Lafayette field hockey remains undefeated at home after defeating Colgate and Fairfield

Lafayette+field+hockey+adds+two+back-to-back+home+game+wins+against+Colgate+Raiders+on+Saturday+and+the+Fairfield+on+Sunday.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Lafayette field hockey adds two back-to-back home game wins against Colgate Raiders on Saturday and the Fairfield on Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Colleen McNamara

Lafayette field hockey (8-2 overall, 2-1 PL) notched two wins last weekend, beating the Colgate Raiders on Saturday, Oct. 2, and the Fairfield Stags on Sunday. Both matches were home games on Rappolt field, elevating the Leopards’ home game record to 7-0.

Saturday’s game was barely contested, as the Leopards scored five goals to the Raiders’ one. Junior forward Felicatas Hannes was the game’s top scorer with a hat trick, and senior forward Alix Talkow tallied an additional two goals for the Leopards. Lafayette’s main challenge came from Colgate’s goalie, senior Anna Unger, who made eight saves. 

Lafayette had multiple steady passing sequences in the midfield and offensive line. The Leopards held the advantage in corners (8-2) and in shots (25-5).

Sunday’s game (2-1) was more of a battle.

Lafayette was quick to get on the board on Sunday, with sophomore midfielder Ariel Schumacher’s shot hitting the back of the cage about eight minutes in off of a corner shot from junior defender Simone Hefting.

Fairfield struck back about three minutes later to tie in the first quarter.

The next two quarters remained scoreless, with Lafayette holding the advantage in total shots (15-7).

Senior captain Audrey Sawers finally had the game-winner off an assist from Hefting from another corner shot.

“Corners are super important for our team. We like to generate a lot of attack to get those opportunities,” Sawers said. “Anytime you can get a corner is an advantage, so we really practice them and grateful for the momentum shift they cause for sure.”

“It’s crazy that it’s past halfway into the season now, but we’re going to take it day by day and we’re going to use [Sunday] as a growing moment. We like to say that we can get a win and then also learn from it,” Sawers said. “We’re confident, we’re having fun, we’re playing well and we’re just learning every day.”

The two homecoming wins move the Leopards’ record to 8-2 as they enter the back end of the season. Head coach Jennifer Stone believes the work ethic of the team has contributed to its success.

“A lot of credit goes to the girls putting in many miles this weekend on back-to-back days and their preparations physically to put themselves in a position where they were able to get a win,” Stone said.

Considering playing a full game Saturday, then the back-and-forth dynamic of Sunday’s match, the Leopards did not have the luxury of fresh legs. Nevertheless, the team was able to adjust its game plan accordingly. 

“Defensively we played a little bit of a different shape to try to win the ball in different areas and counter-attack in different areas,” said junior defender Simone Hefting, who received the Patriot League Defender of the Week honors for her efforts in the weekend’s games.

“Fairfield is a great team. They’re probably an NCAA tournament-bound team,” Stone said. “There’s a lot of takeaways [from this weekend] that we can bring to our group and good preparation for next week.”

Stone is pleased with the team’s efforts thus far.

“They’re such a fun group to coach. I feel very fortunate to be able to work with them each day. There’s a lot of talent out there, but most importantly they’re really eager, coachable and excited for every task,” Stone said. “It’s a great group filled with a lot of personality and some great leaders.”

The team is prioritizing its preparation for upcoming competition.

“First and foremost to recover after back-to-back games, we’ll look at film,” Stone said. “Then we head up to Boston to face the strong BU team.”

The Leopards will have another back-to-back weekend, facing Boston University on Saturday at noon and then traveling to Brown University the following day.