In a search which seems to have the intensity and interest, second only to the search for a new Lafayette president several years ago, things seems to be lining up for imminent announcement. In my association with the school, this has been the most organized and thorough search for a coach I can remember. The school has hired two consultants, one for the football search, and one to look at making the athletic program more competitive. There is no doubt, this has been key factor in this process. The announcement could come as early as tonight at 6 pm.
As you all know, this is a site that follows the field hockey team, which is the most successful program at Lafayette, and I believe could emerge as a strong contender next year in the Patriot League.I am assuming recruiting fills some holes, and my confidence in the continued development of younger players this spring.
However, football, having been played for over 150 years at Lafayette, with the rivalry with Lehigh at its center, is a marquis sport. This search could be a clue to a new effort to improve the performance of the athletic program in general. At this writing the rumor mill is in full swing, but it appears three finalists have made it thus far. There were two assistants from the Ivy League and one from a southern CAA school with both NFL and college experience in competition, according to strong rumors. It signals a seriousness of purpose, which will eventually leak into the other sports. Lafayette’s physical facilities are impressive and the using such tools as athletic scholarships should help Lafayette be competitive
I am a strong believer in competitive sports and the inclusion of Division one sports at a school like Lafayette. It helps to attract exciting student athletes, who bring all their talents, and enhances the quality of the student experience, to say nothing of eventually adding to the quality of our alumni population.
A strong hire will signal to everyone that a successful athletic program is part of the vision for a good student experience. Being a division one student athlete is not for everyone, but for those that can handle a rigorous academic experience with an athletic program that has wining as its goal, can only enhance our attractiveness. This is a message that will not be missed by our baseball, soccer and for sure, my favorite, our field hockey team!
The team is now in semester hiatus but hopefully they are continuing their physical training preparing for a return to campus and a brief indoor season and a spring competition schedule that will demonstrate how far we have come!
Addendum: Published reports have John Garrett former OC at Richmond as the new head Coach. Coach Garrett is the brother of the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys. He has coached in the NFL spending five years with the Cowboys and additional years with other NFL teams. He is a graduate of Princeton. Welcome to Easton and Leopard land.
The early signing period was several week ago and Coach Stone expects to announce the entire class after the spring signing day. Using social media and a little internet sleuthing here is our FAB FOUR early signees with some info I was able to glean about them.
First up is Sophie Carr. Although her biography says she come from Dublin, Ireland she is actually a native of Pennsylvania. She caught Coach Stone’s eye at one of Lafayette’s camps and she was offered a chance to be a Leopard. Coach Stone sees her getting action as a defender and bring her skills that were honed on the pitch in Ireland. Welcome Sophie!!
Second is Grace Angella from Harding,Pa. Her story is quite amazing coming from the Wyoming Area High School as an all-conference and all state selectee. But that is only part of the story. One of her assistant coaches is Brittany Blass a former all league and all american defender at Lafayette. According to the local paper, The Citizen’s Voice, Grace was tabbed as an up and coming field hockey player right from her middle school years and had been watched by several high profile division one teams. However Grace was found in her sophomore season to be suffering from a congenital condition called hip dysplasia which caused her great pain and subsequent injury. Many of the teams that showed early interest dropped away but Coach Stone kept close to the family. Grace decided to endure a five hour surgery at the Hospital of Special Surgery in New York. After 8 months of rehab she returned to the field and resumed her outstanding career. Her coach calls her “amazing.” When she returned to her team, her speed was intact and it was like she never had an injury. This was testament to her character and which happily, will be displayed on Rappolt Field next year as a probable midfielder. Her story can be found in the October 9 edition of the Citizen’s Voice.
The third signee is Greta Kullby from Lake Forest Illinois. Greta played on the state championship team and was an all state selectee. I am sure Greta’s highlight was the state championship game where she scored the tying goal and go ahead goal within two minutes of each other during the last four minutes of the game. We have video… she is number 17!! Greta could see action as a midfielder. We are hoping there are more exciting moments for her and the Leopards in the future!
