Leopards Lose A Close One

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One team gets 20 shots, 12 on goal, 9 corners and forces the opposing goalie into 10 saves. The opposing team gets 6 shots, 5 on goal. One team had the better bench, evidence by 5 bench players making contributions, while the other team only substituted 2 players all game. One team had their leading scorer stymied the other team had 8 players taking shots. However, it was Lehigh who had the 6 shots etc. It was Lehigh who won 3-2. Abbe Brown, Lehigh’s second leading scorer had the hat trick.

The last five minutes saw the Leopard’s pull their goalkeeper in a vain attempt to tie the score but they were stymied by fouls and impatience! The Mountain Hawks used a high work rate and fast starts on fouls to keep the ball in play. The Leopards did what they needed to do only to be frustrated by shots hitting the post and other missed opportunities to score.

It was a frustrating game for this fan to watch as the game ended in another 1 goal short loss again this year and especially to the Mountain Hawks.

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Leopard freshman Josephine Van Wijk had a very good game tying the score on a corner early in the second quarter, assisted by Hannah Findley and Lineke Spanns. Abbe Brown from Lehigh put the Hawks ahead early in the first half but Sydney Woolston got the second goal of her career in the fourth quarter.The game winner was made by Abbe Brown with her hat trick about 5 minutes left in the game and seconds left on a Leopards yellow card. At that point the leopards pulled their goalkeeper.

Leopards Knock Off Number 7 Princeton 3-2 In Overtime

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This was a character game from start to finish. The Leopard’s were stung on Friday with a league game which by some accounts should have gone the other way. But today they showed their character and heart to come back and win a game that is a win against the highest ranking team in program history. Each Leopard played championship hockey right through to the winning goal by Felicitas Hannes off a perfectly constructed feed from Molly McAndrew. The play started with a dazzling run by Leneke Spanns who found McAndrew in the circle.

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Raffi Fragomeni, Sydney Woolston and Simone Hefting turn away one of many Princeton shots

It was McAndrew who was to make the play of game. Princeton had made a penalty stroke with less than 3 minutes left in regulation making the score 2-1. A ball was sent down the sideline headed toward the end line. McAndrew sprinted down the length of the field and dove at the last minute to try to keep the ball inbounds. She dove for the ball and connected with it hitting it towards a trailing Princeton defender generating a foot foul and a last ditch corner after only 15 seconds after the go ahead penalty stroke by Sam Davidson from Princeton.

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Spanns seems to attract “friends” everywhere on the field

This was the last chance for the Leopards and they capitalized with a rocket by Simone Hefting high to the top of the cage tying the game and eventually sending it into overtime.

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Defense was solid all game

The first goal of the game was made by Sydney Woolston who made her first goal of the season and career. Normally on defense she, was assisted by Leneke Spanns who was the center of attention all game long by the ever skilled Princeton Tigers.

Simone Hefting showed her leadership on the field all game and made two defensive saves. Freshman Raffi Fragomeni made a season high 10 saves!!!

This was a perfect launching point for a crucial game with the Brown Mountain Hawks from Lehigh this Friday at 7 pm.

Beth Yeager Brings Home The Win For Princeton In Overtime

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This was a game made for afternoon drama as number 7 ranked Princeton upset the number 2 ranked and undefeated Maryland Terps 4-3 in double overtime. The game had significance at several levels. Carla Tagliente, the Princeton coach, along with the Princeton assistant, Dina Rizzo played for Missy Meharg at Maryland. Rizzo had also been an assistant under Meharg. Tagliente hadn’t beaten Meharg and Maryland since 2017. This was the fifth straight Maryland/ Princeton game that went to overtime and eighth straight game decided by one goal. Personally, it was a reunion of sorts since my daughter played at Maryland and Tagliente and Rizzo were her roommates.

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The two teams went back and forth all game with all-American Beth Yeager tying the game late in the fourth quarter and scoring the winning goal in the second overtime period. Both scores came on penalty corners.

The Terps were to win the statical battle recording 19 shots, 11 of which were on goal to. Princeton’s 11 shots, 9 of which were on goal. Robyn Thompson was to have an excellent afternoon between the pipes recording 8 saves during the contest for the Tigers.

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Ali McCarthy moving down field guarded by Erica Morris-Adams

Maryland opened the scoring with a goal by Belie Bressler assisted by Hope Rose at 23:56 into the first half. It wan’t until 32:13 in the second half that Princeton was to even the score with a Hannah Davey score on a penalty corner. Princeton was to be behind three times during the game and forced to come back to even the score each time.

After two attempts by Maryland, 2 minutes later Maryland was able to go ahead again on a Margot Lawn strike making the score 2-1. Fans had to wait 10 minutes before Princeton was able to even the score again on an Ali McCarthy strike, her third of the season, tying up the score to 2-2.

