Colgate University will only be graduating two seniors and as of today they have commitments from two for the incoming class of 2020. The coaching staff has traveled to Pennsylvania and Massachusetts to add to their, what will be a veteran squad. Colgate won three games last year and only scored 20 goals, so coach Cornell will be looking for her squad to improve their goal production next year. She has two commitments both of whom come from winning programs and both midfield/forwards.
Aaliyah is from Exeter Township in Pa. and was schooled at WC Eagles. She expects to be a Biology major while playing forward for the Raiders. According to reports she was an all county selection and showed her athletic diversity by playing gymnastics and basketball. In 2018 she scored 11 goals and had 3 assists.
Ella hails from Massachusetts. and the Bromfield School. She played her club hockey at North East Elite. In 2018 she scored 22 goals and is going to help Colgate at the midfield or forward position.
There are no other commitments announced for Colgate but we will keep alert for more as the spring commences.
After having a down season and not making the PL playoff for the first time since joining, Sally Starr is replacing two seniors with four recruits for the 2020 season so far. She will have a veteran team highlighted by all league and all region selections in Alia and Jodie Conolly ( no relation) who together accounted for nearly half of the 35 goals scored last year. The recruits are spread close to home in Massachusetts and as far away as New Zealand.
It was thought that last year’s class was among the best in the Patriot League and I am sure Coach Starr is hoping that potential shows itself next year.
Kate is a goalkeeper who last year played for Samuel Marsden Collegiat in New Zealand. She was selected for the U 18 capital squad after playing in the first 11 at Marsden. After that I had to do a little digging. Kate moved her Junior year to New Zealand and was playing for Windy City in Illinois where she was on the travel squad. She will now be returning to the states to Boston. It looks like Coach Starr is creating competition for her freshman starter from last year.
Brook looks like a great “get” for Boston. If the name sounds familiar around Boston it should be. Ainslee Lamb was the former Head Coach for Boston College and her Dad is the Asst Coach of Harvard’s Football team. The 5’6″ midfielder was lauded by her coach at Natick High School as a once in a lifetime athlete. She cited her stick skills and devotion and hard work. Brook was a Bay State all star four year running in addition to being named MVP for her division. Brook also played for Northeast Elite Club team. She is her team’s captain and a consistent honor roll student. She looks like an ultimate impact player for Boston University
Tess played 3 sports at Amity High School in Connecticut, Field Hockey, Ice Hockey and Golf and excelled in all three. She was got MVP for her conference tournament in light of her outstanding play at forward. Her club hockey is with HTC. She will no doubt compete for playing time at the forward position at Boston.
Another Bay State native played her field hockey at Central Catholic and the North East Elite Club. She was selected as the MVP for her conference by the Eagle Tribune and was identified in the Top 50 by Max Field Hockey. The 5’4″ M/F has been active in the USA Field Hockey pipeline.
Having taken a huge class last year I have only been able to find two commitments for Lehigh to date, Abagail Brown M/F from Ridgeway Regional in New Jersey and Jujia Gatelein M/F from Bishop Eustace also in New Jersey. Although only two have shown up it is not beyond comprehension that Lehigh could add several more before the class is closed out. However, Lehigh is returning a veteran squad who will only graduate one senior this spring. The highlight last year was the upset of Boston University in the last game of the season! Lafayette was able to beat the Mountain Hawks at their place in a 1-0 night game earlier in the season.
Abagail hails from New Jersey and will graduate from Kingsway Regional High School. She is a 5’4″ M/F all conference player who scored 22 goals last season and 22 assists. She was also a third team all state mention. She was also team captain. She was with the Uprise field hockey club.
Julia M/F also come from New Jersey will graduate from Bishop Eutace was also team captain and first team all conference as well as all south jersey. She scored 31 goals last year and 20 assists. She is also a player for WC Eagles.
The Bucknell coaching staff actually announced their class of 2024 recruits on December 10th. They will be adding 5 new recruits, forward Rachael Apa, Reanne Burgess a defender, Olivia Bush a forward, Mia Fields a defender and Kari Melberger a Midfielder. The five will be replacing a senior class of six that led the Bison to another appearance in the Patriot League tournament. Games between the Bison and Leopards have usually been competitive affairs. Last season Lafayette played Bucknell twice, both times winning by one goal.
