Lisa van der Geest became the first student athlete in Lafayette history to receive all three awards given by the end of the year. Last fall she received the Maroon Club Scholar Athlete award, and last night received the Class of 1913 Trophy for the senior scholar athlete, and the Charles L. Albert ’08 award for best senior athlete. The international affairs major was an all league, all region and all American selection. Rather than focus on the awards, which she humbly accepted in a recorded message last night, I would like to recall my impressions of her impact on the field.
She was the field general for this team, filling the position of center back, the equivalent of quarterback in American football. She was the extra coach on the field, and I am told spent time with the younger players helping them as well!! Lisa was an inspiration to her teammates, almost never leaving the field of play. As the League defensive player of the year, she also was a key part of Lafayette’s offensive corner battery.
She never gave up and made sure her team always had their head in the game. While most people would recognize this entire class as exceptional, she represented the soul of that class. She was a key contributor in most every game.
Justifiably, she credited her teammates and coaches, but especially her parents who traveled several times from Holland to see her play, and certainly watched via video often times late at night.
My most vivid memory was her last game, scoring her last goal in the Patriot League Championship game. Although, the team didn’t win, her goal with 47 seconds left to bring the Leopards within one goal, lifted all of us. The game was not over and I still dream of the possibilities. But her efforts in the closing minutes of that game was Lisa..never conceding defeat!!
I can’t imagine what the future holds for Lisa, but I feel confident, in less than ten years from now, we will see her on the podium at Lafayette being inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame!!
Field Hockey was well represented as Cam Costello, Lafayette midfielder was nominated for the 1913 trophy also. An obvious star in the classroom, she was also a key reason for the success of the field hockey team this year. My impressions of her “gleefully” make her presence known to her opponents will stay with me. She scored the opening goal in the championship game to give the Leopards and early 1-0 lead!! Her parents were in regular attendance and gave obvious support to this excellent student athlete.