Field hockey flash from the past

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Nicholas Gates

Lafayette defender stays step for step with ball to prevent a score. Field Hockey faces Holy Cross on Oct.4 in hopes of preventing a repeat of 2006

Photography by Christie Behot ‘16

For the first time in nine seasons, the field hockey team has lost five straight games. The team, who is largely unused to such struggles at an 0-2 start in Patriot League play, hasn’t lost more than three league games in a season since 2006. And with the competition for post-season play picking up, they’ll have to win at least three of their four remaining league games to keep their tournament hopes alive. The team’s lack of success isn’t a fluke; the Leopards are getting outshot 104-139 this season after outshooting opponents 201-170 at the end of last season.

The field hockey team dropped to 0-2 in the Patriot League after losing to Colgate last weekend. The 2-6 Raiders were able to silence the struggling offense of the Leopards, shutting them out 1-0 and handing in their first victory over Lafayette since 2005.

Despite their recent struggles, there’s much more behind the team’s uncharacteristic record than simply wins and losses.

“Whenever you’re not winning games, there is always cause for concern,” head coach Jennifer Stone said. “We’ve also played one of the toughest schedules out there.”

With losses at Penn State, UConn and Boston University counting for three of the past five defeats, the Leopards have undoubtedly completed the toughest stretch of their season. And while a loss never feels good, “you can’t get better until you are able to go into battles and learn from the losses,” according to Coach Stone.

Additionally, the team is adjusting to various new roles on the field. With last year’s graduation of five starters, the Leopards have had to fill key positions while working out new chemistry on the turf. Despite the team’s early season success, they’ve been outscored 14-4 in the past five games and 104-139 overall.

In light of the unusual struggles, Coach Stone remains optimistic about the direction of her squad.

“It’s a special group and a special team,” she said.

With the most difficult part of their schedule behind them, Stone is hoping to focus on what’s in front of them every day. As the Leopards shift their focus to the upcoming league play, they will hope to build off of the lessons they’ve learned and work towards a successful second half of the season.