For a first competition, and just a scrimmage, there was a lot to be pleased with and much to be improved upon. First the score which really ended in a win for the Leopards with Lineke Spanns and Molly McAndrews providing the fire for the afternoon. The defense looked solid and happily the goalkeepers showed their skill and mettle all afternoon. The format was a regular game with an overtime. The Leopards put in the winning goal during the extra minutes. After that there was a practice session of shootouts and both the Monmouth goalies and the Lafayette goalies showed true division one skills.
From this fan’s point of view, it was the growing maturity of the younger players playing this very fine CAA opponent that caught my attention. Sophomore Laine Delmotte showed me how much she was missed last year. She was sidelined with an injury but showed us all how ready she is. She has strong skills and sees space to deliver the ball with intention. India Ralph returns and showed why she was so valuable last year. Newcomer Josephine van Wick demonstrated extraordinary skill and a field sense in the game. Her classmates Aimee Hoefnagel and Hannah Findlay could drive opponents mad as well.
Soph Lineke Spanns, was of course a big factor, especially when Monmouth tried everything to stop her. Lineke makes everyone else better. The back line is solid with Sydney Woolston and all league Simone Hefting providing a wall.
I was especially gratified to see the Video Replay system in action and it worked in the Leopards favor during the third period. There are still some glitches to be worked out, but should be shipshape by the time of the first game.
All in all it was a good afternoon with fodder for everyone. I am sure Coach Stone will be refining the rough edges as the week progresses.
On to Albany on Sunday for a stiff test before it begins for real!!!