Coach Jeremy Cook is getting a very geographically diverse class with an incoming freshmen class from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Missouri. One big issue will be the replacement of Gk Olivia Harris, however Cook looks like he will stick with his two underclassman he had last season. In addition, he will be returning his two highest goal scorers. Despite that he will be looking to improve on the 37 goals they scored all last season. No doubt with the addition of this class he hopes to improve his goal production.
In alphabetical order here is some more information on each new player.
Rachael will be traveling the 90 miles from Lewisburry to Lewisburg,Pa. The 5’4″ forward from Red Land High School played field hockey and lacrosse. She was a first team all conference and a second team 2018 all state selection. She scored 37 goals in her career and also played club field hockey for Central Penn. Cook sees her as super competitive, with great tenacity and benefit to his team culture
The Holden, Massachusetts native went to the Governor’s Academy and played defense. She also played lacrosse and was a three time all league selection and a two time captain. Even as a defender she scored 24 goals. Cook remarks, ” We’ve had fun watching Reanne’s development as an attacking defender. Her club team has prepared her well.”
Olivia is a 5’3″ forward from Providence R.I and the Wheeler School. She is a two time RI Interscholastic League Division 2 Player of the Year. She scored 48 goals and 49 assists in High School. Cook describes her as fast and has “grit.” He thinks she will grow quickly in the Bison system.
Mia played for Nerins Hall School in St. Louis Mo. The 5′ 4″ forward was a four time all conference selection. Her team had two state championships.semi final appearances. She scored 28 goals and also played for Aim Field Hockey Club. Cook says her skills match his system perfectly.
The 5′ 3′ midfielder is from West Pittston, Pa. and Wyoming Area High School. She was a three year team captain and four year starter. A two time all state selection she led her team to two district championships and was a state semifinalist. She had 39 goals and 37 assists. She played for Electric Surge Field Hockey Club. Cook describes her as having a “big hit,” which the Bison can use on their offensive corners.
Coach Stone chose to announce the names of recruits who have signed for the class entering this fall by instagram. I have previously published the names of the recruits who had committed before, and revealed by Max Sports. They were Emma Garvey, Ariel Schumacher, Kelly Baitenger, Alden Bocella and Alexandra Conway. The sixth name was included in the instagram report is Carly Kreytak, from Massachusetts. Her club team claimed she was a late signee ( December 15). All apparently have returned their NLI’s since the College is revealing their names.
They will be replacing the excellent senior class which will graduate six this spring. This will not necessarily end the building of a final class, as often time Coach Stone could reveal more later this spring. One might think that the impact of a first year player would not be that significant, but the season could be 20 games long and often times, as happened this year, first year players provide significant depth and occasionally some could even be an impact player. Two players last year found their way to start and others played significant roles in important games as the season progressed.
I have tried to get handle on this class’ accomplishments and they look impressive . There is one goal keeper who in film looks very athletic, a midfielder that astoundingly has scored more than 100 goals in her career. Most have played multiple sports attesting to their athletic ability and versatility. All are excellent students or they would not have gotten past the Lafayette Admissions Team.
In no particular order here is what I have been able to glean about individuals.
Emma is a GK from Buckingham, Brown and Nichols school in Massachusetts and lives in Peabody, Mass. She is 5’4” and 120 pound of athletic ability. I have seen several tapes of her and she moves well and has quick reflexes. She played for Northeast Elite club team and was a selectee for the 2017 AAU Junior Olympics. She was also an all league selectee. She will provide needed depth at goal keeper and I will be looking forward to her arrival in August.
Ariel is a M/F from Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Texas. She was named a Top 40 player by Max Sports for the mid West and West region. She was one of four named in Texas for that honor. She was a key player for Duchesne, who won the state title two years in a row. This year Ariel set up the winning overtime goal in the championship. She played in the Under 16 and Under 19 tournaments at Spook Nook.
Her videos shows an accomplished athlete who shows great promise. She is a welcome addition for the Leopards.
Kelly comes via Perkiomen Valley in Pennsylvania and is a M/F. She is a well rounded student athlete with field hockey honors that include NIT appearances and significant contributions to her successful high school team. Kelly is particularly impressive in the classroom and sports a 4.62 GPA. This future biology major has many academic awards including excellence in French, Honor Roll, and an “Emerging Genius Award.”
She is also an excellent Lacrosse player. I had the pleasure of inadvertently running into her asst Coach at a Christmas concert, and she had high praise for her. She is excited for this next step and I can’t wait to see her on the turf.
