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Sam DeMaio will give her all on the field!

Sam arrived as a freshman from West Morris Mendham in New Jersey. She was a starting forward and midfielder in High School scoring 30 goals and 28 assists during her career.in her final two seasons, her high school won the conference championships. She was  an all conference and all state selection.

She has been an impact player from her first year on college turf. Her first start was in the season opener against Fairfield her freshman year. She played in 14 games and started one. Her first collegiate goal was October first against Colgate.

Since then she has been a regular fixture on the field for the Maroon and White. In 2017, her sophomore year, she played in all 18 games and started in six, tallying two assists in the win over Drexel, and added a goal and an assist in the 3-2 victory over Colgate. She also had an assist in the Richmond game.

In 2018 she had  the game winner against Cornell. She scored four goals on the year.

2019 has been a banner year. So far she has 5 goals, on 16 shots, scoring on 31 per cent of her shots. Even when she is not scoring goals the ubiquitous senior seems to be everywhere I point my camera. She is athletic and intense, and I think the above picture captures it all. ( My favorite picture of all time). Even when she is not scoring goals opposing teams have to respect her speed and athleticism.

Sam was also named to the National and Patriot League honor roll with a 3.5 average in Psychology and Government and Law.

Number 13 Cameron Costello

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Cam moves the ball upfield during the Boston game

Cam also, has been a key player for the Leopards from the get go. She has started every game of her career to date. She is a key fixture  in the mid-field and can be counted on to make key plays. It is her versatility that make her valuable to the Lafayette team. She seems to know where she and her teammates are at all times. She hails from Doylestown, Pa and played at a relatively small high school, New Hope Solesbury. It was there, she played multiple positions while earning conference championships. She was a captain her senior year. She also played lacrosse and was also a three year letter winner.

She has certainly lived up to her potential at Lafayette.  While as a midfielder her whole career, goal scoring was not part of her portfolio, but Cam seemed to come up with key plays at key moments. In 2016, she got the game winner in overtime with Quinnipiac, and had a key assist in the 2017 game with Appalachian State, and in 2018 she got an assist in the game with Lehigh.

Her senior season has been her best so far, getting one goal and two assists.  The goal was against then nationally ranked Monmouth, helping the Leopards get the win. Cam has a great attitude and I don’t think I ever seen her without a smile…except on the field!!!

Cam is an ace in the classroom as an all Division one honor scholar and  a member of the Patriot League honor roll. As of the last accounting she has a 3.68 average in Biology!!

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Cam Costello with friends in South Africa during team tour

Number 14 Jenn DeLongis

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Jenn DeLongis stops the ball on a corner

Jenn is a midfielder, but more importantly is a total team player. She can move between the defense and offensive side of the field with equal skill. She is a key player in that she is the stopper on corner sets, placing the ball for the striker.

Jenn comes from Hatfield, Pa. Like most excellent athletes, Jenn played dual sports while at North Penn High School. She was a four year letter winner in lacrosse and field hockey!! Aside from earning all conference awards in both sports and captain of her field hockey team, she won the Coaches Award both her junior and senior years. Not surprisingly she was the North Penn Female Outstanding Athlete.

She jumped right into her college career in 2016 making three appearances during her freshman year. In 2017, she appeared in 11 games. Continuing her progress, in 2018 she appeared in all 19 games and started in 5. She was named offensive player of the week in  the Patriot League after scoring the game winning goal against Penn. Also that year she led the team in assists.

This year she has scored a goal against Richmond and has been a key figure on the team. She has a 25% shot percentage and always ready to support her teammates. My observation is, she is always ready to support the team in any way she can,

She is no slacker in the classroom as a regular on the Patriot League Honor roll. She has a 3.4 average in her majors of Government and Law and Psychology.

Number 18 Lisa van der Geest

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Lisa shows classic power and form

Lisa arrived on the Lafayette campus in 2016  from Oegstgeest, Netherlands after attending Rijnlands Lyceum.  She wasted no time in establishing herself as not only a premier player on the Lafayette squad but in the League and Nationally. Her freshman year she was first on the team in assists, second in points and third in goals. She had game winning goals in every year as a Leopard. Her freshman year she was named all league in defense and has not relinquished that moniker all three years so far.