The crowd was treated to a contest of skill and fitness as both teams passed and ran from one end of the field to the other. Hope Rose from Maryland was to break the tie at 52:22 with her eighth goal for the season putting the Terps ahead of the Tigers with less than six minutes left in regulation.

Princeton would not let up and as both teams were digging deep into their fitness reserves, Princeton’s Yaeger was to get off a rocket with less than two minutes left tying the score for the last time in regulation.

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Overtime was no less intense as both teams had their chances to end the game. Princeton was to end the first overtime with a shot by McCarthy with five seconds left in the period. However, Yeager was to complete her heroics for the afternoon with an assist by Ophelia Bemeimans and Ali McCarthy scoring on a hard direct hit to the left side of the cage.

After the game there were hugs all around as Meharg went to embrace her former players, Carla and Dina. One had the feeling this might not be the last, these two teams could meet this season. Both teams. will go on to their league schedules later this week. Princeton will host Lafayette on Sunday.

Lafayette Loses To Fairfield 1-2 And Will Look Forward To Patriot League Schedule

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The game was like several others this season, played between the 40’s. The Leopards struck first as the result of the penalty stroke by Felicitas Hannes. The action leading to a stroke was started by Lafayette’s energizer Leneke Spanns who sprinted down the left side of the field and then the center, sprinting past potential defenders. She spotted Mackensie Hall ahead of all of the Stags. Leneke delivered the ball to Hall, who made a bee line for the circle only to be stripped from behind by an opposing player.

Quite rightly, a stroke was called and Felcitas was called in to do her thing, ( she had also delivered on a penalty stroke in the Bryant game). The stroke was nailed, and the Leopards were off to a 1-0 lead. The Fairfield sideline, not happy with the call, also got a green card for their vociferousness.

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The lead was to last 5 minutes until Fairfield found the back of the net on a penalty corner with 90 seconds left in the first half. The Leopards were working off a green card, delivered to Lineke Spanns 30 seconds earlier. In addition, one of the Leopards left the cage early giving Stags a second shot with one less defender in the cage.

To make matters worse Josephine van Wijk recived a yellow with 13 seconds left in the half which carried into the second half. The winning goal was scored 4 minutes into the second half off a stolen pass. That was the last score of the game for either team!!

The Leopards will now leap into its “second” phase of the regular season with their Patriot League opponents. The four teams with the best record will go to the League tournament and the winner of the tournament goes to the NCAA national tournament. American University at Rappolt Field on Saturday is the first up. American is 3-3 with its loses from some quality opponents. The rest of the League is having a season much like Lafayette’s. ‘

Lafayette needs to find it’s offense to turn some of those one goal losses into wins and this could still be a successful campaign!!!! We shall see. Meanwhile I have to be impressed with Spanns who leaves it all on the field. She is an amazing competitor and athlete. Many of our young players are just starting to find out where they are on the pitch. Hannah Findley, Laine Delmotte, Ariel Schumacher, Makensie’s Hall and Switzer, Alex Conway and Catina Rubel will be heard from. Along with with the upperclass teammates a good season can still be had. Go Pards!!

Lafayette Thwarted By Quinnipiac 1-0

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Stats themselves don’t win games, it’s who scores the most goals at the end of 60 minutes. The Quinnipiac Bobcats won their third game of the series between the two schools by making a first period goal at 9:53 into the game count. The Leopards outshot the visitors 11-5. of which 6 were on goal to 2 for the Bobcats. Corners were almost even with The Bobcats edging the Leopards 7-6.

Lafayette had two corners at the end. The last one occurred with 17 seconds left. Lafayette went into it’s standard corner attack lineup but the Bobcat goalkeeper Cristina Torres was able to turn away the bouncing shot preserving the 1-0 win.

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Even broken down by halfs Quinnipiac seemed to have a disadvantage in the the first half, still being outshot by the Leopards 5-3 and being dominated in shots in the second half 6-2. Corners for the Leopards were 5-2 in their favor as well. The big difference was the 6 saves by the Bobcat freshman goalkeeper Cristina Torres.

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The first half goal was by Eva Velldhorst, who was featured all game long, collecting all 5 shots for the Bobcats. However, it seemed to me that the duel of the evening was between Stella Tegtmeier and Lineke Spanns who collect 3 shots on the evening leading the Leopards. Ariel Schumacher had 1 shot and Felecitas Hannes, Hannah Findley, and Catalina Rubel had 2 shots each.

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Tegtmeier seemed to mark Spanns closely one on one, matching her speed for the most part. The. battle seemed epic for most of the game.

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The Leopards will now move on to Fairfield who lost to Drexel tonight 3-1. The Stags are now 1-4 having also lost to Monmouth 1-3, Villanova 1-3, and Albany 1-2. Their only win came against Patriot League’s Holy Cross 1-0. Drexel used a penalty stroke and a goal with 15 seconds left.

