The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Field hockey splits weekend matches against Lehigh, Richmond

Senior defender Sydney Woolston is embraced by her team after scoring her third career goal during the Leopards’ victory against Richmond. (Photo by Doug Kilpatrick for GoLeopards)

The Lafayette field hockey team (4-8 overall, 0-3 Patriot League) lost 3-2 to Lehigh last Friday night before winning 4-3 against Richmond on Sunday. For the first time since 2005, the team has yet to defeat a Patriot League opponent after three conference games.

In the loss to Lehigh, the Leopards were down 1-0 when freshman midfielder Josephine van Wijk scored her first collegiate goal. She was assisted by freshman forward Hannah Findlay and sophomore midfielder Lineke Spaans.

Following a Mountain Hawks goal, senior defender Sydney Woolston responded at 46:29 to tie the game at two apiece. Lehigh’s junior midfielder Abbie Brown sealed the win for the visitors – and completed her hat-trick – when she scored at 54:40.

Despite the loss, Lafayette absolutely dominated in total shots (20-6) and penalty corners (9-2). The discrepancy between chances created and goals scored has become a recurring theme this season.

“They really capitalized on their opportunities [and] were gritty in the attacking circle,” Spaans said of Lehigh. “We created a lot of chances, which is a positive, but we simply didn’t take advantage of them.”

The Leopards currently sit second to last in the number of goals scored when compared with their conference rivals. This is a clear difference from last year’s championship-contending team, which ranked first in the entire Patriot League in the same statistic.

“I thought we played a good game of hockey, as we moved the ball and played simple. We just didn’t convert on our opportunities when we needed to, and we weren’t disciplined on the defensive end,” Woolston said. 

Lafayette freshman goalkeeper and reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week Raffi Fragomeni made two saves, while Lehigh’s keeper had 10 during Friday’s matchup. 

The Leopards had a change of fortune Sunday afternoon when they defeated the University of Richmond 4-3 in a rollercoaster senior day game.

“The mentality was to get a result. We wanted to win for the seniors, and to end the weekend right,” Woolston said. 

Woolston scored the first goal of the game about five minutes in. The Lafayette veteran has now scored a goal in each of the past three games, after having scored none in her previous 51 career matches. 

“It’s definitely exciting, and I am glad to finally be able to contribute on the attacking end,” Woolston said. “I honestly can’t even put it into words, I’m just having fun out there and doing what I can to help the team succeed.”

After a flurry of goals, the score was tied at 3-3 with a little more than five minutes left in the game. Fittingly, senior captain and defender Simone Hefting notched the game-winner. In recognition of her efforts, the Netherlands native earned her sixth career weekly award with a Defensive Player of the Week nod. She competed in every minute of last weekend’s games, recording a defensive save in addition to her goal. 

“Simone’s tackles outside the circle are so great, and as our captain she really leads the team,” Spaans said. 

The seniors – Woolston, Hefting, defender Shea Balderson, goalkeeper Becca Harbert, and forwards Molly McAndrew, Tara Hamilton and Felicitas Hannes – were able to leave Rappolt Field with a win that they hope will build momentum for the rest of the season.

The Leopards are away for two non-conference games this weekend, as they face Drexel today at 4 p.m. and No. 6 Penn State on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.

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Eric Ponieman
Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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