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Lafayette News Stand

Tuesday, April 30, 2002

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Kokolus decides Lafayette is the right fit for her
The Morning Call/ By John Jay Fox
No single element kept Katie Kokolus close to home. Rather, it was a handful of factors that pointed the Notre Dame-Green Pond senior standout toward College Hill. Choosing between Lafayette and Bucknell, Kokolus selected the Leopards to continue her basketball career. ''Lafayette and Bucknell were tied,'' Kokolus explained of the two finalists that beat out Princeton and Manhattan. ''But, when I sat down and gave it a lot of thought, it was all Lafayette.'' Kokolus' relationship with Lafayette coach Tammy Smith weighed heavily in the decision.

Monday, April 29, 2002

WOMEN'S LACROSSE: Leopards take Patriot crown
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. - Heather McClelland will sleep easier this week. "I don't know if I could live with myself if we didn't win it in my senior year," McClelland said. The Lafayette College senior attacker took matters into her own hands by scoring five goals, and the Leopards survived a serious second-half American comeback to defeat the Eagles 11-6 in the Patriot League women's lacrosse championship Sunday afternoon at Rappolt Field. "Our goal was to get to the Sweet 16 - at least that's what they call it in basketball," said McClelland, who was named tournament MVP. "We wanted to be one of those 16 teams." For the first time the Patriot League has an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament. Lafayette (13-6) secured one of the seven bids designated to conference champions. The other nine slots will go to at-large selections, which will be revealed this Sunday night.

WOMEN'S LACROSSE: Lafayette drubs American for PL title
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker
Heather McClelland scored three of Lafayette's first four goals and had five overall Sunday afternoon in the Leopards' 11-6 victory over American in the Patriot League women's lacrosse championship. McClelland had a sense of urgency, and a sense of history, and it showed. Lafayette not only secured its 10th Patriot League title in 12 years, but also a spot in the 16-team NCAA Division I tournament, which starts May 9. The Leopards (13-6) will find out their first-round opponent May 5 in an Internet selection show.

Sunday, April 28, 2002

WOMEN'S LACROSSE: Tinney triggers Leopards play
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. - Stephanie Tinney refused to allow the Lafayette College women's lacrosse season - and her stellar Leopard career - to come to an end Saturday afternoon. The senior midfielder from Ridley Park, Pa., sparked a four-goal Leopard barrage with three assists and then made a key defensive play in the final minute to spark Lafayette to a 9-8 win over Colgate in the semifinals of the Patriot League tournament on Rappolt Field in the Metzgar Fields complex. The No. 1-seeded and host Leopards (12-6) face No. 2 American (10-6) at 1 p.m. today for the championship and the league's first-ever automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

BASEBALL: Lafayette clinches elusive playoff berth
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. - Not too long ago the Lafayette College baseball team found every which way to lose. This season, the Leopards are finding every which way to win. Lafayette swept a doubleheader from Bucknell on Saturday at Metzgar Fields to clinch their first-ever berth in the Patriot League postseason. The Leopards did so with 20 hits in the first game, including Vince D'Angelis' walk-off two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, for a 14-12 win. In the nightcap, sophomore Marcus Ward of Northwestern High School tamed the Bison on seven hits and his defense was flawless in a 4-1 victory. Lafayette meets Bucknell in another doubleheader today, and concludes its regular season next weekend with a four-game set at Lehigh. Regardless of what they do in those six games, the first-place Leopards (22-15 overall, 11-3 league) are assured of one of the three post-season tournament berths.

BASEBALL: Lafayette sweeps, gets playoff spot
The Morning Call/ By Jeff Schuler
Marcus Ward would rather forget his first college season. No wins. Seven losses. An ERA just shy of double figures. Oh, and Lafayette also finished at the bottom of the Patriot League standings. ''It's definitely a distant memory,'' the Northwestern High graduate admitted. ''I just wasn't myself.'' This year, though, it's a different story, both for Ward and his team. And it might have been fitting that it was Ward on the mound Saturday afternoon when the Leopards clinched their first postseason berth in 10 years and their first Patriot League berth ever. The sophomore upped his record to 5-2 with his sixth complete game, helping Lafayette to a 4-1 victory over Bucknell and completing a sweep that keeps the surprising Leopards on course to host the Patriot League tournament.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette still traveling on the road to recovery
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
The NCAA has a death penalty for college athletic programs that run amok with rules violations. Among other things, scholarships are taken away, and programs are banned from appearing on television and going to postseason tournaments. Lafayette College imposed a death penalty on its own football program in late 1998 when a decision was made to study whether or not to stay the course, switch to Division III with the Moravians and Muhlenbergs or drop the sport altogether. A school that has been playing football since 1882 decided to remain in Division I-AA - the board of trustees voting in January 1999 to not only stay the course but pump additional funding into the 23 varsity programs on College Hill. Damage, though, was significant. The self-inflicted wounds to the football program will take the better part of 10 years to heal. Frank Tavani, who replaced his boss, Bill Russo, as head coach after the 1999 season, says four full recruiting classes should make the Leopards contenders again in the Patriot League - "but," he says, "I'm optimistic."

