Seven years of success

Nicholas Gates

The Leopards find early success as they work towards a winning season

Photo by Christie Behot ‘16 Sophomore midfielder Ami Turner looks to push the ball forward toward team- mates in recent matchup against Penn.
Photo by Christie Behot ‘16
Sophomore midfielder Ami Turner looks to push the ball forward toward team- mates in recent matchup against Penn.

Every team sets goals prior to the launch of their season. Whether it is to go further into the playoffs, to win their division, or beat their rivals, every team pushes for more success than the seasons before.

The year-to-year changes that come from the additions and losses of new and old teammates never phase the field hockey team. Each season, the team starts their campaign by defining a theme or a goal that is important to the character and cohesiveness of the current group. This year, the ladies will work to “compete,” day in and day out.

“This may seem like an obvious goal, but we want to focus on being competitive every day in training so that we are able to compete with any opponent we face,” senior midfielder Brittany Blass said.

After an impressive season opener win against No.13 Boston College, the Leopards have continued to improve, winning games against Quinnipiac, Monmouth and Liberty, and only losing to defending national champion UConn Huskies 2-1.

While they remain focused on this weekend’s league match at Colgate, the team is constantly working towards the ultimate goal of earning a spot in the Patriot League Tournament, a feat that they have accomplished in each of the past seven seasons.

Blass, who has started in every game of her Lafayette career, has no trouble with finding a will to compete. In her final season as a Leopard, Blass looks forward to every game on the schedule.

“When you’re a senior, you can look at a calendar and literally count the number of games you have left as a Division I athlete,” Blass said. While the concept of having to walk away from the sport that she loves is daunting, it’s that realization that forces her to make the most off every opportunity she has to compete. For many of the ladies, it also helps that their teammates are also their best friends. Having strong team chemistry has allowed the group to bond on and off the field, making them more cohesive as friends and as a unit.

While the players on the field play a large role in the success of the team, the coaching staff also has a lot to do with the development of a cohesive and winning team. This season, second-year head coach Jennifer Stone ’06 has expanded her coaching staff with the additions of Assistant Coaches Emily Janis and Joachim Civico.

This weekend, Lafayette will travel to Hamilton, NY to take on the 2-6 Colgate Raiders, a team who hasn’t topped Lafayette since 2005. A win on Saturday will pull Lafayette to 1-1 in the Patriot League and one step closer to the ultimate accomplishment, a third league championship in just four years.

Photo by Christie Behot ‘16 The Field Hockey team leads the Patriot League in defensive saves with seven.  The Field Hockey team ranks first in the Patriot League in goals per game with 2.25
Photo by Christie Behot ‘16
The Field Hockey team leads the Patriot League in defensive saves with seven.