Largely unnoticed yet largely apprciated

Brian O'Neill

Prolific goal scorers such as Laura Kleiber and Ana White garner weekly acknowledgement in awards and stat sheets. But those who do not see as much field time receive little recognition, yet fulfill diverse roles to meet team needs, like changing positions or serving preparation purposes.

Head coach Alison Fisher made it abundantly clear that those team members asked to leave comfort zones for team needs do not go unappreciated.

Freshman midfielder Maggie Carver is one of those players. Asked to change her position, she has undergone a tactical transformation upon her arrival to Lafayette.

“This season, I got moved from the defensive line to the attack line, and although I was out of my comfort zone at first, I did what I was told and tried to make my teammates better by executing the plays correctly and doing what my coach told me,” Carver said. “I make my contribution in practice and in games by doing my job in whatever position I am in.”

Sophomores Brooke Callahan and Casey Sullivan have filled crucial roles in an almost exclusively out-of-game context.

“They’ve been amazing practice players – neither has gotten a lot of minutes, but they continue to improve and do the extra and set a good example for what our program is all about,” Fisher said.

Callahan and Sullivan are used to mimic the lineups of opposing teams.

“Brooke was one of American’s leading scorers in practice last week, and Casey is a great man-to-man defender, so whenever we’re mimicking a team that plays a man defense, she’s always in there,” Fisher said.

Perhaps it was that mock trial in practice that spurred the Leopards to a 15-13 victory over American on Saturday. Lafayette then went on to defeat Bucknell 12-9 on Wednesday night to improve to 2-5 in Patriot League play and inch closer to a league tournament berth.

Players such as Carver, Callahan, and Sullivan will have the possibility of contributing more frequently in games in future seasons.

“[They] have done a really nice job of making sure that they’re maximizing their opportunities so they can be as good as they possibly can with the minutes that they get, so when their time comes, they’ve improved themselves and prepared themselves,” Fisher said.

For now though, their contributions remain largely unnoticed. But it could be this kind of cooperation that is vital to the Leopards’ success as just three games and two playoff spots remain.