Lest I be accused of being a “homer,” I sampled some opinion from some of the fans at the spring game with Temple last night. Yes, some were parents, who no one can expect to be unbiased, but there were alumni, fans and others in attendance. The consensus was this team is improving and beginning to show some real personality.
Temple is a competitive team and one of those that Lafayette lost to by one goal last year! One parent was pleased to see some real growth in their daughter’s confidence and skills. One alumna said there seems to be some real skill on this team which was revealed in the shoot out at the end of the game. I saw real reason for confidence in the play our goalkeeper, perhaps the result of the coaching received from our newest assistant.
The details of the evening reveal even more. The game was played like a regular game, four quarters with officials ( but no instant replay review). Both teams had small benches due to lack of graduating seniors and incoming freshman. Lafayette had two players missing who are playing in the junior Pan Am games in Barbados, and a small number of injured sideline players.
Temple started the scoring with a goal in the first quarter, followed shortly thereafter with a goal by Carly Kreytak. The score stayed knotted until the second half when Temple opened up a two goal lead. Lafayette started their comeback on the shoulders of Lineke Spaans, who brought the Leopards within one with a slashing sprint to the goal and a reverse stick shot. The tie was delivered by Californian Mackensie Hall who dug out the ball during a scrum in front of the Temple keeper, and delivering it to the back of the cage.
Lafayette easily won the shoot out which in season would give the Leopards the win. After a first half that showed some tentative passing, the team seemed to come alive in the last 20 minutes. The passing became crisp and hard. There was less finesse, and more confidence and power in their play…all characteristics needed in the regular season.
Coach Stone had seen improvement by many players in the scrimmage last week at Monmouth with Rutgers, and to my mind and observation, much of that came together in second half against Temple.
As an aside we could see in the distance, ground has been broken as reconstruction of Metzger Field is beginning with a new soccer venue. Eventually, the refurbishment will include an upgrading for Lacrosse and Field Hockey.
The Leopards will travel to Delaware next Saturday for a playday format with Delaware, Drexel, Temple, St. Joe’s, Columbia and Bucknell.