Leopards To Be Led By Troika In 2018

The ballots were submitted  and the decision is in, the Leopard team will have in front of them a troika of captains from diverse nationalities. Senior defender Rachel Bird from North Vancouver B.C, senior midfielder Theresa Delahanty from Washington Crossing, Pa., and junior all-league defender Lisa van der Geest from Oegstgeest, Netherlands will lead the team. All three have demonstrated skills on the field and in the classroom and are obviously well respected by their teammates for their accomplishments and leadership skills.

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Co captain senior Rachael Bird absorbs the review of the 2017 season

The first one in alphabetical order, is Rachel Bird. Rachel is a graduate of the Oaks Leadership Academy and is in her second year as captain. The economics major boasted a 3.93 GPA in the last published account. It was the highest GPA on the team and one has only to engage her,  and immediately, her intelligence and education becomes obvious. Her athletic skills are considerable and my impression is that she has that “big” hit you look for in a defender who can clear the ball. Hampered in part by injury early last year, she saw action in eight games, contributing to three shutouts. The previous year she was a key contributor on a defense that posted a pair of shutouts and allowed one or fewer goals in six games.

In 2015 the Leopards came in third in the league  and getting into the Patriot League tournament. She had a defensive save against Penn.

She came to Lafayette with significant honors from High School including Captain, team MVP, Tournament MVP and was the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete of the Year at West Vancouver. while making the North Shore First Team All Star List.

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Theresa Delahanty explodes into the Cornell defense

The second senior is Theresa Delahanty, an engineering major from Council Rock North High School. Theresa made the US Indoor Squad this past spring and was selected for the Under 21 national tournament at Spooky Nook, Pa. the training ground for the US National Team . “T” as she is known by her teammates has played in every game her entire Lafayette career. She is a fearless but smart player at midfield. She is quick to see openings and a path for the ball to get the circle. T is often near the circle and a playmaker.   Memorable goals include a goal in last season’s win against Temple.

She is a plus in the locker room, contributing to team morale and her many friends can attest to her good and generous nature. Winning comes naturally to her as a four year starter on her high school team. They reached the PIAA quarter finals in 2014. That year she was on the Courier Times Golden first team selection. She played for the Mystx field hockey club and  while in school, earned designation on the Distinguished Honor Roll from 2011-15. She also was selected to the National Honor Society  and the Science National Honor Society.

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Van der Geest on an offensive corner

The third member of this captain’s Troika is junior Lisa van der Geest. Lisa comes to us from Oegstgeest, Netherlands and went to Rijnlands Lyceum. One of Lafayette’s excellent defenders she can be seen on both ends of the field. In 2017 she was an all league selection for the second straight year. She earned a well deserved PL Defensive Player of the Week on 10/16. She led the team with six assists and tied for third with 10 points.

‘She also started all 18 games in 2016. She was first in assists on the team, and second in points. Her five assists was the most by any freshman in the Patriot League. Her success here in the United States is a continuation of her sterling career in the Netherlands. She was part of a regional championship team  who placed second in the National School Championships. She played club hockey for Leidsche en Oegstgeester.

She is no slouch in the classroom with a 3.66 average and speaks multiple languages.

 

This is an excellent leadership group who will make this team a factor in the league and beyond. I would love to see the team and especially these three in the NCAA tournament!!!!

 

 

Lafayette Field Hockey Adds Jaclyn Hibbs To Coaching Staff

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Jaclyn Hibbs is a former all conference and all region selection from the University Albany and I have learned she has agreed to join the staff of Lafayette Field Hockey. Jaclyn comes directly from Eastern University, a division three school where she was responsible for improving the defense. Hibbs played defense at division one University of Albany, a frequent opponent of the Leopards.

Jaclyn was a member of the 2016 Albany team and earned all Northeast Region honors as well as all conference honors as a senior. She was a defensive specialist on her  nationally ranked  squad. The 5′ 1” star hails from North Wales, Pa. and played for  a local club team.