Alden comes to Lafayette from Gwymead Mercy Academy. If the school sounds familiar to recent alumni, it is the same school that Emily Valeo came from. Emily was an all league record setter during our back to back league championships and NCAA appearances. Alden is a record setter already in High School having scored more than 100 goals in her career at Gwymead. Not unexpectedly, she was named to the top 50 by Max Sports list. She also plays for WC Eagles. Her field hockey accomplishments include Junior Olympics, all state, and nominations for all American. Her field hockey awards would tax my computer memory.
She is an accomplished student having been named to the distinguished honor roll every semester. She also received the top math award at her high school. The 5’5″ athlete will be a math major at Lafayette.
.Alex joins the Lafayette family via at the Hill School , where she was an important contributor to their success. She is another forward that will add to the Leopard scoring punch. She is an all around athlete having also played basketball. She is an all league and all state nominee for field hockey. and also a WC Eagles player. She played in various indoor tournaments leading her team to numerous championships.
Like her future teammates, she is a strong student. She received honors in the national latin exam and was a consistent high honor roll student.
Carly comes to Lafayette from Phillips Academy in Andover. It is a storied program who won its state division title again this year. It was led by their team captain Carly Kreytak. Carly had transferred from Middlesex but quickly found her way to a leadership position at Andover. Her coach notes that Carly ” Leads by example and brings positive energy on and off the field.” ” She brings a high level of play every time she steps on the field.” She is a center back and as we know at Lafayette it can be the central position on the team. Her Coach ( Martha Fenton), praises her level of skill and knowledge of the game. ” She is really skilled . Her stick skills are phenomenal and has in the last 3 or 4 years gained a real understanding of the game.” Her teammates say, ” Carly brings a lot positivity and really pumps everyone up before every practice and every game. She keep us going and keep the team motivated.”
She sounds like just the type of athlete that Coach Stone would like!!
I am sure there will be more information put out by Lafayette later on, but this is what I can glean at the moment. I am sure the new Leopards will be joining their teammates at Kirby for a basketball game soon, and they will have a chance to mix and bond as a new team at that time.
This will not preclude some later additions to the team, but it is an impressive mix and I can’t wait to see them on the field in August. Meanwhile spring practice is around the corner which will bring it’s own excitement to Rappolt Field!!
Fairfield University used their home field advantage, and a well thought out game plan to end American University’s season in a game that represented their 19-2 season. As expected, the game was a stalemate for the first half resulting in a 0-0 tie, but with Fairfield getting 3 shots to American’s single shot in the first half. Neither team substituted very much during the game, but if there was an index of bandage to player ratio, American would have won that statistic hands down.
The atmosphere was super cold, with a stiff breeze that make it all the more difficult. Zoe Rosen, the excellent Fairfield GK, made 3 saves on American’s four shots on goal. Fiona Minter the freshman GK for American wasn’t nearly as good, as she only stopped 3 of Fairfield’s 6 shots on goal.
If the first half was all about defense. the second half was about which offense was going to dominate. Fairfield came out smoking in the second half, and scored with only 37 seconds having ticked off the clock. Emma Matlack received a cross from Luzi Persiehl and delivered the goal to put Fairfield ahead.
The Eagles scrambled to find their footing, and wasn’t until 5 1/2 minutes into the fourth quarter were they able to tie the game off a play familiar to the Leopards, Noor Coenen delivering the ball to Josie Formica to tie game at one to one.
American tried to push for the second goal but in the process left their defense exposed. Fairfield for the first time this year, used a long arial that caught the eagles without any defense. An NFL quarterback could not have made a better pass. Midfielder Malen Iglesias found Julianna Kratz perfectly who passed to Danielle Profita for the two on one break….Fairfield takes the lead again with less than 8 minutes left.
The proverbial coup de grace was a goal from Mackenzie Boyle from the Malen Iglesias with about 2 minutes left in the game. The last eight minutes saw American desperately trying to get into their rhythm, but never quite getting there.
Both teams are young, American will only graduate one starter and Fairfield has only two seniors on their team. I have to admit I thought American was the easy choice to win…I was wrong Fairfield was motivated and well prepared. They will now move on to play in state rival UCONN on Friday.
