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 defeats Lehigh, Boston on way to championship

Junior midfielder Lineke Spaans earned First Team honors for her 29-point season. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

The field hockey team (12-6 overall, 6-1 Patriot League) finished its regular season last week, defeating rival Lehigh 2-1 on Friday and then traveling to Philadephia on Saturday to face 24th-ranked Temple, ultimately losing 1-0 after a fourth-quarter goal in a nail-biting game. 

The Leopards, who are the second seed in the Patriot League and the 29th-ranked team in the country, went on to defeat Boston University (8-10 overall, 3-3 Patriot League) in the semifinals 3-2 on Thursday, sending the Terriers to the doghouse on the way to the Patriot League championship.

The match against Lehigh started with both teams coming out strong, but neither team was able to find the goal in the first half.

After a 14-minute delay due to a referee injury, sophomore midfielder Josephine van Wijk broke the deadlock courtesy of assists from junior defender India Ralph and junior midfielder Lineke Spaans.

Ralph has tallied seven assists this season, making her the highest-assisting defender in the Patriot League.

“At the end of the day, I’m one piece of the puzzle,” Ralph said. “I’m just happy that my team is scoring and we are winning.”

Later in the half, the Leopards doubled their lead thanks to a rebound from freshman midfielder Naomi George. Despite Lehigh netting a goal with five minutes remaining, the Leopards were able to stay on top and secure the win, extending a month-long win streak. 

Spaans, who earned All-Patriot League First Team honors this year, noted the importance of the team’s win against Lehigh.

“[It was] an amazing feeling as we haven’t beaten them in a couple of years,” Spaans said. “We had to play our best, and moreover we knocked them out of the Patriot League. I’m very proud of our team and of the work every individual has put in to get here.”

She elaborated on the teams’ performance and work ethic, saying “[everyone] has always put their best foot forward and I think everyone is doing a great job.”

Spaans currently leads the Patriot League in game-winning goals (six), as well as total points (29), consisting of 10 goals and nine assists.

“It is always a team effort, the passes I get, the connection with teammates, them doing [the] hard work,” Spaans said. “I feel proud of the team, of how much we’ve grown and developed together. The younger team members have stepped up in their roles [and] it’s super exciting.”

The final game of the regular season saw the Leopards travel to Philadelphia to face Temple on Saturday where they fell short by a score of 1-0 after a fourth-quarter stunner from the Owls. This ended the Leopards’ win streak as they head into the Patriot League tournament.

The Leopards took home several postseason awards this year. Sophomore defender Mackenzie Switzer joined Spaans on the All-League First Team. Junior midfielder Lana Delmotte, freshman forward Stella Malinowski and Van Wijk earned Second Team honors. Malinowski also took home Rookie of the Year, one of the four major postseason awards. Junior forward Alex Darrah and sophomore goalkeeper Raffi Fragomeni were also named to the Academic All-Patriot League team.

While the offense produced 37 goals this season, the defense has also stood out, boasting the lowest goal average in the league with 1.24 per game.

After the Leopards’ victory over Boston University yesterday, the team will move on to the final at American tomorrow.

“This is our moment, and we are excited to compete,” Ralph said.

Editor’s note: The print version of this article did not include the results of the Patriot League semifinals because the results were not available at the time of printing.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *