Alix Talkow added to her dream regular season by scoring against the number 3 team in the nation. It narrowed the score to 2-1 as Lafayette ( the number 2 seed in the Patriot League) gave the number 2 seed in the Big Ten all it could handle in the Sunday afternoon out of conference game. Unfortunately. the 2-1 lead was to stand up and Lafayette was to lose by that same score.
For 40 minutes the score was deadlocked at 0-0 as the Lafayette defense stood tall against the Big Ten opponent. Until then the first half was even in score while Rutgers held a slim 4-2 margin in shots. It was in the third period the Scarlet Knights began to assert themselves with a 6-0 advantage in shots, two of which found the back of the net. Rutgers had only 3 penalty corners, two of which occurred in the third period. Lafayette had its first corner in the fourth period while also outshooting Rutgers 3-2. Hailey Abbott again had a fine afternoon making five saves.Molly McAndrews took 2 shots all game, and Spaans and Hefting each one along with Talkow’s score at 4:20 into the fourth quarter. It was good to see Hefting in fine form along with Hannes, Sawers, India , Gerbrandij, Balderson, Gould and McAndrew all making contributions. Schumacher, Darrah, Hall, and Conway were there when needed.
There also needs to be a mention to Jen Stone and her excellent coaching staff who devised a very good game plan in less than 24 hours. I am certain it has prepared the Leopards for future playoffs contests which begin November 4 at American. American was inactive today having played their last regular season game against Colgate on Friday. Bucknell, Lafayette’s opponent on Thursday lost to Drexel and Lehigh who plays American lost to Wagner.
I am sure all will be ready on Thursday. More on those games on Wednesday. I have to add that the officiating was excellent as these Big Ten referees supervised the game and were not trying to be a participants. There were no cards awarded the entire game and few penalty corners. It was a pleasure to watch officials who were committed to letting the players play.
This game was billed as having no consequences for Bucknell. They would be part of the middle seeds, no matter what, but for Lafayette it was a 2 seed or a 4 seed playing the number 1 seed American. This was championship hockey for both teams with the skill and tempo of a late season rivalry game. With 1:49 into the second overtime Leneke Spanns started a 2 on 1 break towards the Bison goal. She spotted Audrey Sawers positioned perfectly and passed the ball allowing Sawers to bury the game winner and sending the Leopards to a repeat game on Thursday and a Lehigh meeting with number 1 American University.
The game started out with a neat break and tip in from Alix Talkow off a pass from Spanns giving the Leopards an early lead. But Bucknell less than 9 minutes later, was to execute a corner with feeds from Kile to Mackenzie, to Kaur, to Noor and finally to Stefanowicz knotting the score at 1.
It was to remain 1-1 until Spaans sped into the circle for the Leopards pulling around and scoring a solo goal 8:39 into the second period. The score remained 2-1 at the halftime break.
With less than 3 minutes to go in the game Emily Doyle tied it for Bucknell with an assist from Reanne Burgess and the game went to OT.
The first overtime was to see Lafayette gain an upper hand with 3 shots for the Leopards and none for the Bison. The second overtime again saw Lafayette with 3 shots to none for Bucknell the final shot being the winner from Sawers.
The tale of statistics had the Leopards with a 21- 13 shot advantage while Bucknell had 6-4 lead in penalty corners with 3 in the third period. Hailey Abbott had another great game with 8 saves many at critical times.
This was another character win as the Leopards needing the team as a whole to step up. Play by a returning Simone Hefting and Shea Balderson, whose 60 minutes were played with great skill and intensity. Lafayette used only 4 substitutes while Bucknell used 9 from their bench.
The PL tournament looks to be the most balanced and talent filed field in my memory. In the meantime, Lafayette will be playing the number three team in the nation in Rutgers tomorrow while Bucknell will be meeting Drexel.
Bucknell vs Lafayette games have always been competitive and Saturday’s game will be no exception. Even though Bucknell has an 8-7 record and Lafayette is 12-4, Bucknell’s in conference record is 4-1 and Lafayette is 3-2. Bucknell’s last game was a 4-2 win against Colgate while Lafayette beat Colgate 5-1 earlier in the season. Lafayette lost to Lehigh on a penalty stroke last Saturday and bounced back to beat Temple 1-0. Bucknell’s 6-1 victory against Lehigh was in a veritable monsoon!!
