Spaans, Hefting earn All-Mideast Region awards

Sophomore+midfielder+Lineke+Spaans+%28left%29+and+senior+defender+Simone+Hefting+%28right%29+were+laureled+for+their+impressive+performances+this+fall.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+GoLeopards%29

Sophomore midfielder Lineke Spaans (left) and senior defender Simone Hefting (right) were laureled for their impressive performances this fall. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) announced on Nov. 22 that sophomore Lineke Spaans and senior Simone Hefting were selected as Second Team All-Mideast Region honorees.

“It is always a big honor to receive an award like this,” Hefting wrote in an email. “I think it is a really nice recognition of which I can be proud. Especially for my senior year, this acknowledgment is something I  appreciate a lot.”

Spaans said that to her, this award speaks to the team’s hard work as well.

“I was very honored to hear that I received this award. It means a lot, but it is definitely also a representation of the team’s capabilities,” she wrote. “Field hockey is a team sport, so every individual award is an achievement of the group too.”

The NFHCA nominates players who they think are the best in each of the five regions of the United States – Mid-Atlantic, Mideast, Northeast, South and West – to the Division I All-Region team.

Spaans is a midfielder and a Netherlands native. She had four goals and seven assists this season, with three of her goals being against conference opponents American, Boston and Colgate. Spaans also received the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award last year.

Hefting, who also hails from the Netherlands, is a defender who now claims two All-Mideast selections after receiving the honor last fall.

She scored two goals and made four defensive saves this fall, helping the Leopards allow only 19 shots or fewer against almost every opponent they faced this season. In addition, Hefting was named the 2022 Patriot League Preseason Player of the Year as well as First Team All-Patriot League.

Both Hefting and Spaans said that they are most proud of having the opportunity to play in the Patriot League finals with the team last year.

“I am also very proud of being named as one of the captains for the team this year and leading the group to some outstanding team achievements,” Hefting wrote. “Additionally, I am also proud of having worn the Lafayette jersey for four years, representing an incredible program.”

They both said the most memorable moment of the season came when the Leopards beat no. 7 ranked Princeton in September.

“In this game, our team played with heart and passion and the results show what good of a team we are,” Spaans wrote.

“Scoring that final goal in overtime was just a really happy moment that felt very rewarding,” Hefting added. “I think that game proved that, although we didn’t get the results we wanted this season, we were a very good team that could show great results against strong opponents.”

The Leopards concluded the fall 2022 season with an overall record of 7-11 and 3-3 in the Patriot League. Hefting said this was not the result the team wanted, which made the end of her career bittersweet.

“I’ve had four great years behind me and I wish we could have played for longer,” Hefting wrote. “So, although it is sad that we are done now, I’m looking back with a big smile after all the good memories we made.”

Spaans, who still has two years left with the team, plans to carry the momentum from this season into the next.

“For now, we should take everything we learned these past months with us as we head into the spring, train hard, and get better to be ready for next fall,” she wrote.