Seniors Felicitas Hannes, Sydney Woolston, and Simone Hefting played key roles in a 4-3 Senior Day win against the Spiders of Richmond University. In a back and forth game during a threatening cold, cloudy day, Sydney Woolston opened a lead with a goal at 5:42 in the first quarter. It was Sydney’s third goal in as many games on 4 shots taken. With seconds left in the same period Richmond took a rebound with midfielder Regan McCrossan knotting he score at 1-1.
Leopard senior Felicitas Hannes duplicated the feat with a rebound from of her own putting Leopards up 2-1 at 19:01 in the second quarter. However, again with six seconds left in the half Richmond was to tie score at 2-2 with a reverse from the left side.
Junior Emma Garvey took over goal tending duties in the second half. Hannes was to again be in the action by passing to first year player Catalina Rubel putting the Leopards ahead again, 13 minutes into the third quarter. The lead to was last eight minutes as Lindsey Frank found the back of the goal tying the game once more in the forth quarter.
The game winning heroics were reserved for senior Simone Hefting assisted by Hannah Findlay and Lineke Spaans who scored 6 1/2 minutes to go in the game. In addition, Captain Hefting was to have a defensive save doing the game. The Leopards accumulated 12 shots, resulting in 4 goals, 3 assists and 3 corners during the match.
It was a day of mixed emotions as we realized these seniors were playing their last games as a Leopards. However, they showed their mettle and character by not getting down and playing hard to the end. It also demonstrated the strong bench of the Leopards as 8 bench players saw significant action.
After the game, the team, parents and friends were treated with a post game party where memories and gifts were exchanged to make the day more memorable.
Lafayette has games to play with three PL opponents as well as sixth ranked Penn State and Drexel next week end. Yale at Yale is also scheduled as the regular season closes.
The Albany Great Danes proved to be a perfect opponent for the last competition of the preseason. Albany loves to press and are very fast and skilled. It required the Leopards to up the pace of their game, make definite speedier passes, and quicken their decision making. The veteran defense of Woolston and Hefting were up to the challenge as they turned away much of the aggressive Dane attack in the first half.
The Lafayette offense on the other hand took longer to adjust, and especially for our first year players, it was a early season baptism. The half time score was 0-0 as Lafayette’s defense held off Albany’s offense. However, the Leopards had a difficult time mounting a counter attack.
The third quarter showed more scoring action. It seemed as though Simone Hefting scored on a looping shot that banged off the goal’s backboard early but was called back by the officials. Albany then scored two quick goals only to be answered by a deflection by Sydney Woolston during a corner. In the overtime period, Molly McAndrew scored the lone goal. Lafayette clearly won the shootout with McAndews adding another and Josephine Van Wik scoring one right behind her. Leneke Spanns added an additional goal!!
The day was hot, and the trip was a long one, and I have to admit the Leopards looked a little fatigued. Coach Stone used the opportunity to get a look at all her players that were available as Catalina Rubel made her first appearance of the preseason. Freshman Goal Keeper Rafi Fragomeni made several key saves in the first half.
Friday is the first game of the regular season as Temple arrives in Easton. First games are always difficult to handicap, as both teams will be trying to get off on a strong start for the season. Temple will be ready as no doubt will Lafayette.
As this is orientation week, hopefully there will be a strong showing in the stands by our newest Leopard students.
More about Temple later this week as “excitement” builds!!
Amanda Magadan ’17 needs your vote to get Sportswoman of the Year. Captain, All League and an All American at Lafayette Amanda has been playing with the US National Team for the past several years. She has earned over 110 caps while playing in the Field Hockey pro leagues over the years. As captain of the US Team she is leading the team to earn a spot in 2024 Olympics in Paris.
The award is sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation and Amanda is one of 10 finalists in the team category. Voting counts by recognizing 50% from the general public and 50% from the Foundation. The public voting ends on August 22nd and will be announced on Oct 12th.
The biggest number to me during the last two games was the average number of caps….US 35 vs 110 for India.
After winning a hard fought game against China on Sunday, hopes were high about FIH games Tuesday and Wednesday against India. It was the India match last year that knocked out the US Team from contention for the World Cup. The high scoring two day affair, last fall, saw the US fail to qualify by one goal. Ironically, Janneke Schopmann the then US Coach is now the Indian coach.
This week’s contests saw a reconstituted US Squad depleted by retirements and in a rebuilding mode. The Indian squad will move on to the World Cup and the US will return home after a weekend match with Belgium to continue reworking and improving the squad.