The fourth signee is Eva Kaplan from Montclair, N.J. who earned a 17-5 record during her senior year, and final record in group four of fifth and an all New Jersey ranking of 19. Eva is a prolific scorer finding the back of the net 17 times during her junior and senior seasons. In that final season she had two hat tricks. In her entire career she scored 50 goals and 44 assists. The Leopard faithful will looking for more of the same as a Leopard midfielder.
Coach Stone feels she could be signing two more players this spring and at that time we will see the whole class. Despite her understandable reluctance to reveal clues, I reminded her that “Orange” is quickly becoming my favorite color. Isn’t that true Rosa and Lisa??
In the meantime in other news, Lafayette has engaged a consultant who will study the Lafayette Athletic program to see where and how we can improve our performance especially within the League. I can report they are already hard at work with an end date of April for a final report. The group is well known and have done studies for such programs as Maryland and Louisville. If I hear anything I will report it here.
Finally, in other Patriot League news, Colgate has named April Cornell to replace Cathy Foto as Head Coach whose contract was not renewed at the end of the season. Cornell comes from Hofstra where she was Associate Head Coach for the last seven years. She has 13 years of experience 11 years at Hofstra . She started in coaching at the University of New Hampshire. Coach Cornell played field hockey at the University of Connecticut and served as a volunteer coach for one year. She is a native of upstate New York growing up only one hour away from Colgate. Welcome to the Patriot League.
If I don’t get a chance, I wish everyone a wonderful and peaceful holiday season!!
Playing in the warm climate of Santiago Chile, Amanda Magadan and her teammates on the under 21 US Team are now 2-1 in pool play after defeating Zimbawe 10-0 on Thursday and beating a tough Korean team 3-2 today. On Friday the team lost to an excellent Dutch team 5-1. The US team now qualifies for the quarter finals on Wednesday and will play hemisphere rival Argentina.
Amanda is contributing, playing under the number 5, she has so far scored one goal and had one assist today on the first and tying goal against the Koreans. She is getting a lot of minutes and has demonstrated her skill and competitiveness we have grown to appreciate at Lafayette.
So Go USA and Amanda for the rest of the tournament and bring home the gold!!
Lafayette/Lehigh weekend is always special because of the great football rivalry, but it is a week of events that captures the moment for alumni and students alike. One event that is always well attended occurs on the eve of the game at the annual Hall of Fame dinner. There are major honors that are announced, and Lafayette Field Hockey athletes were recipients of two special award. First there is the annual induction of new members to the Maroon Club Hall of Fame. This year Megan Monahan Kahanowitz ’03, was the newest selection to the Hall of Fame.
Megan was joined by her husband, family, friends, and teammates as her accomplishments were read to the assembled diners. Kahanowitz was a Division one Second Team All-American in her senior season in which she led the nation in goals (33) and points (72). In her final two seasons she was a Mideast Regional All-American first team selectee and was twice named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year as well as tournament MVP.
She was a three time All Patriot League First Team selection and led a team that had a school and conference record 19 consecutive wins. Megan was the winner of the Charles L. Albert Award, as well received recognition from the LVAIAW, ECAC, and NFHCA all academic team. She also played in the North South All Star Game. Monahan still holds the Patriot League and Lafayette record for goals in a season, points in a season and ranks first in career points (160) and ninth in career assists (30).
Senior Katelyn Arnold received the Maroon Club scholar athlete award. She was an all Patriot League selection her junior year and during her career collected 18 wins and 204 saves. She played in the NHFCA senior game during championship weekend at ODU on the saturday between the semi finals on friday and finals on sunday. She is a member of the NFHCA all academic team and a Scholar of Distinction. She is a government and law major and a economics major. She hold a 3.94 GPA.
Finally, on sunday, the University of Delaware ( a regular Lafayette opponent), won the national championship against University of North Carolina. Congratulations to the Blue Hens. It is a testament to the growing balance in US College Division One Field Hockey.
It’s now been over a week since the last whistle ended Lafayette’s field hockey season. It was a season that began with large hopes, but I would be lying if I wrote that I left the site of the last game satisfied. There were highlights, no doubt. There was no lack of heart in this team as a series of one goal victories stirred us all in the stands with hopes of great things to come. The athleticism of Amanda Magadan, the skills of newcomers Rosa Jonckheer, Lisa Van der Geest, Cam Costello and others certainly raised expectations.