Quinnipiac Arrives For Friday Night Game

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Molly McAndrews who scored the first goal last year against the Bobcats

Friday night, September 9th Lafayette renews their annual clash with Quinnipiac who is riding a two game winning streak. Last weekend they beat Dartmouth 4-1 and followed that a day later with a 1-0 upset of Maine at Maine. Last year the Leopards traveled to Hamden and defeated the Bobcats 2-0. This will be the first night game of the year for the Leopards, which will start at 7 pm.

The Bobcats will bring an experienced team with 9 seniors and 1 graduate student to the fray. It looks as though Coach Main will start a Freshman goalkeeper, Cristina Torres from Barcelona, Spain who currently sports a save percentage over 80.

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Although goals seem to be spread around, their lead scorer is Stella Tegtmeir, number 9, a senior forward from Germany who has five points ( 2 goals and one assist). Classmate Eva Veldlhorst has more shots (6) with 1 goal and two assists.

In three games, they have 13 penalty corners to 19 by their opponents. The Leopards on the other hand have had only 9 penalty corners in 4 games and averages 10.3 shots per game. In fairness, Lafayette has probably had a more interesting schedule by meeting a very tough but under appreciated Wake Forest team, and Temple who played Virginia very tough last weekend.

There is certainly more tape available now, so surprises by either team are unlikely. The Bobcats started the year against New Hampshire using 5 midfielders, 4 forwards and 1 designated defender, at Dartmouth went back a more conventional 3 forwards, 3 midfielders and 4 defenders. Against Maine they went with 4 forwards 5 midfielders and back with 1 defender. No doubt their midfielders do double duty as defenders and distributers.

Lafayette’s second half against VCU saw more intensity and resulted in a stronger defense and more shots. Lafayette’s task will be to get behind or around the Bobcat’s defense whether it’s manned by designated defenders or midfielders. They must bring that same intensity Friday night as Quinnipiac will be looking to avenge last years loss and continue their two game win streak!!

Remember the quote from Lou Holtz, football coach:

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Ability is what you are capable of

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Motivation what you choose to do

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Attitude determines how well you do it

Simone Hefting Nabs “Defensive Player of the Week”

Simone anchored a defense that allowed a mere goal apiece in the two games this weekend. It’s not the first time she was honored as she has been named innumerable times before for the same award. She was also named defensive player of the year as well as all league and pre-season defensive player.

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India nails the goal for the opening score

The Lafayette defensive three of Sydney Woolston, Simone, and India Ralph have become the mainstay of a defense that now leads the league. Defense has always been a feature of Leopard Field Hockey It is not only the wall against opponent’s scoring, it is the start of the Leopard’s offensive scheme. The center back position has yielded many stars and school award winners for best athlete and scholar athlete. Inevitably, the defense emerges as a scoring asset on corners and strokes because they may have the strongest and hardest shots on the team. They can propel the ball down field with accuracy and can be the beginning of a fast break.

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Sydney is an immovable force at defense

Simone hails from Den Bosch, Netherlands and attended Stedelijk Gymnasium. She is an International Affairs and Psychology major at Lafayette. Sydney Woolston is a civil engineering major from Berlin, N.J. and went to Eastern Regional High School. In high school she played multiple sports and was captain of her track team. India Ralph is the sophomore of the bunch coming all the way from New Plymouth, New Zealand and attended Sacred Heart Catholic College/ Saint Kentigern College and was their team captain. She also played on a club team that won national championships. She scored the opening goal on Sunday on a penalty stroke!!

The three have molded into an integrated, united unit that deserves to be lauded in a special way. Coming to Lafayette from three distinctive cultures, they are a something special to see. I Think They Deserve A Special Nickname. I Thought They Might Be Called ” The Fearsome Threesome”.

If anyone has a better idea please comment and I’ll consider it!!!

Lafayette Succumbs To Temple 1-0

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Temple used its deep bench to help it overcome the heat, defeating the Leopards 1-0 for the first time in two years. Lafayette let its game be played between the 35 yard lines, while Temple was more effective penetrating that barrier and the circle resulting in the only goal of the game from Temple in the second quarter. Both teams were only able to manage 2 shots each in the first quarter, but Temple was to become more effective in the 3rd quarter with an 8 to 1 advantage in shots. Their shot production was aided by a 5-1 advantage in penalty corners in the same quarter.

For the entire game Temple outshot the Leopards 14-5 and had a 9-2 advantage in corners, and a 12-3 advantage in shots in the second half alone. Lafayette had 17 players see action, while the Owls had 21 players see minutes. The Leopard attack was shut down with Midfielder Lineke Spanns getting the only two shots on goal the entire game from the field. In total shots, defenders and midfielders accounted for 3 shots. Simone Hefting had one while Spanns had her two and Findley had two on one corner.