NLI signings began rolling in yesterday at various Division one schools. Lafayette has not yet announced those early signings, but it has been their practice to announce when the class is complete. Max field hockey has been posting verbal commitments. They include Emma Garvey a GK from Massachusettes and Buckingham Brown and Nichols school, Ariel Schumacher M/F from Texas and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart, Kelly Baitenger M/F Perkiomen Valley, Pa. Alden Bocella M/D from Gwymead Mercy Academy in Pa., Alexandra Conway F, the Hill School, Pa, All three Pa. recruits also played for WC Eagles.
Later on I will be reviewing all the Patriot League recruits as we move through this month and next. ln the meantime a hearty welcome to our new recruits and their families to Lafayette Field Hockey!!
The Lafayette Leopards ended a dream season battling to the very last, against the American Eagles. The game started with all the momentum going Lafayette’s way. The first quarter saw Lafayette aggressively going after the ball, and blunting any counter attack by the blue clad Eagles. Time of possession was clearly in the Leopard’s favor as they entered the attacking third using interceptions. American was clearly on their heels and to drive the point home at 6:48 into the game Lafayette drew first blood. As is the usual scheme, the play started at the Leopards outstanding back line with Lisa van der Geest working into Audrey Sawers who quickly shed a defender and fed to freshman Tara Hamilton speeding into the circle. There she found senior Cam Costello who placed the ball to the left side for the opening score.
This was the first time in ten games that the Eagles have been scored upon first in the opening quarter. All looked bright entering the second period. However, 36 seconds into the second quarter the Leopards were to give up a corner. Upon looking at the video this evening the ball was launched clearly close to Grace Angelella waist which would result in the ball for the Leopards not a corner. ( PLEASE. PLEASE PATRIOT LEAGUE install video referral like NCAA, Big Ten, ACC, MAC and other leagues have adopted). In any case, the corner was converted successfully by American’s Josie Formica with an assist by American’s star Noor Coenen. It was at that point it looked like a little air went out of the Leopards play.
The half ended in one to one tie. Three minutes into the second half the Eagles struck again taking the lead on another penalty corner strike, this time by Coenen assisted by Lauren Fredricks, and Gaby de Kock. The final goal for American came early in the fourth, on a strike by Atina Pagani on the right corner. American had multiple corner opportunities which were turned back by goalkeeper Sarah Park and the Lafayette defense.
The Leopards were not done as they were able to get a final goal with 48 seconds left, on a Lisa van der Geest rocket to close the score to within one. The subsequent push off was controlled by American and eventually led to a final corner when Coach Jennings decided to play it safe putting 9 players back on defense and delivering the ball to the corner to be trapped and to run out the clock.
Sarah Park was to have six saves on nine shots on goal. Lafayette was to have two shots on goal which resulted in zero saves and two goals. Overall Lafayette had five shots to American’s 13 and American had 6 corners to Lafayette’s lone corner with less than one minute left. Given this statistic it demonstrates what Lafayette needed to do. American protected their goalie and shielded her from Lafayette’s strong corner offense. American’s third quarter with six shots was crucial.
Lafayette had 4 cards, three green and one yellow and American had two greens. All in all this was a worthy championship game. The game could have gone either way and had opportunities go either way. This is an extraordinary senior class that has shown not only skill but leadership that may well be felt after they graduate. In addition, the underclassman stepped up when needed. Audrey Sawers to my mind, was the unsung hero scoring the lone goal on Friday and was involved in key plays in both games. A close second was Cameron Costello who showed all season her skill and importance to the team and who scored the opening goal of this game.
This was a team that was certainly qualified to be a champion and as a fan of these young women and of the sport I feel their disappointment. But there is no doubt this team will be remembered well, and can be used as platform for future success.
There were many alumni and their parents in the stands today, and I hope these emerging alumni return to see how they have contributed to future success. It is an eclectic group with numerous talents and will make their marks in whatever they do.
I also have to mention the leadership of Lisa van der Geest who now will play in the Division one all star game at Wake Forest. Lisa could be considered an on the field 5th coach directing play and as captain, mentoring the younger players. Something tells me we have not heard the last from Lisa as there will be more awards and would certainly be considered a Hall of Fame candidate at the appropriate time. She will certainly garner additional awards before she graduates.
I will certainly be at my computer to record and memorialize more Leopard Field Hockey news as we move to recruit signings, and the spring season. Meanwhile we wish those that have been injured a quick recovery and rehabilitation, as the next season will at some point begin.
****Just announced American will meet Fairfield on Wed. and the winner will play UConn on Friday in the NCAA tournament.