Other season stats are interesting Lafayette has 44 goals on 259 shots while Bucknell has 37 goals on 190 shots. Lafayette has 18 goals scored against them on 153 shots while Bucknell has 33 goals scored against them on 144 shots. Bucknell’s Clara McCormick has a 2.10 GAA average for a .648 save percentage. Lafayette’s Hailey Abbott has a 1.06 GAA average with a .77 save percentage. Lafayette has 100 corners on record and Bucknell has a 107 corners. To compensate for the lower number of shots Bucknell has a 19.5 shot pct compared to Lafayette’s 17 % shot percentage.
Defense will obviously have a big role on Saturday stopping Bucknell while Buckenell’s task will be to stop Lafayette’s high powered offense. Lafayette will have the home field advantage, in what will be a light drizzle at game time!!
This game is not without significance, as a win for Lafayette will lock Bucknell, Lafayette and Lehigh in a three way tie….the loser having the probability of facing League leading American. This game will be the last appearance by the seniors at Rappolt Field so this may have an extra incentive to win!! Bucknell seems to score the majority of their goals in the second period while Lafayette seems to pretty much spread it out all game 11,10,9 and 12 in the respective periods. Lily Neilson is big threat with 13 goals to her credit, the next highest goal scorer is Mk Stanfanowicz with 6. For Lafayette goals can come from anywhere as Sawers, McAndrew, Hannes, Talkow and Spanns have scored 9,8,8,6 and 5 goals respectively.
As usual this will be a hard fought game just as it should be late in the season. It’s tournament tempo!!!!
Breaking : Audrey Sawers Named To Canadian National Team
The Canadian National Team announced that Audrey Sawers is named to the Team. The team will train in Chula Vista in November and will play Team USA later for a series of test matches. The US Team captain is Lafayette alum Amanda Magadan. Congratulations to Audrey!!!
Still nursing wounds both psychic and physical, the Lafayette Field Hockey Team used their depth and skill to get an emotional win against a senior day opponent. Temple. TheBig East foe pulled out all the stops but Lafayette prevailed in a 1-0 defensive battle. The Leopards led in most categories, including penalty corners 6-3, shots 14-9 and Hailey Abbott again coming up big when it counted with 4 saves, 3 in the fourth quarter.
Lafayette’s one goal came at 18:17 into the game after a Leneke Spanns shot which rebounded off the Temple goal keeper and alertly planted in the cage by forward Molly McAndrew. The game was a team win. Lafayette used their considerable depth to get the win . Audrey Sawers had 5 shots, Spanns, McAndrew,Ralph and Alex Darrah had 2, while Alex Talkow contributed 1.
The senior day events were notable in that Grace Angelella, Lafayette alumna was using her covid year to play and acquire her masters degree at Temple. As such she was participating as a senior in an Owls uniform. As she was introduced both the Lafayette team and their fans gave her a rousing cheer as her name was announced. Grace had one shot on goal during the game. After, there were hugs and high fives. The game was competitive until the end with Temple getting off their last shot with ten seconds left.
The unsung heroes and gutsy performance awards go to Sydney Woolston and Shea Balderson who stepped up when needed, showing great courage and determination.
The Leopards have three games left before the Patriot League playoffs and despite the late season injuries there was a great opportunity to improve on team depth and experience. The last league game of the season will come this Saturday against Bucknell, a co-member of the field of four for the playoffs along with American and Lehigh. What is still left to be decided are the final seeds between Lafayette, Bucknell and Lehigh. A loss on Saturday will place the Leopards in the bottom seed and will meet American in the first game on November 4th. A win will throw the seeding into tie breakers, as all three would be 4-2.
Here are the League tie breakers as written:
In the case of multiple ties ( more than two teams tied for the same sport), the following process will be used: Note, the entire process for multiple team ties must be completed. The Patriot League does not revert back to the two way tie formula once the multiple team tie has been resolved.
Records between the tied teams will be evaluated to determine if one team won more contests against the other tied institutions.
Asssuming a Lafayette win over Bucknell , all teams remain tied with a 4-2 record with one win each between the three against another
IF a tie still exists a comparison of records will be conducted for each team starting with the highest seed not involved in the tie and continuing through the lowest seed if necessary.
I assume this means PL record, but if it includes the entire record, the Leopards by far prevail with the best record, Lehigh second and Bucknell last. The Leopard would play Lehigh. Bucknell would play American.
At that point the sport specific tiebreaker kicks in
Comparison of records versus out of League common opponents.