Experience is a key factor in international hockey and as of last week Captain Amanda Magadan was the only player with over 100 caps. That is to say this team is not without spirit and talent. But after 3 years of pandemic and an NCAA structure that inhibited new, talented players to make a commitment to the National team, the opportunities for young women are finally becoming available.
The NCAA made it possible for college players to extend their careers an extra year and delayed a normal transition the national team. Many players decided decided to retire as well, adding to the task of rebuilding. USA Field Hockey has realized the need for retention and recently moved to increase incentives to stay.
Patriot League now has three players on the team…Amanda. Ally Hammel from BU, and Natalie Konerth from American.
Soon the cycle will begin again, after the World Cup games, competition begins for the Paris Olympics. For Lafayette fans Audrey Sawers is a member of the Canadian National Team who will play in the World Cup next week.
Meanwhile at Lafayette, camp and clinics will be in full swing in July getting ready for August preseason. The first preseason game is August 17 against Monmouth!!
Still nursing wounds both psychic and physical, the Lafayette Field Hockey Team used their depth and skill to get an emotional win against a senior day opponent. Temple. TheBig East foe pulled out all the stops but Lafayette prevailed in a 1-0 defensive battle. The Leopards led in most categories, including penalty corners 6-3, shots 14-9 and Hailey Abbott again coming up big when it counted with 4 saves, 3 in the fourth quarter.
Lafayette’s one goal came at 18:17 into the game after a Leneke Spanns shot which rebounded off the Temple goal keeper and alertly planted in the cage by forward Molly McAndrew. The game was a team win. Lafayette used their considerable depth to get the win . Audrey Sawers had 5 shots, Spanns, McAndrew,Ralph and Alex Darrah had 2, while Alex Talkow contributed 1.
The senior day events were notable in that Grace Angelella, Lafayette alumna was using her covid year to play and acquire her masters degree at Temple. As such she was participating as a senior in an Owls uniform. As she was introduced both the Lafayette team and their fans gave her a rousing cheer as her name was announced. Grace had one shot on goal during the game. After, there were hugs and high fives. The game was competitive until the end with Temple getting off their last shot with ten seconds left.
The unsung heroes and gutsy performance awards go to Sydney Woolston and Shea Balderson who stepped up when needed, showing great courage and determination.
The Leopards have three games left before the Patriot League playoffs and despite the late season injuries there was a great opportunity to improve on team depth and experience. The last league game of the season will come this Saturday against Bucknell, a co-member of the field of four for the playoffs along with American and Lehigh. What is still left to be decided are the final seeds between Lafayette, Bucknell and Lehigh. A loss on Saturday will place the Leopards in the bottom seed and will meet American in the first game on November 4th. A win will throw the seeding into tie breakers, as all three would be 4-2.
Here are the League tie breakers as written:
In the case of multiple ties ( more than two teams tied for the same sport), the following process will be used: Note, the entire process for multiple team ties must be completed. The Patriot League does not revert back to the two way tie formula once the multiple team tie has been resolved.
Records between the tied teams will be evaluated to determine if one team won more contests against the other tied institutions.
Asssuming a Lafayette win over Bucknell , all teams remain tied with a 4-2 record with one win each between the three against another
IF a tie still exists a comparison of records will be conducted for each team starting with the highest seed not involved in the tie and continuing through the lowest seed if necessary.
I assume this means PL record, but if it includes the entire record, the Leopards by far prevail with the best record, Lehigh second and Bucknell last. The Leopard would play Lehigh. Bucknell would play American.
At that point the sport specific tiebreaker kicks in
Comparison of records versus out of League common opponents.
Temple is a common opponent and all three teams beat Temple. Villanova is a common opponent. Lafayette was the only team of the three to beat Villanova. Lafayette would then be a 2 seed. Move on to other tie beakers at this point
Goal differential between the tied team ( capping at +/- 4)
Lehigh’s loss to Bucknell puts them at a disadvantage. Lehigh would then play American in the first round.
Goal differential in all League games.
Again Lehigh at a dissadvantage
NCAA RPI rating.
At that point only Bucknell and Lehigh left.. advantage to Bucknell with Lehigh’s weaker schedule a disadvantage. Lehigh plays American, Bucknell plays Lafayette.
So I let you figure it out…but the prevailing requirement is a win against Bucknell to avoid a game against American in the first game.
