They arrived from far and wide!! They began their journey from New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, New Jersey, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Texas, Connecticut, California, and Maryland and landed in Easton. Now begins the hard work of becoming a team with this eclectic group of elite athletes. The Leopards got all the way to the championship game last year only to be denied by a one goal margin. They return a mix of experience and young enthusiasm that hopefully will be able to make that extra step.
I was able to stop by to watch Coach Stone and her assistant Ashley Mendonca put her charges through a series of drills, building a base of skills that will have Leopards attacking the season as strong as they possibly can be.
There were several aspects of practice that brought a smile to my face. First, by and large they looked fit and ready. I was especially pleased to see Tara Hamilton on the field playing with her usual intensity after a long rehab due to an injury last year. Molly McAndrew’s stick work looked as clever as ever. Sydney Woolston looked fearsome as she resumes her roll in that very awesome defensive backfield. Simone Hefting showed her leadership and skills that will help lead this version of Leopard Field Hockey. Felicitas Hannes looks ready with a shot that rockets off her stick. Shea Balderson will display her veteran skills stopping opponents in their tracks. There will of course be Lineke who will do her impression of the “Flash,” while opponents watch stunned!!
The rest of the Junior, Sophomore and Freshman classes will amaze us and befuddle opponents. Coach Stone also has a competition going in goal with three talented athletes who could man the door to the cage. The most experienced is Senior ( covid semester allowed) Becca Harbert. Then there is Emma Garvey the Junior who had a productive spring. Raffi Fragameni is the Freshman rounding out this talented trio!!!
Their first competition is August 17 against a very good Monmouth squad. Go Pards!!