Last year she topped herself by being named an all American. This year, already she has been named to the NFCHA all star game, to be played at the end of the year. She is  one of two named to the squad from the league

As I have said previously she is the heart of the team, and as captain leads the team with distinction. She is known to help the younger players with their skills and can be heard on the field directing the action from her center back position. She is by all accounts another coach on the field

This year she has earned several player of the week awards, having already scored 4 goals on the season.

She is extraordinarily accomplished, speaks five languages fluently, and is an outstanding student majoring in international affairs, receiving honors by being recognized in the all Division One honor roll as well as the League Honor Roll. At last accounting is she has a 3.58 average.

As in most team sports the team is built around the middle players. Lisa is the center back and follows a line of outstanding athletes who have played the position for the Leopards. She just may be the best that has ever played at that position at Lafayette!!  I hope she has saved a place for all the hardware she will no doubt receive at the end of the season!!

Number 19 Caroline Turnbull

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Caroline hails from Harding, N.J. an attended Madison High School. She played midfield and forward during her four years. She scored 54 goals and 38 assists. She is winner, as her team recorded multiple championships at all levels.She played in the 2014 NFC  and Junior Olympics for the USAFH team.

She wasted no time at Lafayette by playing in all 19 games her freshman year and having three starts.  In 2017 she appeared in every game and started in 12, scoring 3 goals and an assist, including the game winner in the 2-1 victory over Appalachian State. She was also named Defensive Player of the Week during the year. Her break out year was in 2018 starting in 14 games. She was named to the All Patriot League team and all tournament team. She had the game winning goal at Holy Cross.

This year she has scored 3 goals and had 3 assists. The goals were one at Syracuse, one against Holy Cross, and the third at Boston University.

Caroline impresses me as a player that is ready to mix it up near the goal and she can be counted on to be in the middle of a scrum. She is an intense competitor and her intensity is infectious to her teammates. She is well like by her teammates and several consider the funniest player on the team.

Caroline is a Civil-Environmental Engineering major .

Number 87 Sarah Park

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Sarah has one of the best attitudes I have ever encountered in a goal keeper. She dares to be a bold optimist, and refuses to concede that anyone can beat her. From the get go, this season, she saw big things for this team, and as goal keeper she has done her part for the Leopards success. She earned the starting GK job her sophomore year. Her first year included needed knee surgery and rehab after that.

Sarah comes from Collegeville, Pa and attended Methacton High School. She was a star goalie in high school and was much sought after her senior year. She was fifth in save percentage within the Philadelphia Field Hockey High School area. In addition she is an excellent student. At Lafayette she is a Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering major with a 3.32 average. She has done summer internships in her field and was named to the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll.

She has saved the best for last and has been named goalkeeper of the week 3 times so far in the Patriot League. She quick and agile and at the moment sports a 73 percent save percentage, playing against some of the toughest competition in the country. She has had multiple shutouts as well, including a stop against Bryant on a penalty stroke at the end of the game to preserve the shutout.

I firmly believe the best is yet to come for this amazing student athlete!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

McAndrews Goal Sends Leopards To The Patriot League Playoffs

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Anna Steps gets by a Lehigh defender

The Lafayette Leopards became the first team in the League to qualify for post season play on the backs of a “Rivalry” win against Lehigh 1-0.  The McAndrews goal occurred at 17:09 into the game as Junior  Grace Angelella found sophomore Molly McAndrews by the circle. McAndrews drove for the circle and found an open space and delivered the game winner. It was then up to the Lafayette defense to stymie the Mountain Hawks for the rest of the game.

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A traffic jam in front of the Lehigh goal

Lehigh had a plan to high press the Leopards, and captain and defender Lisa van der Geest as well as Anna Steps found themselves surrounded by Brown uniforms but they found ways to escape and move the ball upfield, either by a long pass or by nifty stick work. The rest of the team responded to the strong Lehigh game plan as well, and the availability of a deep bench by Lafayette was a key to the win as well. Lafayette had six subs rotating into the game while Lehigh had only three.

The Lehigh goalkeeper was forced to make 14 saves as Lafayette had 18 shots, 15 of them on goal. In addition, Lafayette had 4 corners to Lehigh’s 3, one of which occurred in the last minuteandwas off its mark. Senior Cam Costello had a team high 5 shots.

