There was only a minute left and the Lafayette corner defense had just stopped the Penn corner offense at 1:38 left in the game. The Leopards moved the ball quickly downfield and drew a penalty corner of their own with 1:08 left. Anna Steps sends it into play. Sawers eventually gets the ball and gets the Penn goalkeeper to move to her right exposing the left side of the goal. Sawers pushes the ball to Lisa Van der Geest who powers it to the goalkeeper’s left for the winner. Penn had one last chance, but the Leopard defense was there to finally end the game.
Lafayette is now 11-6 and the Van der Geest goal along with some outstanding defensive work sealed the 6th shut out of the season….tying the amount set in 2012 the last championship season. The win enabled the Leopards to creep up in the field hockey corner ratings now standing at 28th in the country in RPI.
The game looked like it would be a defensive stalemate. Both teams were coming off good in league wins the previous day. Penn had just defeated Yale 4-2 and the Leopards of course got a win over Bucknell 2-1.
Lafayette had.no penalty corners in the first half to Penn’s three. But tide turned as the Leopards earned five corners to Penn’s two in the second half. Its not like Penn wasn’t trying everything they could to turn the game in their favor. The officials issued 9 cards to Penn to 2 for Lafayette.
Park came through with 4 saves on the game, and the Penn goalie. stoped three of Lafayette’s four shots. Penalty corners were even, at five for each team, but Lafayette had their five in the second half while Penn had only 2 in that half.
The bench was well used again, giving many young players valuable time on the field. They performed well especially when Anna Steps had to leave the field due to a minor injury in the first quarter. She returned later in the game. However, getting back to the bench, you can see these players gaining valuable confidence and experience right before playoff time. Coach Stone used 7 players from her bench which means 18 saw action.
Penn is a good team and was ideal competition before the long awaited showdown with American University next Saturday at 11 am for the regular season championship and the right to host the playoffs. American will play number two ranked Maryland on Tuesday. The rest of the playoff field has yet to be decided. Bucknell meets Holy Cross and BU will meet Lehigh. The outcome of those game will decide who plays, the seeding and who stays home!!