The Patriot League field for the post season tournament is set as result of yesterday’s games. American beat Holy Cross giving the Crusaders 4 losses, Colgate lost to Boston giving them four losses. The best Boston can do is 3-3 and the worst Lafayette, Lehigh and Bucknell can do is 3-3 but all have beaten Boston breaking any tie breaker. As a result the field is American, Lafayette, Bucknell and Lehigh.
But the final seeds must still be decided. American must still play Boston and Colgate. Should they lose both and Lafayette wins their last two with Bucknell and Lehigh, Lafayette would host. If Lafayette were to lose the last two and American wins one of their two games, Lafayette would meet American in the first round. One win for Lafayette would give them a 2 or three seed and they would play Bucknell or Lehigh.
There are a number of scenarios that can be played with but one thing is for certain the four teams are set. The remainder of the regular season is still to be played with Drexel arriving today followed by an arch rival game with Lehigh at Lehigh on Friday night. Temple at Lafayette follows with Bucknell at home on Saturday and then a game in New Jersey against the number 3 team in the nation Rutgers. The tournament follows the following week end!!
Today is senior day. Usually, I highlight the seniors during the week previous but this year I will do that next week with Lehigh on the way!!
Captain Audrey Sawers scored the game winner in the fourth quarter as Lafayette’s 18th in the country offense was stymied by Fairfield for two quarters. The game evolved into a defensive struggle after Ariel Schumacher connected with Simone Hefting during a corner 8:25 into the game. However the lead was to last a mere three minutes, when Fairfield’s Malen Iglesias connected on a breakaway to score a one on one goal. But it was to be the only time Fairfield would see a ball cross the goal for them.
The game then moved to 38 minutes of character building defense. Every player was to be tested as the Lafayette defense was turning back a determined Fairfield offense. Fairfield had 9 seniors on their squad as they dug in, stopping the leopards several times where many thought a goal would be coming. The statistical battle was a mixed bag beginning with Lafayette’s 15 shots to the Stags 7. Fairfield out cornered Lafayette 6-5. However, the Leopards were able to make their corner opportunities count as both the goals by Schumacher and Sawers were on corners, with Hefting delivering an assist on both. Filene Gerbrandij contributed to Sawers last go ahead goal.
The officials could have composed a symphony with the number of whistles and cards. There were five cards issued 2 greens and 3 yellows during the game. Lineke Spanns stopped the Stags offense. several times during the game. Her speed allowed her to intercept balls and turn the play around into an offense thrust for the Leopards. She had 5 shots, 3 on goal. Shots were spread around to McAndrew, Spanns, Hannes, Sawers,Gerbrandij, Schumacher, and Alex Darrah.
The Leopards demonstrated fitness and character not only playing their second game in as many days, but stopping a determined and skilled opponent. This was exactly the opponent the Leopards needed to prepare for Boston University who no doubt are equally determined to help their league and season fortunes. Make no mistake. Boston is well coached and will defend their home turf with determnation.
I have confidence the Leopards will be ready and up to the challenge.
The Holy Cross Crusaders made the 4 1/2 hour bus trip Saturday morning to face a Leopard attack eager for its first Patriot League win!! But it wasn’t just the attack, it was combination of a relentless defense and transition than combined to create a perfect storm that was only halted by the final whistle.
The Holy Cross goal tender responded with 15 saves in a gallant effort to stem the tide. It was a noble effort from a team that never laid down, and who managed to finally score a goal in the fourth quarter avoiding a shutout.
The Leopards launched 36 shots, the majority of which occurred in the second, third and fourth quarters after a three shot first half. Nineteen of the those shots were on goal and there were three shots that hit the post. Remarkably, the Leopards had only eight penalty corners, but the time spent in the in the offensive 25 was enough. Holy Cross managed only five shots on the afternoon and two penalty corners.
Lafayette scored in every quarter with the first score coming late in the first 15 minutes by Filine Gerbrandij who was assisted by Simone Hefting. It was the first goal of the season and career for the freshman. The second goal from the Leopards diversified attack, came from senior Alix Talkow delivering her first of her career, with a helper from Audrey Sawers. One minute into the second half Alden Bocella got her first goal of season and career with an unassisted beauty into the lower right corner. In the fourth quarter Simone Hefting combined with Audrey Sawers to finish Lafayette’s scoring with a beautiful fake corner shot and execution that found left bottom of the cage.