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A Lafayette player ( Cam Costello??) goes all out

Lehigh used an aggressive high press for most of the game in a  remarkable display of fitness. But Lafayette had the skill today, as they gave few opportunities to Lehigh to mount an effective offense.  This is the fifth “Rivalry” game in row to end with a one goal margin.

I have to admit I had this game mentally circled all season long and realized it could be the key to the season. Although there are 4 regular season games left, two of them will be league games with Bucknell at home and American in DC. A sweep would give the Lafayette the regular season championship, and they would host the two game tournament, to determine who will move on to the national NCAA tournament.

The other two games, one will be at home, Sunday, senior day against William and Mary and next week, aside from the Bucknell game at home there will be a game at Penn the following day.

 

Leopard’s Intent On Avoiding “Deja Vu All Over Again”

The quote “Deja Vu all over again,” is attributed to the famous New York baseball player and manager Yogi Berra. Aside from his baseball talent, Berra is remembered for his English malapropisms, which endeared him to his fans. Other quotes, “It ain’t over til it’s over,” “nobody goes there any more, it’s too crowded,” and , “if you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else.”  The quote in the title of this article is apt, in that everyone remembers two years ago, traveling to Lehigh and suffering a 1-0 overtime loss.

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The statistics were all in Lafayette’s favor before and after the game. I wrote two years ago,  ” Lafayette scored 18 goals on 115 shots, while Lehigh scored less…..Lafayette scores on 28 percent of its shots while 23 percent for opponents….Stength of schedule for Lafayette is rated at 43 Lehigh is at 58…blah, blah, blah.

Forget the stats, this game is a rivalry game….. WITH CONSEQUENCES!!.  The Leopards can lock up a Patriot League tournament berth, and Lehigh needs the win to stay alive in the  League race. Aside from that, it is “The Rivalry.”  Before that game in 2017 Lafayette had beaten Lehigh ten times in row. The game was played at 7 pm on a Friday before a large crowd, just like this year!! Talking to the juniors and seniors on the Lafayette side, that game is remembered well, and it is the first reference they make when talking about the “Game.”

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That same year, I attended a pregame cocktail party before the Lafayette/Lehigh football game. The first word out of the mouth of the Lehigh president was the field hockey game played weeks before. UGH!!!

The Lehigh coach mentioned yesterday, she had several key injuries and kept out those players from Sunday’s game with Lock Haven. Coach Stone wisely decided to let several of her players to continue healing as well. You can bet on either side, if they can play they will play!!!

Key players that each side will have to contend with include Drew Pecora, the fine Lehigh attacker who leads the league in goals. Captain Lisa van der Geest from Lafayette is not only a leader in goals as a defender, but she is the intellectual and inspirational leader on the field.

Weather will be cool, the intensity will be hot!!! As a diehard Leopard, I am sure the team will be thinking about the task at hand, and avoiding “Deja vu all over again.”

Steps With The Overtime Goal Beats Temple 1-0

Shorthanded, because of a controversial yellow card in regulation time, the Leopards delivered on their fourth overtime win of the season only 11 seconds into extra minutes. Play started with Molly McAndrews taking the push off herself, up the center of the field, and eventually earning the corner with only seconds having run off the clock. The Leopards lined up with 3 offensive players on the top of the circle. Ana Steps inserted the ball directly to the senior captain, Van der Geest spotted Steps on the left side of the cage in great position for the deflection……Goal and the win!!!

The goal, and the win now makes Lafayette 8-5 with arch rival Lehigh now in the way of assuring Lafayette the magic 4th win in Patriot League play, and a guaranteed ticket to  League playoffs. Lehigh would likely be eliminated from the playoffs, with a loss resulting   in 4 losses in League play.

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It has been a season where Lafayette continues to come up on top, despite adversity, finding a way to win. In this case, several Lafayette players sat out the game with injuries but the depth,  and character of this team shined through when needed. The additional benefit was a chance to display their versatility. Preparing against this Lafayette team will be a challenge, because anyone could be a difference maker.

Sara Park was again magnificent in goal, with three crucial saves but more importantly, she stepped up to turn away the ball even before a shot could be taken. Temple tried several times to feed attacking players on breakaways and a long passes. Park and the defense were ready to again earn a shutout.

