The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Dutch duo scores four goals as field hockey crushes Wagner, splitting weekend games

Junior Lineke Spaans drives up the field against Ohio State. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

The field hockey team finally kicked off the 2023 season, coming out of the weekend with one win and one loss. 

In its first official game of the season on Aug. 35, the team thrashed Wagner by a score of 5-0. Junior captain Lineke Spaans opened the scoring just past the five minute mark and went on to score again after the halftime break. She also added two assists. 

“It felt great under the Friday night lights,” Spaans said. “It was really fun for the whole team to have such a great performance, and it couldn’t happen without us all working together.”

Spaans was selected to the 2023 Preseason All-Patriot League team just a few weeks ago along with fellow junior and captain India Ralph. 

Sophomore midfielder Josephine van Wijk also scored two goals, nearly matching the three goals she netted in all of last season. However, these two felt extra special for the Netherlands native.

“I thought it was a really fun game to play and I had been looking forward to it for a very long time,” van Wijk said. “I was injured for about eight months and had surgery on my back, so it was a difficult time for me both physically and mentally. I have worked hard to come back fit and strong, so contributing in the first game back felt amazing. I am really happy with the start and excited to win more games with the team.”

Sophomore forward/midfielder Catalina Rubel equaled her rookie season goal total with one, while sophomore goalkeeper Raffi Fragomeni saved both of the shots she faced. 

The team then faced the Big-10’s Ohio State two days later. When the two sides last met in 2021, ghe Leopards lost 4-3 in double overtime. The game was less of a battle this time around, however, with Ohio State winning 4-1 in front of many traveling fans.

“We didn’t play well against Ohio State,” Spaans said. “There were too many unforced turnovers and we didn’t play to our strengths. We weren’t fast enough and Ohio was very good on the counter.”

First-year midfielder Stella Malinowski scored her first collegiate goal at the end of the third quarter, but it wasn’t enough against the Buckeyes. 

The win saw Ohio State go 2-0 in the Lehigh Valley, as they had just defeated Lehigh a few days before. 

The Leopards sported the same record at this time last year when the team played Temple and Bryant at the start of an uncharacteristic 7-11 season. 

“I feel confident about how far we can go this season,” van Wijk said. “I have trust in the team and think we have a great connection both on and off the field. A 5-0 win feels amazing to start the season with, but our second game against Ohio was a reality check.

“There is enough to improve, but also a very good base to grow from,” van Wijk continued. “I think the team is beyond determined to get there this year. Our captains are already doing a great job, and I feel like we can do big things together.”

The Leopards will travel to Vermont and UMass on Sept. 1 and Sept. 3, respectively.

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Eric Ponieman
Eric Ponieman, Assistant Sports Editor
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