In 2014 she was named to the U-20 national team. I am assuming she will have defensive responsibilities but I was unable to confirm that at this writing.

In addition, the Leopards have added a German player on the squad and at this writing her name was not posted on the roster. Her name is Kara Tiedtke.  Her sister plays for the University of Connecticut.Welcome to our field hockey family, Kara. We are pleased you decided to join us!!

One additional piece of information Kara’s great grandfather went to Lafayette!!!

Audrey Sawers Finds The Back Of The Net Three Times In Canadian National Tournament

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Audrey Sawers looks for her teammates doing spring scrimmage

Playing in the U-23 division in the Canadian National Tournament for British Columbia, rising sophomore Audrey Sawers made an impact scoring once from the field in the second game against Alberta, and twice in the semi-final against Ontario -White on two penalty corners. She put her team in position to win by scoring in an overtime shoot out. Unfortunately, her’s was the only goal her team scored in the shootout, missing out on playing in the gold medal game. She became the sixth leading scorer for the three day tournament in Toronto. What was more remarkable, she was one the youngest players on the field at 18. Her team went on to earn the bronze medal in a later 6-0 win against Alberta.

Audrey will begin her sophomore year this fall at Lafayette as an economics major. She is an accomplished athlete having earned the title of Female Athlete of the Year two years running at her high school. She not only starred on her field hockey team but also played five years on her basketball and soccer team. Using her height she was also on her volleyball team for two years and ran track and field while  also an honor roll student.

This spring she had outstanding games against Virginia, Penn, Lehigh and Bucknell. During her freshman year she played in all 18 games and started in five, scoring an assist against Colgate and a goal against Temple.

No doubt she will be a key player near the goal at either midfield or forward for the 2018 season. The Leopards had 7 players this summer selected for national competitions. They will return to the home turf on August 7th with their first scrimmage against Monmouth on August 14th in preparation for the the first game at home against Fairfield on the 24th at 6:30 pm.

Addendum:

Found out today that Audrey was named to the all-11 all star squad for the Under 23 tournament. Here she is accepting congratulations. Well done Audrey can’t wait to have you back in Maroon and White in two weeks!!

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US Team Gets Gala Sendoff To World Cup 2018

USA FIELD HOCKEY HEAD COACH PREPARES HER “SALAD” WELL FOR THE CUP

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Head Coach Janneke Schopman gives high fives to crowd on the way to the team bus.

This weekend Pam and I joined in a send off for the US Field Hockey team. It was part of the weekend which included a meeting of the US Field Hockey Foundation of which we are members.

During the festivities with the team , over 150 fans listened intently to Janneke Schopman, the head coach of the US  Field Hockey team, when  she revealed that at one time she wanted to be a chef. As life took a different turn, the two time Olympic Medal winner for the Netherlands is mixing a salad of outstanding athletes into a smoothly functioning unit. The team having already won in South Africa, and trained and played the top teams in the world, she says this team is ready to make history!!

The introductions were made by former Olympians Rachel Dawson, Katie Bam (Odie), and Lauren Crandell. Each team member was introduced to screams of encouragement echoing through Olympic Hall at Spooky Nook. Fans had a chance to meet their heroes close up and get autographs. Highlights of the event included a raffle, where official signed uniforms and hockey sticks were offered. In addition, during the weekend, an auction was held to benefit USA Field Hockey.

Each team member answered questions from the crowd. ” Who uses social media the most.?” ” Who has the best fashion sense?” ” Who is late the most?”  ” What did they learn from the experience.?”

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Team runs the gamut of fans on way to the team bus

At the end to the festivities, the team marched through the lined up crowd, with high fives and cheers, as they boarded the bus  taking them to the waiting plane that would fly them to London, England.