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Costello and DiMaio combine to move the ball upfield

Steps was active all game, displaying her skills at crucial moments. What more can be said of Lisa van der Geest, not only an exceptional player but clearly the leader on the field. Articulate, confident, bright and skilled, this is team is molded around her.

Junior Audrey Sawers was to  show a calmness under fire on both defense and offense.

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Sawers looks for a friendly reciever

There has been exceptional help from key freshmen, like Sydney Woolston, who plays like a veteran every game in the Leopards talented backfield. We can’t forget the senior cadre of DiMaio who provides spark and speed, Cam Costello who can play defense and offense with calm efficiency, Jenn DeLongis who shows her field presence and ability to execute under pressure, and Caroline Turnbull whose scrappy play close to the goal can light up the team with goals and energy.  Add  the aforementioned Park and Van der Geest and this is a team to be reckoned with.

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Sydney Woolston shows her form

This was a scrappy Temple squad who battled and was aggressive and tough, not the style Lafayette usually plays against. But they would not be denied today, battling through the adversity of roster moves, controversial calls, and a determined adversary to  deliver when it counted!!!

Temple Arrives For A Sunday Matchup

The 5-5 Temple Owls will arrive at Lafayette to take on the Leopards. I delayed my pregame report to watch the Owls play Georgetown. I partly regretted the decision to pay  the $9.95 to watch the game, since it was played on Georgetown’s partially completed football field made of field turf. Georgetown must be the only Division One team still playing on this turf, since Villanova built their new field a couple of years ago. The game was particularly slow, and provide little insight to Temple’s overall tactics. However, I did watch Temple’s game with UCONN and I did see some similarities and tendencies.

Temple opened the game by trying to use ariels to move the ball down the field in both games. However, in both games their opponents were able to establish time of possession early on. UConn scored in bunches, while at Georgetown, Temple’s offense consisted of numerous penalty corners, seven alone in the second quarter.  Looking at their stats, Temple has scored 14 goals in 10 games, most of them on corners. On their 14 corners in the game, by my count, they only had 3 or 4 shots. Before today they averaged 1.33 shots per game on corners with a .13 shot percentage. That is 10.2 shots per game total before today.

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Grace Angelella speeds down the middle of the field

Temple’s wins have been against first year division one team Merrimack 3-0, LaSalle 3-0, Bryant 2-0, Drexel 3-2 ( coach Sciufo’s alma mater), and today, Georgetown in overtime 2-1. Characteristically Temple got an early lead on a penalty corner, but Georgetown scored with 2 minutes left. The overtime goal was on a cross when the Georgetown defender slipped in front of the cage and left space for the winning golden goal by Temple.

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Anatomy of a goal….the finish!!!

Temple holds a 22-10-2 record against the Leopards and last year beat the Leopards 3-2 l on one of their 2 wins of the season. (the other being Georgetown). Can Temple’s defense hold back an emerging high powered Lafayette offense? Lafayette has not played since last Sunday in their 6-0 shutout of Bryant.

Dani Baetz is Temple’s leading goals scorer with three. Their goalkeeper Caratenudo has a save percentage of around 67 percent. The Temple head coach was an assistant at Lehigh and also a star player for Drexel, so she will know Lafayette well.

Kent State President Wiffs On Statement On Cancelled Field Hockey Game For Football Fireworks

This week the Leopards will be taking on the Temple Owls on a Sunday afternoon out of conference matchup. What is certain, is that this game will not suffer the fate of being cancelled like the early September game Temple played to incompletion with Maine at Kent State. Temple was invited to a tournament at Kent State and they were to play Maine on Saturday morning. Unfortunately the game went to overtime and encroached on a noon time fireworks display to begin the football game. The field hockey game was shut down  by school officials at about 10:30 am. Overtime in field hockey is a possible 2 x 10 minute golden goal periods!!

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Amazingly, after a SELF examination, Kent State  found no Title IX violation, or gender related bias, according to the recently appointed president Todd Diacon. Dr. Diacon replaced Beverly J. Warren on July 1.  The college in their self examination, which was done by the College’s own Office of Compliance, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action  published a report Friday that stated, ” Poor management of schedule’s aside, the EOAA finds no eveidence of discrimination.” The university will not self impose any sanctions on its athletic department according to multiple news sources.

