The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Building a tradition

Hurd hosts dinners for teams that beat Lehigh
College+President+Nicole+Hurd+hosted+four+teams+that+beat+Lehigh+this+fall.+%28Photos+courtesy+of+%40presidenthurd+on+Instagram%29
College President Nicole Hurd hosted four teams that beat Lehigh this fall. (Photos courtesy of @presidenthurd on Instagram)

For many Lafayette athletic teams, there is one matchup marked on the calendar — Lehigh. While football has the highest-profile Rivalry matchup, college President Nicole Hurd wants to recognize every team that defeats the Mountain Hawks by inviting them to dine at her house.

“This is a Hurd administration tradition,” Hurd said. “Every team that beats Lehigh comes over to the house for dinner.”

This is the second year Hurd has hosted the winning teams. While she hosted all of the dinners during the spring semester last year, with volleyball and football the only victorious fall sports, a majority of the fall sports beat Lehigh this season — including volleyball, field hockey, men’s soccer, women’s soccer and football.

Hurd hosted volleyball and field hockey last week and welcomed men’s soccer and women’s soccer into the President’s House this week.

For women’s soccer, this recognition is a big milestone. The team hasn’t beaten Lehigh since the 2019 regular season, meaning that only fifth-years Rory Schauder, Sara Oswald and Melissa Lamanna have experience beating the Mountain Hawks.

Junior midfielder Alexa Jindal said that the dinner meant a lot to the team. 

“It’s really exciting that we’re getting recognition, not just from people within our own team, but from people outside the team, especially the President,” Jindal said. “To have that recognition makes us want to play better for more people.” 

Women’s soccer beat Lehigh 1-0 at Gummeson Grounds this season, which not only broke the losing streak against Lehigh but also extended the team’s then-undefeated home record. 

“Last year, we had a game at their field and it was one of our worst games of the season,” Jindal said. “So to have them come to us and stay undefeated [at that point in the season] at [Gummeson Grounds] was awesome.”

Hurd said that she is able to accommodate the smaller teams at her house, but larger teams — like football — will have to wait until the weather warms so they can eat outside. 

Jindal and senior men’s soccer midfielder Carter Houlihan, both said that the teams appreciate Hurd’s attention to athletics at Lafayette.

“Just from doing this dinner for each of the teams that beat Lehigh, it seems like she’s very involved in a lot of athletics and activities on campus, which is really helpful for us to know that we’re loved as a team,” Jindal said. 

“Dinner with the president was a great experience,” Houlihan said. “I’ve never spoken to her personally but I actually sat next to her at the dinner table and we chatted the whole time. The invitation alone made me feel connected to her but after the dinner I felt as if she was not only my president, but a friend.”

Men’s soccer triumphed over Lehigh in a 1-0 victory on the Mountain Hawks’ home turf in late September.

While Hurd is hosting these dinners specifically for athletes, she is also trying to open up the house more to the college community: she hosted the English club’s poetry slam in October.

“I feel it’s the community’s house and it’s always more exciting when it’s filled with people, especially students,” Hurd said.

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About the Contributor
Grace Sanborn, Assistant Sports Editor
Thinks hitting a ball with a stick outside for four hours is fun.

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