Temple is a common opponent and all three teams beat Temple. Villanova is a common opponent. Lafayette was the only team of the three to beat Villanova. Lafayette would then be a 2 seed. Move on to other tie beakers at this point
Goal differential between the tied team ( capping at +/- 4)
Lehigh’s loss to Bucknell puts them at a disadvantage. Lehigh would then play American in the first round.
Goal differential in all League games.
Again Lehigh at a dissadvantage
NCAA RPI rating.
At that point only Bucknell and Lehigh left.. advantage to Bucknell with Lehigh’s weaker schedule a disadvantage. Lehigh plays American, Bucknell plays Lafayette.
So I let you figure it out…but the prevailing requirement is a win against Bucknell to avoid a game against American in the first game.
I debated during the drive home whether to write when I got home, after being bummed out after the game. Lehigh had their mental face on when they arrived on the field tonight. They tackled well and moved around making space to execute a well thought out game plan. The Leopards on the other hand yesterday suffered several game changing injuries decimating their defensive lineup yesterday. One need only look at the box score to discover who was missing. Some players were playing in key positions who were not there before.
So before I go into some other elements of the game I have to salute the efforts of India Ralph, Sydney Woolston, Hailey Abbott, Molly McAndrew and Felcitas Hannes in this Rivalry game. Not so much the referees. The cardinal rule for a referee in any sport is not to become part of the outcome of the game.
The Leopards were awarded 3 green cards and one yellow card meaning, for 11 minutes, nearly a whole quarter, Lafayette played one short. There were numerous calls for penalty corners outside of the circle. And finally to end the game the deciding call was a penalty stroke on a non-shot for a deliberate foul inside the circle, an unusual call under any circumstance with seconds remaining in overtime.
Hopefully, many of our injuries will heal, and there will be a second chance at Lehigh during the playoffs. That will require a win against Bucknell next week or we will meet American in the first round.
There are no pictures because the Lehigh field is a terrible place to try to take pictures. Congratulations to Lehigh on winning the rivalry game at the moment under those circumstances. Hopefully the outcome is different on November 4th. Now let’s concentrate on Bucknell.
Both Lafayette and Lehigh will enter Friday night’s contest with a place in the Patriot League tournament. But there are still things to be settled. Lafayette still has an outside chance of hosting with a win over Lehigh and Bucknell and American losing to Boston and Colgate. Boston lost to a very good Harvard team on a penalty stroke Monday night….maybe with an end of season surprise with Colgate…I can dream can’t I.
On a more realistic plane there is still the seedings to be decided. If Lehigh were to lose they would most likely have to play American in the first round, while Bucknell would duke it out with Lafayette to play in the championship game. BUT THIS IS THE RIVALRY and Lehigh has been improving year by year. Lafayette has a 41-14-3 record against the Mountain Hawks but since 2015 each of these games have been one goal affairs with two of them settled in overtime. Since that date the games have gone back and forth with Lafayette having a 4-2 edge.
Tomorrow the two teams will have the two leading offenses in the Patriot League with Lafayette having a 2.93 average and Lehigh having a 2.80 average. Sarah Bothus and Lenke Havase are the leading goal makers with the former having 9 goals and the latter 10 goals. ( Lehigh has one more game on its books). Lafayette has a diversified attack with Audrey Sawers collecting 9 goals, Felicitas Hannes getting 7 goals, Molly McAndrew and Alix Talkow collecting 6 each, and Lineke Spanns getting 5.
Lafayette has played 3 ranked teams and Lehigh has played only one ( American). Lehigh has 217 shots in 15 games and Lafayette has 234 shots in 14 games. The big difference to my mind is Lafayette’s defense which has allowed 125 shots and Lehigh has allowed 150 shots. Hailey Abbott Lafayette’s goalkeeper has a .767 save percentage while Maddie Kahn from Lehigh has a .719 save percentage.
This will be senior night for Lehigh which will just add to the intensity and they are giving out towels to the first 100 students who show. Lehigh is pulling out all the stops as will Jennifer Stone and her Lafayette Leopards. It should be a great game we need our fans to be there.
Lafayette’s offense has reached levels not seen in recent years. They are averaging nearly 3 goals a game and scoring seems to come from anywhere on the field. Audrey Sawers and Molly McAndrew represent a large part of that improvement. Any opponent would be committing field hockey malpractice ignoring these two seniors. They contribute even if they are not scoring, by attracting attention to allow Lafayette to create opportunities.