Both Maine and Temple accused Kent State of gender discrimination. Temple coach Susan Ciufo is quoted in the Washington Post, ” I know we are not a big-revenue sport, but to make young women feel what they did for 70 minutes doesn’t really matter, what are we telling  female athletes about what it means to be a an athlete?”

Kent State officials countered, when a similar scheduling conflict occurred in 2016, Kent State canceled the fireworks display to allow the field hockey game to continue. ” The current case involved new and different personnel.”  The athletic department and President Diacon said they will conduct a “climate study” of the athletic department.

The current investigation did not interview any student athletes from Maine or Temple. So we have a president that admitted that in a similar situation they did the right thing 3 years ago, and now did the wrong thing. At the very least, there seems to be poor management, which includes shutting down a scheduled Division one female sport in favor of a fireworks display scheduled seconds before a football game.

So what we have is poor training and lack of sensitivity, this year. What is needed is an honest look at what has changed in three years. I ask again, as I did one month ago where is the NCAA??? It states quite clearly in game manuals, that the game official is the only one that can stop game in progress.

How about Kent State self- fining itself 150,000 dollars to be split in thirds 50k to the Kent State field hockey program, 50k to the Temple program, and 50k to the Maine Field Hockey program. Maybe that will make whoever the next president and AD are  think a bit more clearly and manage more fairly.

 

Pards Make It Four Straight With A 6-0 Statement Against Bryant

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Lisa Van der Geest gets ready to launch on an offensive corner

Fresh off of a 3-2 overtime win against Boston University, Lafayette traveled about 60 miles to Providence, Rhode Island, and under a cloudy, chilly overcast launched a 6 goal onslaught against Bryant in the first half which was the difference in the game. The Leopards played 20 players for significant minutes, and many underclassmen got a chance to get on the turf for some valuable game time.

The first score came early in the first period as Ana Steps started off the scoring to highlight her continuation of excellent play from her midfield position. She was able to turn back Bryant as they crossed they midline and begin the attack for the Leopards. Lisa van der Geest got her fourth goal of the season at 13:51 to continue her scoring spree supplementing her excellent middle back play.

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Sophie Carr chases down the ball

Things were to heat up for the Leopards in the second period, as Felcitas Hannes assisted by Jenn DeLongis and van der Geest at 16:41 for Felicitas’ fourth goal of the season.  Hannes followed that with a strike at 17:10 for her fifth goal of season assisted by the same Jenn Delongis and van der Geest. Molly McAndrews continued with her 6th of season, assisted by Eva Kaplan who put in valuable  minutes. Molly delivered for the sixth and final goal at 24:22 assisted by freshman Sydney Woolston.

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Ana Steps controls the ball

The second half saw Lafayette substitute liberally, producing 5 more shots but not quite finding an opening at the cage.

For the entire game Lafayette had 25 shots ( 15 on goal). against 6 for Bryant all in the second half. Lafayette earned 12 penalty corners to one for Bryant. With seconds left in the game, after what looked like a spectacular save by Sydney Woolston, the Leopards were called for a penalty stroke. Sara Park stepped up and preserved the shut out, to end the game.

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Jenn DeLongis gets ready to deliver the ball to Tara Hamilton

Lafayette is now 7-5 and does not have a game until next Sunday against Temple. After that, it will be the much anticipated contest with Lehigh at 7 pm on Friday at Lehigh. A win would lock up a PL tournament spot and keep the Leopards alive to host. The short hiatus gives the Leopards a chance to lick their wounds, heal where needed, and get ready for mid term exams,

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Mary Gould steps up

Lafayette has scored 32 goals in 12 games on 176 shots. Opponents have been held to 125 shots and 21 goals. Sara Park continues her 71 percent save percentage and looks stronger every game. McAndrews leads in goal scoring with 7, followed by Hannes with 5, DeMaio with 5 and van der Geest with 4. The Leopards have 4 shutouts so far this season. The Leopards have earned 79 corners to their opponent’s 51.

Goals per game are 2.67 against 1.75 for opponents.

If that wasn’t enough, home attendance has averaged 346 per game.