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In trying to even the game Spanns was to show her abilities, taking the ball from the center and down the side in the fourth quarter, using her gifted athletic talents and heart!!

Defender Sydney Woolston was there all afternoon collecting two defensive saves in the process. Emma Garvey acquitted herself well in her first start of her career getting 3 saves for the game.

Patriot League did not have a great day

Boston University had the only clear win of the day with a 2-1 win against Providence. However, they were outshot 7-5. They came from behind with Peyton Anderson getting the winning goal in the third quarter.

Twenty one ranked American lost to unranked Michigan State 3-1 despite playing a statistically close game.

Bucknell was impressive nearly pulling the upset against ninth ranked Louisville. A third quarter goal by Louisville broke the 1-1 tie and hold on for the win.

Holy Cross lost 6 minutes into overtime to Stanford after evening the score at 1-1 in the third quarter.

Lehigh battled back against Lock Haven overcoming a 3-0 deficit at the half. Lock Haven came out on fire scoring their first goal 28 seconds after the start of the game. They had a 6 to 4 advantage in corners. Lehigh got their second goal with two minutes left in the half. They will play Temple on Sunday at Temple.

Colgate has not finished their game with Merrimack as their game was halted because of weather at the start of. the second half. The game will restart on Saturday with Colgate ahead 3-0.

Bryant arrives at Lafayette on Sunday after losing 4-1 to LaSalle on Friday.

USA Field Hockey Announces New WNT Coach, Asst Coach and Performance Director

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David Passmore was named the new head coach of the Women’s National Team. Tracey Fuchs, who will remain in her role as Northwestern’s Head Coach will be an asst. coach outside of the NCAA season. In addition, Craig Parnham will have the role of performance director with the men’s and women’s coaches reporting to him as well as continuing with coach education. There will be most likely an assistant to Parnham to aid him in that education role.

Passmore brings a deep understanding of international hockey while serving in many roles within the Irish system. He has been with the Irish women’s team since 2017. He is an asst professor in Sports Science at Dublin City University where he specializes in coaching science and talent development.

“My aim is to provide a clear vision and playing philosophy which will provide the basis fo quickly elevating the team back to the top table and building towards Paris 2024 qualification”, said Passmore. Hall of Famer Tracy Fuchs brought the Northwestern Wildcats to the National Championship last year. She will continue her role as part of the Olympic pathway program.

Passmore noted the addition of Fuchs and Parnham was a strong factor in accepting the position. He spoke with the team yesterday on the phone and answered questions. He hopes to join the team in person within a “fortnight”.

The team trains in Charlotte, NC and the United States Performance Center provide strength and conditioning coaches, trainers, nutritionists and sports psychologists.

More information can be found on the USA Field Hockey website!!

Temple Arrives At Rappolt To Open The Season On Friday

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Molly McAndrew is preseason all league

The 2022 field hockey season kicks off for the Leopards at 4 pm Friday as second year Temple coach Michelle Vittese brings her 28 players to Rappolt Field for the opening game of the season for both squads. She will have 3 graduate students, 7 seniors, 5 juniors, 7 sophomores, and 6 freshman.

Last year’s Temple squad finished 8-11 while competing in the Big East with a 5-5 record. The Owls lost to three Patriot League teams, Lafayette, Bucknell, and Lehigh. Their biggest win came against the University of Connecticut in the last game of the season. Their season ending RPI was 36. They ended their season having made the Big East tournament with a 2-4 loss to NCAA runner up Liberty University.

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Temple leading scorer and all league Julianne Kopec

No doubt they will be trying to improve their offensive production having scored 21 goals with GPG average of 1.11 on 9.3 shots per game. Temple also generated 94 corners. They will come with two goal keepers one of which had no minutes while the other had about 30 minutes in the cage. The Owls will be depending on their upper class leadership of 10 seniors including 3 graduate students. Their leading players are two preseason all league picks, graduate student and Back Nienke Oerlemans who led the league in defensive saves, and their leading scorer sophomore Julianne Kopec. The midfielder scored 6 goals for season as a freshman!

Temple scored most of their goals in the second period last season. However their defense only allowed 9.9 shots per game. Temple like Lafayette had two preseason contests, one against Delaware and the other against Monmouth. I have no information on the outcome.

The Owls are picked to finish 4th in the Big East, behind Libery, UConn and ODU. Lafayette did play Temple in a spring scrimmage. Their trip to Lafayette is one of their few road games. They will be home for 11 contests. After Lafayette, Temple will play Lehigh on Sunday while Lafayette will be at home with Bryant. The Temple game will be on ESPN plus!!