The loss of Rosa due to injury was certainly a blow to our offense. but the amazing win with then number nine ranked Boston University in a shootout will certainly be embedded in my memory, as one of the great victories the program has had in its storied history. We were close, in an overtime loss to American University and to my mind certainly belonged, at that point, to the upper tier of the Patriot League. However, it was the loss to Holy Cross that demonstrated our offensive weaknesses. Make no mistake about it, Holy Cross played an inspired game and continued their gritty play straight into the playoffs with an amazing performance by their goalie who endured nearly 30 shots, letting only one in. The critical loss to Bucknell at Bucknell was just piling on disappointment.
The team was not done even after the Bucknell loss, as they prevailed in a game with a Lehigh team that had nearly two weeks to prepare. Going down one goal, this team was not going out with a Senior night loss to an archival. They came back with two well executed corners and a stout defense to seal the victory. Ironically, the two goals were symbolic in that the first was from senior Amanda Magadan, and the second from part of our future, Lisa Van der Geest. Jonckheer was there as a threat but the time off, and lack of practice was too much of burden even considering her considerable talents.
All Patriot League honors were well deserved and spread out between señior Magadan, junior Colbourne, and freshman Van der Geest. Co-Captain Katelyn Arnold was a rock in the goal especially towards the end of the season but the lack of scoring punch was noticeable.
In several weeks, there will be a celebration with Megan Monahan ( her maiden name), being inducted into the Lafayette Hall of Fame. She holds virtually every offensive Patriot League and Lafayette offensive record to this day. Perhaps we can channel some of that skill to next year’s team.
This week Coach Stone will be announcing our fall signees. So it will be time to reload. This is still a young team. I can’t wait to see how this team evolves. We have a very solid defense even with a new goalie, our offense will be reinvigorated with a healthy Rosa Jonckheer, a motivated senior season with Rosie Shanks, and a host of freshman who will have a year under their belt with a winter and spring of training. I look forward to seeing what Coach Stone does with this cache of talent.
The bottom line is the Patriot League is improving, but so are we. The top of the Patriot league will be nationally ranked, and I see a time when the league will provide more than one team into the NCAA’s. It is a reminder, that it will not get easier and our team will need to get better. If everyone makes even a small step to get better, as a team we can make a large stride forward.
Make no doubt about it, we are NOT interested in a “participatory experience”, we are looking for championships. We need to be unafraid to admit it and get to work!!
Lafayette is planning a study to improve the performance of all Lafayette sport teams, in the League and Division one. A consultant has been hired. More about that in my next article.
It was played as it should be, a rivalry game with consequences. A win for either team would give each a chance for post season play. It was a back and forth affair as each team played with intensity and skill worthy of the night. It also demonstrates the parity developing within the league as there are four teams still competing to play next week in the end of season league tournament.
It was senior night, as Lafayette’s four remarkable seniors made the game that much more memorable. All four were honored before the game with their parents and families and they walked on the field as competitors for the last time at Rappolt Field. Ami Turner, Amanda Magadan, Aliza Furneaux, and Katelyn Arnold received flowers and listened to their many accomplishments related to the assembled crowd. After the game they received presents and were honored by their teammates in a post season tailgate arranged by the Junior parents who outdid themselves in a memorable affair.
The leopards opened the game with an aggressive attacking scheme getting an early corner opportunity which was stymied by the Lehigh defense. Lehigh had not had a game for almost two weeks and I am sure had the Leopards thoroughly scouted. The half ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
The second half was a similar affair until Lehigh was to get a breakaway and as Arnold came out of the cage was called for stroke. (Arnold was the unsung hero of the game making several key saves during the contest). It resulted in a 1-0 lead for Lehigh. The lead wasn’t to last for long as the Leopards earned a corner. The insertion was delivered to Vandergeest who not seeing a shot, delivered to Magadan who stepped to the right and smacked a hard shot past the Lehigh goalie. The Leopards redoubled their efforts and several minutes later earned another corner, this time Lisa Vandergeest saw an opening and launched a rocket that was to be the game winner.