The Cherry Hill native brings a lot to the team. She was freshman player of the year, has more that 55 points including 22 goals in her 59 games played. She made the all Patriot League team in 2018 and 2019 including numerous several PL weekly awards. Combine that with making the NFHCA National academic squad makes this economics major an all around person.
Opponents will never know where and when a shot will come from. Her highlights include game winning goals against Lehigh and a splendid shot winning overtime reverse stick shot again Drexel her freshman year. But she is also a team player helping her teammates and the team to be in a position to score.
One need only to talk to her for one minute to experience her intensity and commitment. She spends much of her summer training and I have seen her play in numerous USA field hockey events. In all respects she is a winner!! No doubt she will be an asset to anyone who decides to employ her. However, her accomplishments are not done yet and I predict there will a lot for her to add to her resume before the end of the season.
I suppose I could write this year was Sawers 2.0, given her extra year of eligibility brought on the NCAA making allowances for the Covid season
Audrey was always an important member of the team. She brings 75 games played 16 goals scored and even 3 defensive saves. She is an all Patriot League selection as well as selection on the all Mid East Region team. However, the North Vancouver native has also distinguished herself by being selected for the under 21 Canadian National Team.
Woe to the defender trying to guard her one on one. She is a combination of speed, finesse and power. I have seen her leave an opponent stunned by her moves and power. I was at a game sitting near a Big Ten Coach who remarked at the amazing abilities of number 16.
She picked up a second major which enables her to get two degrees when graduating. She wiil graduate with BA’s in economics and art.
Perhaps more than her play on the field she is a leader on the field, directing play and encouraging others. I have several times seen her hug and encourage her teammates after an extra effort or first goal. She is the captain’s captain.
She is as distinguished as she is skilled and no doubt in my mind the team would not have been as successful without Sawers 2.0.
Hailey Abbott came to Lafayette with some terrific credentials. She had finished her high school career with 49 shutouts, was team captain, U-17 national team and made the U-19 in 2016. Despite all her accolades she bided her time during her freshman and sophomore seasons, awaiting her time. The highlight of her first two years was an appearance in a Boston University game and she stopped a penalty stroke. In her junior year Covid struck and her opportunities seemed to diminish due the limited schedule offered in the spring ersatz season that the Patriot League offered. Starting in four of those games she took advantage of every opportunity gaining confidence.
As every game progressed this season her confidence progressed. She faced the very best including a stand out performance against then number 4 ranked Penn State. She has been named Goalkeeper of the week several times this year and her statistics, goals against and save percentage solidifies in my mind her claim as the leading goalie in the Patriot League. She is not finished yet!!
The mathematics and economics major from Malaga,N.J. has made the NFHCA D1 National Academic Squad, most importantly has gained the confidence and admiration of her teammates. The season may be in its ending sprint to the playoffs but I am sure Hailey will continue to excel and earn additional plaudits going forward.
The pandemic may have been an obstacle for many but Mary, like her teammates made her opportunities work for her and her team. She became a regular fixture in the lineup during the covid spring season and became an important feature of our defense. She is easy to pick out with her bright red hair but it isn’t her most distinguishing feature. She is intense and committed in everything she does. Aside from being a student of the game she has taken advantage of her educational opportunities. A neuroscience major in Lafayette’s acclaimed program she has immersed her self in the intricacies of the brain while excelling on the field.
She is fun to watch as she has become a dominant and enthusiastic defender. It makes no difference if her opponent is a lesser team or a nationally ranked team she puts the same effort into her performance. She was a member of the team Leadership council. She has played in 39 games and last Sunday scored her first goal of her career against Drexel using a reverse backhand expertly delivered to the back of the cage.
My impression is that there is no place she would rather be the on the field than with her teammates. Her enthusiasm, dedication and loyalty will take her far in her future endeavors.
If there is a story of hard work, dedication and patience it is the story of Alix. She spent two years on the bench appearing very sparingly on the field. In one brief moment in her first two years she was excited to finally have “stats.” She loves her teammates and demonstrates enthusiasm in whatever she attempts and has gained a reputation around the school as a bright and engaging spokesperson for the team and athletics in general. She is president of SAAC and earned the appreciation of the athletic admnistration as well. Covid may have been downer for most athletes but she took advantage by gaining playing time and confidence in the process.