Saturday, April 27, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette sizes up depth chart
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON - The Lafayette College football program finally is getting back to a situation where spring practice is used to define backup roles rather than find starters. "With 35 freshmen coming in, we'll be back up to snuff in August," said third-year head coach Frank Tavani. "We'll have five tight ends and be three deep at each offensive line position, for instance." Reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Year Joe McCourt is entrenched at tailback and Patriot League passing leader Marko Glavic is set at quarterback. Hunterdon Central graduate Chris Royle, a senior-to-be at center, anchors five returning veterans on the offensive line as the Leopards try to improve on consecutive two-win seasons. Much of the attention of the annual Maroon & White game Friday night at Fisher Field centered on who would be McCourt's backup, Dave Walters of Freedom High School or Brandon McCloud of St. Joseph Academy in St. Augustine, Fla.

FOOTBALL: Walters impresses in scrimmage
The Morning Call/ By John Jay Fox
Proving himself has become a standard for Dave Walters. After tearing his ACL as a junior running back at Freedom, he bounced back with a stellar senior season. Following prep school, Walters entered Lafayette an athletic year behind his classmates but impressed the Leopards coaching staff with his smarts and determination. Heading into his sophomore season, Walters faces another challenge. With Patriot League Rookie of the Year Joe McCourt entrenched at running back, Walters is fighting for the backup role. In Friday's Maroon and White game at Fisher Field, he wooed the Lafayette staff.

Thursday, April 25, 2002

FOOTBALL: Safety first: Idled all last fall by a back injury, Bill Stocker of Wilson is inching his way back into Lafayette's lineup
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Bill Stocker intends to apply to law school after graduating from Lafayette College next spring.To enhance his chances at being admitted to law school, Stocker changed his major from economics and business to sociology and anthropology. Stocker, the 1998 Express-Times football player of the year from Wilson Area High School, didn't expect to have this much time to explore his academic options two years ago. Stocker seemed destined for stardom after emerging as Lafayette's starting tailback by the end of his freshman season in 1999. But the bruising 6-foot, 215-pound Stocker experienced the dreaded reality of football that you are always one play away from the end of your career. During the third quarter of a lopsided loss at Columbia in the fifth game of the 2000 season, Stocker set up in pass protection for quarterback Marko Glavic.

Sunday, April 21, 2002

BASEBALL: Pitching is Lafayette's worst enemy
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. - The Patriot League's best pitching staff met the Patriot League's best hitting team. Pitching won Saturday afternoon at dreary Metzgar Field as Navy swept a doubleheader from Lafayette, 4-0 and 3-0. The losses were Lafayette's first in league play after an 8-0 start. Navy is 9-5 and closing in on the Leopards (18-14 overall). The teams meet again for a doubleheader at noon today at Metzgar Fields.

Friday, April 12, 2002

BASEBALL: Lafayette is early-season surprise of Patriot League
The Morning Call/ By Jeff Schuler
Not even the coach expected it. And certainly no one else would. Why would they? Why would anybody expect Lafayette - a team that hasn't had a winning season since 1992, hasn't been above .500 in the Patriot League since April 29, 1993, and hadn't swept a series of three games or more from any opponent since 1992 - to return from Holy Cross last weekend having swept four games from a team that was in the PL playoffs a year ago? But that's exactly what the Leopards did, and now they head toward their second league weekend in first place after an unprecedented four-game sweep of the Crusaders in Worcester, Mass.

Sunday, April 7, 2002

BASEBALL: Leopards win pair on road in Patriot play
The Express-Times
Lafayette College opened the Patriot League portion of its baseball schedule with a doubleheader sweep of Holy Cross on Saturday. The Leopards won by scores of 1-0 and 7-3.

FOOTBALL: Leopards looking for spring in their steps
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON - Pumping up the rushing attack and solidifying the defense are head coach Frank Tavani's priorities as he leads his Lafayette Leopards through spring drills this month. The Leopards are afforded 15 practice sessions to sort things out this spring before returning in August in preparation for the season opener Sept. 14 against Towson.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Williams has worked his way up ranks
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
They had parades for Mario Andretti after he won the Indianapolis 500 in 1969 and Larry Holmes when the Easton Assassin defeated Ken Norton in 1978 to begin his seven-year reign as boxing's heavyweight champion. Today Gary Williams is king of the world in college basketball. The Maryland Terrapins' head coach grew up in Collingswood, N.J., which means we're left with remembering the man's humble beginnings in the 1970s as Lafayette College's first-ever assistant basketball coach - under Tom Davis.

Friday, April 5, 2002

BASEBALL: Hit man -- Lafayette's Vince D'Angelis tops Patriot League hitters at .456
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Vince D'Angelis looks into the mirror and sees the enemy - and he sees the answer. "I'm getting more patient," Lafayette College's senior third baseman said. "I don't let myself beat myself. Before, I'd get upset every time I didn't get a hit." Times are rare - such as Wednesday's 0-for-4 against Drexel - when D'Angelis returns to the dugout without at least touching first base with a single. D'Angelis leads the Patriot League in hitting and is flirting with the league records for career and single-season batting average.

Thursday, April 4, 2002

FOOTBALL: Lafayette lands big recruit
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON - Patience, particularly by part-time assistant coach Dave Jones, paid off immensely for the Lafayette College football program. Cole Sampson, a quarterback from football-rich Midland, Texas, toured the Notre Dame and University of Texas campuses on paid recruiting visits. Sampson also took a look at Louisville. But when it came down to committing to one of the above mentioned Division I programs as a preferred walk-on or continuing his playing career and education at Division I-AA Lafayette, Sampson chose the Leopards.