 

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Last team member boards team bus on the way to the plane that will transport them London

The first game will be on Saturday July 21 at 1 pm and  the link to the live stream can be found at the USA Field Hockey site. There will be 28 cameras covering each game, so there is no chance any bit of the action will be missed. It is described as the biggest female sporting event in English history. The US will play England on the following Wednesday to a sold out stadium at 3 o’clock EDT. Live streaming is available by going to the US Field Hockey web site..

The Final Official Schedule Announced By Coach Stone

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The 2018 Schedule for Lafayette Field Hockey was posted on http://www.goleopards.com last night. Although essentially the same as that announced to the team last spring, there were several key changes. The game with Fairfield University which was initially tagged as a scrimmage is now the opening game of the season on August 24th at home at 6:30. Last year Lafayette played at Fairfield and came away with a 4-0 win, so the Stags will be looking for revenge as both teams look to start the season on a successful note.

Seven days later the team hits the road for Richmond, Va, to the home of the Spiders, hoping to reverse the 5-3 loss last year at home. That game will have an August 31st 3 pm start. The Leopards will stay in Virginia and travel down the road to Williamsburg to be ready for a September 2nd  meeting at noon with the Tribe of William and Mary, a team not met for over a decade.

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On September 7th, at the friendly confines of Rappolt Field, it will be Lafayette’s turn to host Temple, as they will be anxious to reverse the 4-1 win by the Leopards on the last game of the year last year.

Two days later it’s on the road again to Hamden, Conn at the home of Quinnipiac for a noon showdown with Maine, the first game ever between the two teams. This is just a warm-up for a huge Patriot League game five days later, with Lehigh at home at 7pm. The Leopards will be hot to get revenge for the 1-0 overtime loss to the Brown and White in Bethlehem last year.

It get no easier, as two days later, national power Albany will be in Easton to take on our favorite team on the 16th at 1 pm. After that its Drexel away on 21st, Liberty at home on the 23rd as a warm up for a crucial match with likely Patriot League favorite Boston University. The last time the Terriers were on Rappolt Field turf, they lost to the Leopards in a shoot out 2-1. We need everyone to be on board for that game on the 29th at 12 pm.

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Andriana Pero powers past the Colgate defender

October opens up with Villanova, and the Leopard first trip to the Wildcats new field for a 5 pm match.  On the 6th its back to Patriot League action in upstate New York to meet the Colgate Raiders for a must win game in Hamilton at noon. Two days later on the eighth, it’s back to the home turf for a meeting with Penn, who is the Leopards second most played team. That game will be a rare 4 pm start.

On the 13th its Patriot League action with another key game, at Holy Cross in Worcester. The Leopards will need these Patriot League wins to qualify for the end of season tournament and chance to dance in NCAA playoffs. The 12 o’clock start will be much anticipated.

The Leopards will have their first back to back game as they play Providence in Rhode Island on the 14th at 1 pm. It will be another first meeting for the two teams.

On Oct 20th it’s American who will test the Leopards at home at 12 o’clock as our team will try to solidify their status with a Patriot League win. Two days later it will by our second meeting with the Ivy League, as the Leopards will travel to central New York for a 4pm meeting with Cornell in Ithaca.

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Sam DeMaio will give her all on the field!!

Finally, the regular season finale will be at Bucknell at 2 pm on Oct 27th in what promises to be a crucial game. There always seems to be something at stake when we meet Bucknell, and we expect that will still be the same scenario when Leopards step onto the Bison’s field at 2pm. Bucknell went to the final Patriot League championship game after beating American in the semi final in  a shoot out 2-1.

Hopefully it’s the second season for the Leopards as the Patriot League tournament will be held at the regular season champion on November 2nd and 4th.

As usual there are no easy games to take for granted, but fans will be treated to good competitive Division One hockey. Go Pards!