Aside from offensive fireworks the family day crowd was treated to a defense that was amazing. Sydney Woolston was part of a wall that stopped, and intercepted balls and led to offensive displays. Eighteen Leopards saw action on the afternoon as substitutions provided a seamless effort all day. The bench themselves provided nearly 1/3 of the shots on the afternoon with Ariel Shumacher contributing a team leading six with three on goal during her forty minutes. Lineke Spanns provided five shots in her time on the field with four on goal. GK Haile Abbot needed to make only one save during the afternoon.
The Leopards will stay at home to entertain the Colgate Raiders next week who just lost to Lehigh. Bucknell also added to their Patriot League wins with an impressive overtime win in Boston against the Terriers. American has no PL games this week and will meet Maryland at American this afternoon.
Lafayette did everything but find the back of the cage today, losing a hard fought battle with American. American’s star midfielder Noor Coenan delivered on a corner in the first overtime period. As she described it after the game, she stopped the ball at the dotted line outside the circle then drove inside and delivering the goal with a shot right on the line reading what the defense was giving her. Pictures afterward did indeed show her inside circle at the moment she struck the ball. Previously American’s goal tender became co-hero of the match making 10 saves including perhaps on a winning penalty stroke in the second half. Lafayette won the battle of the stats, outshooting the Eagles 16-6 and out cornering them 9 to 7. In part due to Bryn Underwood’s career day ( it was the most saves by her in her career) the Leopards couldn’t seem to crack the American defensive wall.
The Leopards outshot the Eagles in every period but the overtime period. The second half was especially fruitful in shots as Lafayette outshot their opponent 8-2. This is the fifth consecutive loss for the Leopards against American and the third consecutive overtime loss. American now leads the PL at 1-0 along with Lehigh, and Bucknell. Four wins in the Patriot League probably would ice a spot in the playoffs. Despite the loss against the PL favorite American University, Lafayette has to be well considered going forward.
The game was a physical affair with both teams expending energy on both side of the midfield. At one point there was enough stick hacking to chop a cord of wood!! At the end of the third quarter the officials got both captains together to calm things down. At several points in the contest the officials were heard to admonish the players to calm down. There was one unusual call on a corner when the official called both sides for starting too soon????
Despite the outcome the Leopards will have to prepare for the next opponent who will be at Rappolt Field at 3:30 next Saturday. Their opponent, the Holy Cross Crusaders, lost to Bucknell 7-2 today. Beware, the Crusaders have a habit of surprising us when you least expect it. But this game now becomes crucial and one game the Leopards need in order to get one of those 4 or five wins to get into the tournament or a get a high seed.
We are not even halfway through the schedule and the Leopards will be showing us how good they really are!!! So one game is put to bed and we move on. GO PARDS
Albany was unable to make the trip to Pennsylvania so Sunday’s game with Albany had to be cancelled. Now the Leopards will be concentrating on starting the regular season against the Long Island based Hofstra Pride. They arrive 27 strong at Rappolt Field after a spring season of 4-8 and 1-3 in the CAA conference. The 4 pm game will be televised on ESPN +.
Ironically, Hofstra did play Albany on August 17, but I have no report on the outcome. They are scheduled to meet Columbia on Monday for a final tune up before their opening game with Lafayette. So the Leopards are at a slight disadvantage having only the one exhibition game.Coach Courtney Veinotte is starting her 3rd year as head coach and has gone far afield to populate her team. In last year’s abbreviated season the 4-8 team managed 16 goals vs 25 for their opponents. That works out to a 1.33 GPG vs 2.08 GPG. Their Junior GK Merlene Van der Vegt from the Netherlands has a 61% save percentage with 119 saves. The 5’9″ GK will be challenged for playing time with Blue Bell, Pa. red shirt keeper Meagan Rielly who had a 85% save percentage her senior year in high school.
They will be led on the field by Jasmijn Verdoes who scored 5 goals last spring. She will be a sophomore and will try to better her 27 shot record with 15 points. The Pride got off 80 shots against 120 shots for the opposition which works out to 6.7 shots a game vs 10. They are picked tied for 6th with Towson in the CAA preseason polls. Lafayette is the only Patriot League team they will play this season
The Leopards will be working this week on defensing against the counterattack and polishing a very potent offense. Hopefully, the weather will be cooler and dry and a nice crowd will greet our players. Move in is the 27th to the 29th, I hope everyone finds time to see their first Leopards athletic contest!!Opening games are always intense, and after the faux season last spring, each team will be wanting to get off on the right foot.
We all have waited for this day and hope for a good leap into the 2021 campaign!!