Lehigh was not giving up, but on this senior night Lafayette thwarted several attempts for Lehigh to get to the circle. Two to one was the end and the score reflects the efforts on both sides. Lafayette retreated to the tailgate to celebrate and waited for the outcome of the game between Bucknell and Colgate at 11 am on Saturday to learn of their fate tomorrow. In any case there will be a game with Temple on Sunday to end the regular season.
As we approach the end of the season, it’s a period of melancholy and celebration. The saddest and happiest parts of college sports is that we get to see these young athletes perform and grow, but especially at Lafayette, it always seems to be an process that gets shorter as I grow older. Everyone graduates, and it becoming a transition on and off the field. We have gotten to know these wonderful families, and their amazing daughters and now we are down to perhaps, two game left in their college athletic careers. Yes, we will welcome them as alumni and they will always be connected to the history of the field hockey program at Lafayette, but not seeing their exploits in uniform is a little sad.
It is appropriate that the last home game will be against arch rival Lehigh. This senior class has never been beaten by Lehigh, and this game could have significance, if Bucknell were to falter at Colgate on Saturday. If Lehigh were to win and Bucknell loses, Lehigh will be in the playoffs. The same applies to Lafayette, should they prevail. So battle they will, this Friday night, and for the seniors it will be an extra effort to create a memory they can carry with them in the years ahead.
But today I celebrate this senior class. Coach Stone has described them as all extraordinary leaders on the field and off, and I would agree with that. Each is a contributor and had an impact on the team and at the College as a whole.
Number 8 Ami Turner
Ami arrived four years ago as our first foreign player from North Vancouver,B.C. She had an exciting resume, having played a variety of sports besides field hockey, including rugby, and basket ball. She was MVP and Captain of her provincial team and scholar athlete. My impression of her on the field was one of unflappability. Ami can play any position on the field and has, with the exception of goalie. In fact, if called on for that, I am sure she would have been a great goalie.
She was an early impact player appearing in 10 games her freshman year, and getting her first career assist against Penn. She upped her game her sophomore year by starting all 17 games, scoring goals and making assists during the season.
In her junior season she blossomed into a key player starting all 19 games finishing second on the team in points. She had a game winning overtime goal against Longwood played after a long lightning delay. Ami had the lone goal against nationally ranked Albany and the game winner against Lehigh to seal Lafayette’s 10th consecutive win. She was tied for fourth in the League in assists.
This year she is tied in points at fourth with one goal, and second in assists and shots so far. I can always get an athletic shot of Ami on the field diving, and lunging trying to make a difference. She is an excellent student and will graduate next spring with a degree in economics.
Number 15 Amanda Magadan
Amanda could be described as our most distinguished player. She has been a key player all four years, and recognized as one of the top players in the United States. For the past two years she has been a member of the US under 21 team, and will participate in the Junior World Cup this November in Chile.
She was a contributor to her Lafayette team right from the get go, playing in all 18 games her freshman year. Her stick skills and athleticism have always be her greatest asset. She arrived at Lafayette after a storied career at Randolph High School in New Jersey. As good as she was in field hockey she was an excellent softball player as well.
She was an all Patriot League selection her sophomore season and became a key goal producer including a goal against Lehigh.
She picked up the pace in her junior season becoming a unanimous first team selection after leading Lafayette in goals,points, shots, and shots on goal. She even made her second career defensive save against UConn. She had at least one point in 12 of 19 games.
This season she leads the team in goals, points and shots, all the while being keyed by every team Lafayette played. Perhaps the best compliment I heard about Amanda was made by a Big Ten coach who was watching her in the US team tryouts, ” How the hell did I miss her.”!!
Well, we didn’t, and we were the better for it. Amanda will receive her degree in Psychology and Economics having been a dean’s list student. Perhaps we will see her in the next Olympics as well.
Number 24 Aliza Furneaux
Aliza’s impact came as the result of hard work and talent. She only appeared in two games her freshman year. But she was not to be denied and cracked the starting lineup her sophomore year making a defensive save against Boston College. She developed into a star defender her junior year starting in every game she appeared in. The defense was outstanding that year, allowing one goal or fewer in seven games. She continued to be distinguished by her skill in defensive saves .
