It was a reunion of champions as the 2012 -2014 champions step onto the turf again challenging the current leopards in the latest edition of an alumni game today April 16. Sixteen members of that team showed that many of their skills were still there as these spirited veterans played a competitive game with the current edition of Lafayette players. The game played was in two 25 minute halves demonstrating much of the skill that earned them their rings and a place in the NCAA national tournament.
Deanna DiCroce scored the lone goal for the alumni in the second half while the current team using skill and stamina to control the game, scored four goals on their own. Ellen Colbourne opened the scoring and Rosie Shanks added two goals in the first half. There was a fourth goal scored later, by Amanda Madagan freshly returned from the Junior Pan Am games.
We even saw many parents and fans of the alumni as they peppered the sidelines as nostalgia reigned. After the game the friends and teammates retired for celebrations on their own!!
The important thing was that friendships were renewed, camaraderie reignited and memories returned of a time several years ago when championships were earned.
April 13 was NCAA National Letter of Intent signing day for field hockey and Coach Jennifer Stone released her list of eight new Leopards, who will enter Lafayette College as student athletes this fall. Six were named in earlier fall articles found on this site, and two were added during this final signing day. Stone is justifiably proud of this class, three of which hail from New Jersey, three from Pennsylvania, and two from the Netherlands, who were added to the list yesterday. ” We are extremely excited about the our Class of 2020. They represent players from some of the best hockey areas in the country and the world. They fit the mold of a Lafayette field hockey player by their athleticism, intelligence and character,”remarked coach Stone.
This is Stone’s largest class since she was named Head Coach. It is also the largest class in the Patriot League for this coming fall. Bucknell and Colgate have named six each, Holy Cross seven, American and Boston who both had large classes last year named three and two respectively, and Lehigh appears to have a class of four for new head coach Caitlin Dallmeyer. Six of the League schools put out press releases yesterday or earlier. Lehigh’s numbers were gleaned from other sources.
The new Leopard’s class seems to fill needs left by the graduating seniors. In all respects, they will add depth and skill all over the field. There is one goalie, several who might be found at the midfield or defense, including some prolific scorers
Here are the new Leopards in alphabetical order with a brief description of their accomplishments:
Ana Buzzerd ( Haddonfield Memorial)- Four year letter winner, captain, two time first team all conference, all south Jersey, two year captain of the track team, national honor society,Spanish Honor Society played hockey for Sprint of USA in Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Cameron Costello ( New Hope-Solebury)-four year letter winner, plays multiple positions, team was league champions, captain, all-league, holds record for most points in a season (52), four year letter winner in lacrosse, National Honor Society, Mystx FHC, medaled at the Disney showcase.
Jenn Delongis (North Penn)- a great athlete in both lacrosse and field hockey, captain of the field hockey team, All-Intellegencer, North Penn Female Outstanding Athlete, national honor society, played club field hockey for X-Calibur
Samantha Di Maio (West Morris Mendham)- Can play forward and midfield, tallied 30 goals and 29 assists in high school. She was all conference, all county, county MVP, and all state selectee. She is a high honor roll student and played for the Total Dutch Field Hockey Club in Somerset ,N.J.
Sarah Park (Methacton) Sarah will see action at goal. She was a four year letter winner, and captain her senior year.Named all league and all academic performer. She was ranked fifth in save percentage within the Philadelphia Area, she is a distinguished honor student. She played for the Viper field hockey club which won the 2015 pool one NIT championship. Sarah was impressed with Lafayette’s engineering program and decided this fall that Lafayette was the place for her.
Rose on Jonckheer-(Naarden, Netherlands/Willem deZwijer College)- played club field hockey for Naarden Hockey Club and Gooische Hockey Club and was part of three regional championship winning teams, she is an all around athlete playing outdoor and indoor soccer. Her aunt, Judith Jonckheer was an all-American at the University of North Carolina in 1985. Here is a video of Rosa demonstrating some of her skills
Caroline Turnbull-(Madison)- As a four year starter she was a prolific scorer, having scored 54 goals and 38 assists during her high school career. Her team was a state champion, and she was team captain and named MVP her senior year. She was named to the all state, all county, and all conference teams. She was also named the Daily Record Morris County Player of the year. She is a member of the New Heights Field Hockey Club and was Disney U-19 gold medalist.Also a member of the all-academic team in New Jersey.She played in the National Futures Championships and the Junior Olympics as a member of the USAFH team.
