Who Won The Recruiting Wars So Far In The Patriot League

safe_image-11.php
All league midfielder Ana Steps will return to the Lafayette mid field

Ok, we are now past the New Year and many of the Patriot League field hockey teams have announced their new incoming classes. While the classes will not be complete until the end of the spring, we could start to see who filled needs and who didn’t. Last year, most “experts” agreed that Boston University may have brought in the best class. However, Boston didn’t even make the playoffs, although they did have some stars who had a impact.

Jodie Conolly, a freshman midfielder from South Africa was named rookie of the year and garnered all Patriot League honors. She led all freshmen in points and points per game. But having a great individual year doesn’t necessarily, guarantee team results. A lot depends on the mix and how they are used by coaches.

DSC_7918
Audrey Sawers did what was needed all season and especially in these final two games. No doubt a future star!!

Last year’s Lafayette freshmen class saw plenty of action, as the season progressed, and injuries became a key factor. The coaching staff should be applauded for their efforts in getting these freshman ready to play. Even during the Patriot League championships injuries kept key players on the sideline, but Lafayette developed a bench that filled in admirably. Coach Stone has a reputation of a strong teacher of individual skills and she and her staff built the skilled bench that was ready when needed.

DSC_7746
Molly McAndrews challenges a Bucknell mid

No, there were no Lafayette freshmen on the all League team but they played key roles in Lafayette’s late season run.

American will certainly be the preseason favorite come this fall, given their plethora of returning talent including offensive player of the year Noor Coenan. They will have to play at Rappolt field this year and I expect they will see a strong Lafayette squad at the ready.

DSC_7497
Freshman Tara Hamilton will see Boston U at home next year!!

Yes, the Leopards will lose the talent and leadership of their graduating senior class, but I see talent not only in the returning squad but in the incoming class. So who has an edge?? The top four or five teams will be competitive. I expect Boston will be there as will American. Bucknell always seems to find a way. Lehigh is starting to scare me and those one goal games can be nerve racking.  Lafayette will be ready, and I see a stronger offensive squad in the process of building. The defensive line is solid and goalkeeping will be ready as well.

DSC_7435
Freshman Sydney Woolston was part of the stout Leopard defense!!

We are about 8 weeks from spring games, with the first test against LaSalle on March 29th at home, followed by Penn State, a tournament at Delaware, Albany at home, and finishing with Drexel at home. All of these will have no incoming freshman but it will be a great opportunity to see the core of the team in action!!

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 the retired treasurer of M and T Bank Corporation and a 20 year fan of Division one field hockey

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s