She was named the Patriot League defender of the Week after shutouts of Colgate and Yale. Her block against Yale sealed a victory for the Leopards in that game. Perhaps not appreciated during that junior season was her ability to find shots as she had six overall, four which were on goal.
Her senior season saw her move to the midfield where her stick handling ability , speed and field sense were taken advantage of by the Leopards.She has one goal so far this season on four shots. However, most memorable was her game winning shot in the overtime shootout with Boston University. Character and leadership is her hallmark.
The impression as player she leaves with me, is her advances up the field, using her speed and her sense of the field when she passes.
But she is also an accomplished student maintaining a high GPA in her chosen field of Civil Engineering. She has an interest in the environment, and a her student research has led her to receive numerous honors, including a prestigious summer internship with the EPA. A leader on the field, and in the classroom , she leaves a very large footprint when she graduates.
Number 33 Katelyn Arnold
Intense, is the word I would use for Katelyn, Lafayette’s fine goalkeeper. After having an amazing High School career Katelyn was certainly circled as one of our top recruits that year. She made two appearances her freshman year including one start. As is customary for goalies they have to wait their turn and in 2014 Kaitlyn earned seven starts on some our toughest opponents , Penn State, UConn, Penn, and got her first shut out at Holy Cross.
Her junior year was a break out year as she recorded three shutouts, a Patriot League high for the year and earned an all Patriot League Team recognition. She was named co-captain by her teammates in her senior year and made a number of spectacular saves especially in the 2-1 win over Boston University in a shoot out.In conference, she has a 78 percent save percentage to date, facing 61 shots by the othe Patriot League teams.
So far she was one of 11 Patriot League performers who were named to the all-American academic team, and is a two time NFHCA Scholar of Distinction, an award given to those who maintain a grade point average of 3.9 or better.( I doesn’t get better than her 4.0) This fall at the Maroon Club Hall of Fame dinner she will receive the Scholar Athlete Award for singular achievement on the field and in the classroom.
She will receives her degree in Economics/Government and Law at graduation.
Games with Bucknell are very often season defining affairs and this weekend is no exception. Both teams face elimination from the post season depending on the Boston/Holy Cross match tonight, and the outcome of saturday’s contest. Bucknell is 1-3 in the league and most definitely will be eliminated with a loss. The Leopards are 2-2 and if Holy Cross finds a way to win tonight could still get to the PL playoffs with a win over Lehigh, and if American were to beat Boston in the last game.
To avoid all that, Lafayette needs the win tomorrow and against Lehigh to lock up their place in the playoffs.For a fan like me a look at the stats between the teams doesn’t help. On paper they look like twins. To compare apples to apples I looked at the Patriot League game alone. Each team has played a similar schedule with Lafayette yet to play Lehigh and Bucknell yet to play Colgate, in their final Patriot League games. Here are the on field statististics for league game only.
Lafayette goals -1.5 per game opponents 1.25
Bucknell goals- 1 per game opponents 1.25
Save percentage- Lafayette .8o8
Save percentage- Bucknell .80
Shots Lafayette- 46
Corners Lafayette – 38
Signature games Bucknell beat Albany, Lafayette beat Boston University.
Lafayette has very strong leadership in their senior class, and a strong young classes underneath. Bucknell has a young team who has contributed to some diverse scoring. Coach Cook from Bucknell noted their 56 entries into the attacking 25 without a result at Holy Cross last week, but he feels good about the game since both team are facing similar obstacles and both realize the importance of the game. He feels nerves will cancel each other out.
Senior Bucknell defender Emily Goodloe hopes the nervousness will go away quickly and they can concentrate on having fun and scoring. Bucknell has been good on their home turf, but Lafayette left early to get in a practice today to counter that advantage.
This game may well depend on how well both team’s young players perform. Lafayette’s talented young cadre could be the difference, and with US under 21 player Amanda Magadan drawing a lot of attention, we could see some key work by the young part of the squad. Senior Kaitlyn Arnold has been playing her best hockey of the year in goal and could also be factor.