Lisa van der Geest (Oegstgeest, Netherlands/Rijnlands Lyceum)- Her school placed second in the National school championships and she played for the Leidsche en Oegstgeester Hockey Club. She is described by Coach Stone as a natural hockey player. Her ability to distribute all over the field makes her perfect for Lafayette’s style of play. She will most likely see action in the backfield. Here is her recruiting video.
Lafayette has the most appearances in the League playoffs of any other team in the league. Last year they fell in the semi-final game to American University.
If you are, or plan to play division one field hockey in college, a year round commitment is expected. If you really think you can play softball in the off-season neither your softball coach or your field hockey coach will be happy with you. Even during the winter, time will be taken up with training and teaching skills. At all times, most coaches will take fitness as a given. You cannot play the game and execute on the field if you are not fit.
Lafayette College has make the league playoffs more times than any other team in the league, they hold more individual league records, and is the only team at Lafayette that received top ten division one recognition in the last ten years. That does not come from hope but hard work. The legacy is an important one to the current team.
For those players who did not see a lot of playing time in the fall, the spring schedule is the opportunity to impress the coach and improve your game. The NCAA is very strict on the amount of hours you may spend on the field, so our coaches will expect players to be ready to learn and impress.
To that extent, games and competitions are constructed so that our coaches will be able to isolate individuals and give them every opportunity to show their skills. It is also an opportunity for our coaches to try various new combinations. Because a player played mid-field in the fall doesn’t necessarily mean you will be there in the spring. I have seen many athletic careers “blossom” in the spring at scrimmages and practice games. There are only two weeks in the summer that are available to make last minute adjustments and to see where the new first year players will fit in.
Each team develops their own personality, and as this year’s first year players have now been around for six months, the team dynamic on the field is beginning to manifest itself. Are scores of games that important? Not really, but hustle and performance are. Teamwork begins to form and there begins to be a sense as to where the strengths and weaknesses are.
Coaches are loath to exacerbate chronic injuries of established players. Why risk a player with whom you are already familiar for that extra goal in a meaningless scrimmage? On the other hand, every “new” team needs to learn how to win and coaches need to see “where the bottom is.” In other words, how much can they ask of their team.
One other benefit is to be able to see how competitors are doing relative to yourselves and any coach that says that’s not what they are doing out of the corner of their eye isn’t telling you the truth. Field Hockey as a college sport is different in that its off-season games and scrimmages are against other opponents as opposed to internal scrimmages like in football.
Lafayette has had one spring game and an indoor tournament. My grade at the moment would be “work in progress”. The indoor games occurred during the flu epidemic and the team played well, but short-handed. The one outdoor game was against a team that already had 5 games under their belt.
In my articles in the coming weeks, I will leave you with my personal impressions. I am not privy to our coach’s deliberations, however I do have a general impression as to what they are trying to accomplish. There will be a structured competition this week-end with fall competitors Lehigh and Colgate, along with a pretty good Cornell team. Each pair of teams will play three 25 minute segments against each other, along with a shoot out. Lehigh will bring their new coach to lead them, and Colgate has always shown up to play their best against Lafayette. I would hope to see progress at our home field and would be lying if I said I was indifferent to the outcomes. ( I said in the above paragraph that the score doesn’t matter, but I am a fan after all).
As I wrote last week I was impressed with Rachel Bird’s strength at centerback ( a concern with the loss of senior Hannah Millen). It was obvious Katelyn Ewing has been working hard in the offseason and it shows. I was interested in Ellen Colbourne’s adjustment to the center mid position. In general, I want to see how our rising sophomores are performing, now that they are getting on the field for more playing time. As they practice together with new players in new positions, I will be interested to see them recognize where there teammates are and their ability to deliver the ball to them. I didn’t get to see much in the way of corner offense last week, so I look forward to see more in that area.
No doubt once this very talented group of new first year students are added to the roster this summer, it adds another variable to the calculus. The full class will be announced about April 13th, after all of the signed commitments arrive. It will be a class of eight, and I sincerely believe Coach Stone may have the strongest first year class in the league this year. I will justify my comments once the entire eight are publicly named. As had occurred in past years much of the team will get together in captain’s practices without coaches this summer. The whole team will receive a fitness regimen for the summer as well. Woe to the player who doesn’t arrive in August ready to play. Meanwhile, I will be there on Saturday to witness and record our progress.
Addendum: Because of impending snow the 4 way scrimmages scheduled for Sat April 9 have been postponed….date to be decided!!! The NCAA only allows a finite number of practices and competitions during the spring so the challenge for the coaches is to reschedule and keep an adequate number of practices to have a quality scrimmage. Therefore there is an incentive to reschedule as early as possible. Next week is a tournament at Columbia so April 23rd seems like a logical alternative for everyone. Sunday, our field is occupied with a pre-scheduled high school event.