When the fall arrived she was thankful for the playing time in the spring but assumed she would be helping her team from the sideline. But her speed, ability and intensity won out as she became and important contributor in this amazing run to the playoffs. Alix’s confidence arrived the same time she scored early in the season. She is a leading goal scorer with perhaps her highlight being the two goals scored this past Sunday. She has knack for being in the right place at the right time.
She is always ready to credit her teammates and coaches for their success but my vision of her diving to turf, defending against the best in country, and her encouragmet to her team is inspirational. She is a consistent member of the 2019 and 2020 NFHCA D1 national academic Squad and PL honor roll. Rumor has it that Alix has already secured a job with a major financial institution in New York. Look out world Alix is on her way!!
,Seven Seniors are about to experience their last regular season game with arch rival Lehigh at Lehigh on Friday at 7 pm. The “Rivalry” began as a football rivalry in the late 19th century and over the years evolved into as intense a rivalry there is in college sports. Events included placing a cow in a rival president’s office, undefeated teams and winless teams, caskets were paraded at halftime, a bonfire was lit prematurely smoking out Taylor Gym, and play signals were stolen which resulted in the invention of the huddle. But more about that for a later post. Needless to say the intensity of that rivalry has been transmitted to all sports, field hockey not an exception and our seniors will be experiencing it for the last time as undergrads in this regular season. Over the next several days I want to highlight the seniors and my impression of this class.
Kara began her career with great promise. A native of Frankfurt, Germany Tara arrived as a legacy since her great-grandfather was an alumnus. She has all the skills to make an impact in the Patriot League. I remember well her freshman game against Richmond where her skill and speed were obvious.
Unfortunately, chronic injuries hurt her chances for sustained impact on the field. However she showed her strength of character by trying to help the team at what ever task she could assume. She attended practices, traveled and in all circumstances was a member of this class and team.
She has taken full advantage of her time at Lafayette. She was named to the 2020 Patriot League Academic Honor Roll. As well as 2019/2020 NFHCA D1 National Academic Squad. Despite her limited playing time she appears in 6 games with 1 start. The Psychology major will return to Europe with a wealth of experiences and was a much appreciated member of the team.
My remarkable memory of her would be her optimistic and energetic personality. Especially amazing is her command of the English language speaking with no perceptible accent at all. In whatever life choices she decides to make no doubt there is a bright future ahead for this eventual Lafayette alumnus.
Becca came to Lafayette in 2020 in the middle of a pandemic. She is a transfer from Delaware. Academically, she thrived in the classroom making the NFHCA D1 national academic squad as a Lafayette Biology major. The Camp Hill Pa. native has played in 2 games and provides stability, strength and depth at the goal keeper position.
isShe has integrated well into the Lafayette field hockey culture and well liked by her team. Because of Covid I have had little contact with her during her stay but she is a true Leopard. No doubt with her biology credentials from Lafayette she is off to a significant career in the future.
Next up tomorrow Alix Talkow, Mary Gould, and Hailey Abbott
7-0….What do I write, “thinks me!” Seven goals….. senior day…I can’t quite remember anything quite like it. Is it a record….who cares!! It was such a perfect game and a metaphor for the season and this team. Sawers explodes for a hat trick, Talkow gets two and adds to her dream season, Spanns sends a rocket to the back of the cage, and the penultimate was Mary Gold getting the first of her career much to the delight of her teammates. Yes, penultimate..the best..the ultimate is before them!!!
But that wasn’t all, there were two assists by Ralph India, two from Filine Gerbrandij,and one from Molly McAndrew, and MacKenzie Hall. Lafayette used 8 substitutes including senior goal keeper Becca Herbert who put in 9 minutes in the cage. Starting goal keeper Hailey Abbot turned away three shots and now leads the Patriot League goalkeepers in save percentage.
Could this team be. peaking at the right time? I hesitate to declare it so. Lehigh awaits for Friday night, and Bucknell is right behind them. Those are the two teams Lafayette most likely could meet in the Patriot League playoffs. There is no point in letting up now. This season is not done.
The seniors were treated to festivities after the game at a parent organized tailgate. There were lots of remembrances of their careers and life at Lafayette. Some of it was obviously inside recollections by the team, but Coach Stone reminded all, there is business yet to be done!! No doubt, but for Molly McAndrews, Alix Talkow, Audrey Sawers, Haily Abbott, Becca Herbert,Mary Gould and Kara Tiedtke it’s ok to reflect on how they got here and where they want to go with the rest of the season.