Lafayette Field Hockey Campers Learn The Ropes Of College Hockey

 

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If its the beginning of July it’s camp time for young field hockey players. Rappolt Field and the campus of Lafayette College is hosting two camps this year as young aspirants sample the college  environment while polishing their skill for the upcoming season. For the first three days, it is individual training where campers get close one on one instruction from the Lafayette coaching staff as well as past and present college stars. In the evening, they get a chance to test their skills in pick up games against top talent. Next week there will be a camp where high school teams work as a group against like players, to get a jump on the fall season.

Today, I visited the morning session of the individual camp, and the participants were hard at work on the astroturf raising their field hockey IQ. The treat for me was to see at least five of the six incoming Leopards in action up close. They already know each other and the current team through recruiting and they now get a chance to be on the field with their new teammates in the camp setting.

Aside from drills which are used during the regular season, they received instruction and measured for overall fitness. They hear lectures from sport psychologists and live in the dorms as they will ,beginning in four weeks.

 

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My sense is that perhaps for the first time they are beginning to appreciate the discipline and hard work it will take to be a Division One athlete. The six new student athletes will be tested as athletes and as students. I saw future chemical engineering majors, neuroscience majors, and a plethora of other academic disciplines represented. But also in four weeks, the six will be matching their skills with nationally ranked division one athletes from across the country.

Lafayette will have on field, athletes from four countries including multiple states. It will be the coaching staff’s duty to blend that talent into one smoothly functioning team. The upperclassmen have returned from an undefeated foreign tour as well as an extremely successful spring season. Fifty percent of the incoming class represented themselves at Spooky Nook, the US field hockey training center in national tournaments.

I have that first week in August circled as the team will hit the turf to begin formal preparations for the fall season. Slightly more than one week later on August the 14th they will be playing Monmouth in a scrimmage followed on the 24th for an evening scrimmage at home against Fairfield University.

The real season begins with a trip to Virginia to meet Richmond University on the 31st at 3 pm. After that its a quick trip down to Williamsburg on the 2nd of September to meet William and Mary at noon. The first home game will be against Temple on September 7 at 7pm before traveling to Quinnipiac to play Maine on the 9th. This will all build to a very important game with archival Lehigh on September14th to avenge last years 1-0 overtime loss, this time at Rappolt Field under the lights with a home crowd in attendance. More on the schedule later this month. In August, I plan as usual, to give a review of the league which in my opinion will be better from top to bottom.

Our players continue to train and plan to arrive in top shape with a lot of experience to be on the field come the opening whistle!! GO PARDS!!!!

 

Head Coach Janneke Schopman Names Magadan To World Cup Team

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Amanda Magadan shows her skill against the Netherlands

Amanda Magadan was named last night to the 18 member US World Cup team. This is the second biggest stage for  field hockey and held every four years. The 18 member squad will travel to London, England on July 14th to begin competition on July 21 and ends August 5. Currently the US team is ranked 7th in the world . Schopman stated in her announcement. ” Selection was very difficult for us as a staff this year, we have so many player with different  strengths that all add something to the team.”  She added, ” Choosing 18 means leaving players at home, that worked as hard as anyone which is never easy.”

The event is made up of 16 women’s teams that is broken into four pools. The team is in pool B and will play their first game against Ireland at 1800 London time on the 21st of July and will be live streamed for fans.

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Amanda signs autographs for fans

Amanda is a 2017 graduate of Lafayette College after an outstanding four year career as a Leopard. Aside from being a captain she was an all league, all Patriot League tournament and all American selection. She was also an all academic league selection and was named the Arthur Ashe Scholar.

She has not lacked world championship experience having been on the team that won the  Gold in the 2017 World League Semifinal in Johannesburg in 2017, Silver at the 2016 Women’s Junior Pan American Games, Bronze at the Pan American Cup.

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Amanda’s best words of advice …”When you think you are tired, keep going,” ” What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you,”…Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In two weeks on July 14 at Spooky Nook in Lancaster,Pa there will be a send off event, where the team will sign autographs and meet and greet their fans. There will also be a raffle and silent auction to get valuable signed merchandise and other prizes.