Amanda Magadan scored two goals off of penalty corners in tuesday’s Junior Pan Am Games in the eleventh and twenty ninth minute. Playing for the undefeated US team Amanda played in the first crossover game helping the team earn a decisive 11-0 victory. The team seems to be headed for a showdown with top ranked Argentina. But first they must get by the other teams in the Argentine group including Chile. Saturday April ninth will be the date for the final games.
Meanwhile Amanda’s Lafayette teammates will be hosting rival Lehigh along with Colgate and Cornell in Easton on the ninth starting at 10 am.
Lafayette College traveled to Philadelphia to meet the Owls of Temple University for their first outdoor game of the spring. In the last two weeks the Owls had already met the Blue Hens of Delaware, Villanova University, American University, Penn State and James Madison. They used all that experience in their Saturday afternoon clash with Lafayette building a 3-0 lead in the first half and adding two goals in the second half before the Leopards were able to score their first and only goal in regular time.
Midway through the second half Kaitlyn Ewing added to her indoor total of 5 goals by punching in the goal during a scramble in front of the cage. The Leopards looked rough around the edges as the advantage in game experience showed during the afternoon. The one offensive corner the Leopards had, never got going and the young Leopards throughout the afternoon had difficulty finding open receivers. There were moments however that showcased some of the work during the offseason. Ewing seems to be getting more comfortable as she gets more game experience. Rachel Bird playing the center back position showed promise using her strong hit, as she found her teammates and was able to propel the ball downfield with strength and accuracy.
Those players who were hampered with injuries last year like Liza Welch got a chance for extended playing time. The Leopard’s captain Amanda Madagan was away at the Junior Pan Am games and defender Theresa Delahanty was nursing sore shins, but was on the sidelines cheering on her teammates. Goalie Gabrielle Ulery also got experience playing the entire second half.
I have to admit, Lafayette can play better, but considering the circumstances of a first game vs five contests by Temple the relative performances of the two teams is understandable. There is no denying that work needs to be done, and that’s why we have coaches and I just write and observe. In any case, it is ironic that 2016 field hockey for Lafayette is bookended by Temple. Having played its first outdoor game with the Temple Owls, the Leopards and the Owls will meet again on Oct 30, the last regular season game this fall. That’s when it will count!!
Next Saturday will be at home and Lafayette will host games with Lehigh, Cornell, and Colgate.
In an impressive display, the US under 21 team opened the Junior Pan games beating the host Trinidad-Tobago team 10-0. After an initial period of feeling each other out, the team began an onslaught of goals opening up a 5-0 lead by half time. Play did not slow down as the team scored an additional five goals to end the contest at 10-0. Amanda Magadan started for US side.
The US team will play Canada on Saturday at 2 pm. The top two teams will get invited to the Junior World Cup!!
In the inclosed video alumna Kelsey Gula explains how to use the experience as an athlete to sell yourself.
The Lafayette College Field Hockey Team boarded vans in Easton, this time not on their way to play a game, but to make connections with alumni and get advice on career planning and job hunting. Traveling to Philadelphia they arrived at about 6pm at the iconic 150 year old Union League. They were greeted by Jim and Tina Gula, parents of alumna Kelsey Gula and were treated to a tour of the venerable club. They toured the club, adorned with pictures of past US presidents and notable business leaders.
Meanwhile a group of alumni assembled in a nearby room to plan and organize the evening activities with head coach (and alumna) Jennifer Stone. The evening began when the current players arrived from their tour at 7 pm and were able to enjoy open networking and immediately were able to establish a friendly connection with their older cohorts. They then broke out into small discussion groups concentrating on specific topics, selling yourself, resume building, and being a successful female professional. Each alum was to share there experiences in entering the workforce and how they used their experience as a D-1 athlete to aid themselves.
The second part of the session was devoted to small group industry focus, Economics/Finance/ Business, Medical/Pharmaceuticals, Marketing/Sales/Fashion, Engineering, Education, Law. Each alumna was able to connect with players who had an interest in their field. There were doctors, lawyers, business people, engineers, and entrepreneurs who were able to explain life after their athletic careers and their journey following a four year Lafayette education.
The evening ended with an extended opportunity to network and more importantly connect to make new friends and mentors. It was clear both alumni and undergraduate enjoyed the evening.