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.
Lafayette entered two teams into the Big Apple Tournament, but ran into an obstacle on the way to the Pottstown Pennsylvania site. Unfortunate for the team, four of the team members came down with a flu-like illness and a fifth is nursing a leg injury. That left coach Stone with ten healthy players to play six 40 minute games. If all had gone as planned, Lafayette would have played with two teams of six players with two substitutes. Coach Stone left the solution up to the players. Play all 6 games and forfeit three of the games since the original entries were not there, or play 3 games forfeiting the 3 games that would have been played. The players decided to take the hard way….play 240 minutes of hockey (6 games), shorthanded, practically back to back. What I saw was the determination and competitiveness that will represent Lafayette College in the fall.
The first two games were difficult, against nationally ranked Maryland and Albany. It was in the third game that they began to find their heart and skill. It was against McMaster University from Canada. They began with an early goal from defender Cody Hunsicker in the second minute of the game. Katelyn Arnold was magnificent in goal playing every minute. Sophomore Katilyn Ewing found the back of cage for the first of her four goals ( at least) during the day in the 19th minute, to seal a 2-0 victory.
The Leopards then moved on 10 minutes later to Rutgers University, playing a game that would officially be recorded as a forfeit, but was actually a 4-1 win. Hunsicker, Furneaux, and two more goals from Ewing were the highlights, in a strong overall game, which demonstrated a total team effort.
There was one more forfeit game with Drexel which I did not witness ,and was closely followed in 10 minutes ,with Rutgers’ second entry. Our Leopards managed 5 goals and tie at the end of regulation. Ewing got her fourth, Magadan another, Hunsicker with her third, Ellen Colbourne, and Ami Turner also got on the board by the end of regulation. Unfortunately, an overtime goal from Rutgers, as our team was playing past their 240th minute, gave Rutgers the win.
To me, this showed the heart that this team will bring to the turf in the championship season this fall, as the team personality has emerged. The next competition will be at Temple University in Philadelphia, outside on the turf. Hopefully Lafayette will be there with a full spring roster. Also the new recruiting class of eight will be announced very soon in April. They will certainly add to the depth and bring their own skill set to this courageous group.
Addendum: In the second day of the tournament, Lafayette, playing a remarkable 320 MINUTES OF HOCKEY over two days, lost to Rutgers 2-1. Colbourne scored to tie the game in the second half but Rutgers scored with seven minutes to go. Still, a remarkable effort for the Leopards this weekend!!!
Two years ago I was on the sidelines at Spooky Nook, Pa., the national training center for the US team. It was the national tournament where individual players would be selected for the various national teams. Lafayette had several other players playing, and I took the opportunity to take a look at all the young hopefuls, but I wanted to see how our Leopards stacked up particularly. They had all been preselected to play from regional tryouts across the country ,and several of our players had make this cut.
Coincidentally, I was standing next to a college coach I knew who has had several national championships and she asked me who from Lafayette was on the field. Amanda Magadan was playing in that particular game and after several minutes the coach remarked to me,” What great balance and ability, how did I miss her??” Amanda was entering her sophomore year and I said, she is going to be a great player.
Last year, her junior season, she was the leading goal scorer as a midfielder, captain of the team and was a first team Patriot League and all region selection. Since then she has been selected to the US Under 21 team culminating this week in the selection to the Junior US Pan Am Championship team to take place from March 30- April 10. She will be playing against like teams from Canada, Mexico, Trinidad, Tobago, and Venezuela. In all, nine countries will be competing for a gold medal.
Amanda has already played against teams from Holland, England, Canada, and Japan but this is the first tournament for Amanda. ” Getting the opportunity to play in an organized tournament is different, adding a new level of intensity,”Amanda remarked recently. Coach Stone added, ” To be selected to represent the United States in the Junior Pan-Am games is quite an honor.” The senior squad won the title last year.
Interviewed last week during the half time of the Lafayette Men’s Basketball game she expressed her excitement and hope to bring back the gold, but also saw it as a learning opportunity,for when she returns for her senior year to her Leopard teammates, as they try to return to the Patriot League and NCAA tournaments.
When asked by the reporter how she sees her future in hockey and beyond, she said she takes in one day at a time. She is a psychology major with a GPA average over 3.5. She returns to a very experienced team with what looks like a talented group of first year students with a broad national and international background. The new group of freshmen will be announced officially in April on the NCAA national letter of intent day for field hockey.
The team meanwhile will engage in an indoor tournament March 5-6 followed by the spring outdoor season and several scrimmages and tournaments on the east coast.
It is less than a month before the Lafayette field hockey team returns to actual competition. On March 5-6 they will participate in an indoor tournament at the home of the WC Eagles in Spring City, Pennsylvania. After that ( and hopefully a spring melt) they will again be on the turf for an outside game April 2nd in Philadelphia with Temple University. There will also be a “play day,” at Lafayette with many of the Patriot League teams on April 9th where we will get a peek at the rest of league for the first time in 2016.
Meanwhile, recruiting continues for our coaches, as it appears the final class will have eight or nine new “pards” to replace the six seniors who will be moving on to jobs or graduate school next fall. This is the time for our returning stalwarts to improve their skills as they get additional playing time in the spring. Process and preparation are paramount before the practical on field experience can be maximized.
It is at this point that the strength and conditioning staff play a key role in that preparation. Yesterday, I was on campus and decided to get a peek at a mid-week lifting session. Strength sessions occur three times a week with the Wednesday session being a “light day.” Sessions are scheduled at a time that fits the academic schedule of these student athletes, and it is typically filled with 4 or 5 field hockey players under the tutelage and watchful eye of Steve Plunkett, the Asst. Strength and Conditioning Coach. Steve is assigned to the Field Hockey team and is responsible for supervising the progress of the players, and to ensure they are ready to perform at the highest level. Steve is an athlete himself, having competed in the 140 mile Ironman Louisville Triathlon.
With a degree in Sports and Exercise Science, Steve uses the latest in technique and facilities to see that our players receive the greatest benefit while under his supervision. Each player is wired with a heart monitor to record their effort during the 45 minute session. He explained that it’s not his goal to make “weight lifters.” but to guide our young women and men in “sport specific” training to make them stronger and faster on the turf.
When asked what he concentrates on, he said in field hockey lower back exercises are important, since players spend most of their playing hours directing the ball with a stick in a bent position. However, he is also interested in the overall strength and endurance of every athlete.
I asked if he found differences coaching men or women. He said no, they tend to get competitive mostly as upperclassmen as they begin to realize the training is not necessarily to build large muscle mass but improve performance. But there are amazing accomplishments as he cited sophomore Kaitlyn Ewing’s squat exercise performance of nearly 200 pounds as a team leading effort.
During the afternoon I watched Adriano Pero, Liza Welch, Ellen Coulbourne and Kristen Taylor train under Steve’s watchful eye. Their performances and cardio-information were communicated by computer to the coaching staff to be reviewed individually and in team meetings later on.
Later in the day, the team had a meeting to review their overall progress and to participate in a classroom exercise reviewing and breaking down game films from last year. Breaking into smaller groups, field hockey strategies were discussed, which hopefully will make it easier to recognize opportunities during a game, improving the team’s performance.
Preparation is the key to success on the field and the Lafayette field hockey team is practicing all that to produce wins this fall. GO PARDS!!!