On Monday January 23rd students will begin classes at Lafayette and we will be seeing our favorite college field hockey players returning to campus this weekend. Soon after, they will begin training for the spring practices..beginning with intensive strength and conditioning work with the athletic training staff. This will be the first spring training for our first year players, and will also be an opportunity for many to get extensive playing time in the spring games.
By May, they should be getting idea where they will best be needed, and to work together without the seniors who were key players last fall. No doubt coach Stone will be looking to restock the Leopard defense who performed so admirably over the past seasons. There will be strength at the goalie job as the two remaining goal tenders come with strong minutes in the cage last fall. No doubt the mid field will be a strong feature of the Leopard attack with returning Leneke Spanns. Leneke will be the inspiration to this team as she was last year!!
During the summer months there are several team members who will be attending clinics or playing for clubs in Europe and Asia. All that effort will indeed turn many of those one goal losses into wins. One thing this team needs, is to imprint in their minds is that Patriot League regular season games are a first level for the end of season tournaments.
Coach Stone has not let grass grow beneath her feet as she has been busy recruiting domestically, and internationally. She has returned from European clinics with some potential recruits ( and maybe scouted the possibility of an assistant coach too??). The NFHCA just finished their convention last week, and that may be where future out of conference games are arranged!
President Hurd continues to be very supportive of enhancing the athletic capital infrastructure. My suggestions would include, bathrooms, press box, and video scoreboard. This is in addition to the instant replay technology installed last year! I would believe there are one or two PL schools that will follow our lead next year! Patriot League home games will include Colgate, Bucknell, and Holy Cross. ( That game with Bucknell is one I am especially looking forward to).
Lehigh will be a target away, and we are due for a win. Boston will be on their rebuilt field and we need to get over our record with American and play like I know we can play! Princeton will come to our house for revenge and I expect to see several other teams repeat.
Aside for our need for an assistant Coach, several head coach positions remain open in division one. UNC, Syracuse, Northeastern and Lehigh are open as of this writing. The Towson position has been filled. I may have missed one or two others.
Even though Coach Stone has not named her class for the fall, this might be an indication that the class is not completed yet. What has been announced, is that Lea Good from Oak Knoll School and New Heights club will be a Leopard this fall. I have seen video on her and she will be a contributor. It was announced on twitter by Lafayette Field Hockey and other places that she was named a first team High School all American.
Max Field Hockey has revealed three others who have committed to Lafayette for the fall, Emma Maher from Villa Maria in Pa. and the Mainline Mayhem, Ines Araulo from Sacred Heart in Grenewich Conn. She played for AGH, and Madison Evans from Severna Park in Maryland, she played for Spark Club team.
All in all the cycle begins and we get a peek at the future this March and April