Field hockey wins rivalry match against Lehigh, loses to Albany

Senior+forward+Liza+Welch+controls+the+ball.+%28Photo+Courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications%29

Senior forward Liza Welch controls the ball. (Photo Courtesy of Athletic Communications)

Morgan Maves

The Lafayette field hockey team started their Patriot League season on Friday with a tough start against rival Lehigh, a team that more than rose to the occasion after losing last season’s matchup.

The Leopards scored first, when senior forward Kristen Taylor found sophomore forward Grace Angelella with a cross into the circle. Angelella put the shot into the goal, slipping it past the goalkeeper. Lehigh came back in the second half to take the lead 2-1 through 50 minutes. Working off assists by senior midfielder Theresa Delahanty and junior midfielder Cameron Costello, junior defender Lisa van der Geest tied up the game a minute later. Lafayette won the shot battle 19-6, and had 12 penalty corners, but could not put the game away during regulation.

At the beginning of overtime, the Leopards continued to control the pace. They took the ball and played in from center to the left side. Freshman forward Molly McAndrew took the ball and within 20 seconds, put it in the net.  The goal iced the game, 3-2 for the Leopards.

“[The team] wanted to set something straight from last year and were extremely determined to come out hard and get a win,” van der Geest said.

Although the Leopards dominated, van der Geest said the team recognized that they let Lehigh back in the game.

“We tested our own ability to bounce back a little more than we should have…but to be fair, the fact that we beat them in overtime also made the win just that little bit sweeter,” she said.

Delahanty said that it was particularly impressive that three different players scored. Van der Geest mentioned that although she did not score, junior forward Caroline Turnbull was all over the field assisting on offense and defense.

“[Our] biggest focus coming out of this game is to continue the tactical and technical growth we’ve been making all season,” Taylor said. “With each game we’re moving the ball faster in the midfield, creating more attacking opportunities, and possessing the ball with greater strength all over the field. We still need to improve on our finishing and truly just getting the ball in the back of the net, but we have already made strides in this regard and we look forward to having our efforts in practice being rewarded in games.”

The team did not have long to rest on its victory, however, losing to Albany 4-0 on Sunday, Sept. 16. Albany, ranked 25th in the country, outshot the Leopards 14-7. The Great Danes took the lead just under six minutes into the game, which would prove to be the eventual game-winner. Junior goalkeeper Sarah Park made seven saves in the loss.

The team will head to Drexel in Philadelphia, PA, for their next matchup today.