Each coach will be planning to take advantage of the other’s weaknesses. Who executes better and shows the most heart could determine the end score. The weather will be a little raw by being cloudy and in the mid to low 50’s.
For all practical purposes this is a playoff game….Go Pards!!
In a hard fought battle the Leopards battled number 20 James Madison University in a 3-1 loss at Rappolt field. This was less than 24 hours after they finished an overtime game with American University. It took 23 minutes and 45 seconds for JMU to find the back of the cage as goalkeeper Kaitlyn Arnold had another great game in the cage recording six saves, many of them spectacular while diving and leaping in the air.
The half ended with the score 1-0 but it only took 3 minutes and 45 seconds for Amanda Magadan to even it all up 1-1 with her sixth goal of the season. The game went back and forth as the Lafayette defense turned back several strong attacks by the JMU midfielders and forwards. In the end, fatigue seemed to set in as JMU was able to score two more goals to lock up the win.
JMU had 15 shots, nine of which were on goal, while Lafayette had nine shots, five of which were on goal. If you were to break it up by periods, James Madison had 11 shots in the first half against five for the Leopards while shots were equal 4 to 4 in the second period.
The team will play the first of two remaining Patriot League games against Bucknell on Saturday. The Leopards will need to win both games to assure themselves of a berth in the Patriot League tournament. A loss by Bucknell will eliminate them from post season play. The Leopards can build on these two past games to take to Lewisburg. Lafayette is in my estimation a good team, and should they get the offense rolling could not only win next week but take that momentum into post season play.
Rosa Jonckheer’s return to the attack should stimulate the front line and take some pressure off of Amanda Magadan. They should be able to hold on to the ball longer and give their defense a break. There were some great moments in the last two games and the Leopards will all need to raise the level of their game collectively, and then they could present Bucknell with formidable problems.
Bucknell is very good on their home turf, a slightly harder turf than is found at Rappolt Field. The Leopards will travel on Friday to prepare for the Saturday game in what will be played in a playoff atmosphere. It should be great for hockey fans!!
The Lafayette defense played well but a shot by American with a little more than minute into the second overtime dashed the Leopards hope for an upset win this afternoon. Katelyn Arnold stood tall in the cage with 8 saves assisted by Cody Hunsicker who had 2 saves of her own to fight American to a regular time 1-1 tie.
The Leopards opened scoring on a corner opportunity with only 5 minutes gone in the first period. Ellen Colbourne delivered to Amy Turner who tapped it to Amanda Magadan who rifled the shot past the American goalie. Although the first period saw the Leopards end it with a 1-0 lead, much of the offense was on the side of American. American had 8 shots with one save. The Eagles as is their custom used their excellent transition game to challenge the Leopards thoughout the game. There were several occasions that Lafayette was able to get around the overcommitted eagles and it was one of those moments that led to the corner and the Lafayette goal.
The second period saw American redouble their efforts as they were to launch several shots at Kaitlynn Arnold who again was magnificent in the goal. However at 43:06 on a corner of their own, American’s Angela Virtua launched a shot to be deflected by Natalie March for their first and only goal of the second period. It was nine shots to three with two saves for Lafayette as the defense kept Lafayette within striking distance.
The first overtime period visually was to look much the same, as the Leopards turned away the Eagles several times giving up 3 shots while delivering two of their own, one by Rosa Jonckheer who returned to the turf after a 5 game recovery from an injury. The first overtime period ended in a tie.
The second period saw early Eagle action as the tired Leopard defense having performed brilliantly all game gave up the winning goal on a cross at 86:37 by Lucy Whalley.
The Leopards will take on JMU tomorrow at 2 pm and next Saturday will have a must win game at Bucknell. Bucknell lost in a shoot out at Holy Cross making them 1-3 in the League while the Leopards are 2-2 having lost to Holy Cross and now American. Lafayette has still to meet with Lehigh as well as Bucknell and Bucknell will follow next week’s game with a game at Colgate. Bucknell, Lafayette, Holy Cross and Lehigh could find themselves in a tiebreaker situation at the end of the season. Lafayette would avoid that with a win next week and against Lehigh the following week. More about that in a new article later on.