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 celebrates mental health awareness in loss to Columbia

Sophomore Josephine van Wijk puts a shot on goal during the Leopards’ match against Columbia. (Photo by Rick Smith for GoLeopards)

On Sunday, the field hockey team returned to action to compete against Columbia for its last out-of-conference game. Heavy storms led to the cancellation of its scheduled Friday competition against Syracuse. 

The Leopards traveled to Columbia, where they fell 3-2. Continuing their misfortune with the weather, the contest was delayed from noon to 12:45 p.m. due to poor conditions.

The Leopards dedicated the Sunday game to mental health awareness. They made a banner, fundraised and produced a video about what mental health means to them. 

Senior defender Carly Kreytak is a student-athlete mental health leader on campus who helped organize the event. 

“The main goal is to reduce the stigma and to create increased conversation and awareness,” Kreytak said. “For our team, it is important to find a balance between being a successful athlete and student and taking care of your mental health.”

The team plans to hold more events dedicated to this cause and help other Lafayette teams plan similar games.

Sophomore midfielder Josephine Van Wijk was the leading scorer in Sunday’s competition. Lafayette’s goalkeepers, sophomore Raffi Fragomeni and senior Emma Garvey, split time, each seeing one half and totaling four saves. 

The Leopards scored in the third quarter when Van Wijk found the back of the net at 39:23. She was assisted by junior midfielder/defender Lineke Spaans and first-year defender Katie Gibb during a corner, shortening the Lions’ lead to 3-1.

The Leopards closed the gap even further at the end of the third quarter with a Van Wijk penalty corner as the clock wound down.

With 15 minutes remaining to play, neither team could convert. Despite holding the advantage in total shots (21-9) and penalty corners (8-3), the game ended with Lafayette trailing by one. 

“We did not start strong enough,” Spaans said. “We were the better team the whole game. We had more shots on goal and more possession. We had more APCs. We had more of everything. We were just a better team, but we were too sloppy in the beginning.”

Following Sunday’s game, Gibb earned the recognition of Patriot League Rookie of the Week

“Everything is pretty new to me, so it was really cool to be named rookie of the week,” Gibb said. “The defensive group being so connected and everyone’s support has definitely helped me figure out how to play in this environment.”

After going 1-4 against out-of-conference opponents, the team is eager to get some big wins. 

“I think we have a lot in us,” Kreytak said. “We have so much skill and talent and are a really good, connected team.”

“We have a bit of fire to us,” Spaans added. “We know we can do better and are a really good team, so we want to show everyone that this Friday. We know what we need to work on, and everyone wants to work hard. We will have a good week of practice, and then we are ready for Bucknell.”

The Leopards host Bucknell on Friday at 7 p.m. for their Youth Night and to open the Patriot League schedule.

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