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Thursday, July 21, 2005

FOOTBALL: Breakout performance gives Maurer reins of Lafayette offense
The Pulse-Journal (Liberty Twp., Ohio)/ By Steven Matthews
Through Lafayette College's first five games of the 2004 football season, coach Frank Tavani opted to split the quarterback duties between former Kings High star Brad Maurer and Pat Davis. But during halftime of game No. 6, Tavani had a hunch. Maurer, who started each of the previous first five games but gave way to Davis in the second half, had engineered the Leopards to a 21-0 halftime lead at Columbia on Oct. 9. And Tavani wasn't about to take him out. "I had a feeling this is the time to stay with him," he said, "and that second half was his breakout half of the season." On the third play from scrimmage in the second half, Maurer scampered 63 yards for a touchdown as the Leopards cruised to a 35-14 victory. He also tossed two TD passes and was an efficient 12-of-14 through the air.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Opportunities await Lafayette's freshmen
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
While securing commitments for the Lafayette men's basketball program Class of 2009, coach Fran O'Hanlon gave each of his six recruits the same message. ''I said to all these freshmen, 'You guys are going to have a chance to make an impact as freshmen because of our numbers,''' O'Hanlon said from his office Monday afternoon. ''I don't know if it's going to be positive or negative, but it's going to be an impact.'' As O'Hanlon begins his 11th summer as Lafayette's coach, he can only wonder what impact injuries and player turnover will have on his 2005-06 team.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

BASEBALL: He's chasing his dream from the bottom up
The York Dispatch/ By Dick VanOlinda
If it's Tuesday, Jason Boyd is in Sauget, Ill. The Littlestown High School and Lafayette College graduate is pursuing his baseball dream -- wherever it takes him. Last night, Boyd and his teammates on the Ohio Valley Redcoats were in Marietta, Ohio. Following the game against the Washington Wild Things, the Redcoats boarded the bus for the 540-mile journey to Illinois. "We spend most of our time on the bus," Boyd said. "We'll play three games in one town, hop on the bus around midnight and get in the next town around five or six in the morning." The travel isn't exactly first class, and the pay isn't exactly what someone with an engineering degree would expect. But Boyd, who graduated from Lafayette College last year, isn't complaining. He had to start somewhere, and somewhere is in the Frontier League, an independent league made up of 12 Midwest franchises.

Monday, June 6, 2005

FOOTBALL: Hundreds turn out for football, charity
The Morning Call/ By Keith Groller
Lafayette's Metzgar Fields were the ''Land of the Giants'' on Sunday, a place filled with big, bruising football players and many tough, hard-nosed coaches who were, in many cases, bigger than the players. But the person who brought them all to Lafayette was a sweetheart of a little lady who barely came up to some of the players' knees. Lauren Loose was in attendance for the second annual ''Lauren's First and Goal'' Football Camp, but as the huge contingent of high school-aged players and college coaches went through their drills, Lauren was busy with her friends doing what second-graders do -- coloring, playing games and looking forward to a trip to Dorney Park after school ends.

Monday, May 23, 2005

WOMEN'S SOCCER: Whitehall's Fink (Lafayette-bound) is soccer scholar-athlete
The Morning Call/ By Bryan Wald
Chalk up one more surprise for the Whitehall girls soccer team. After finishing with the best record in school history (13-7-1) and winning their first-ever district playoff game, the Zephyrs program earned an additional accolade Sunday night when The Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete Foundation named Whitehall senior goalkeeper Hannah Fink the 2005 girls soccer scholar-athlete at a banquet held at the Fullerton Fire Company. ''I was not expecting this,'' Fink said. ''It was just quite a shock, amazing.'' The winner was chosen using a formula based on athletic ability, academic performance and extra-curricular activities. All 36 nominees had their impressive accomplishments read aloud as they walked to the podium to receive their plaques.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

TRACK & FIELD: Lafayette's Jones set to measure progress
The Express-Times/ By Bruce Buratti
EASTON -- Tyler Jones was destined to become a Lafayette Leopard as soon as he reported for indoor track as a freshman at Freedom High School. "It was either track or baseball and I wanted to find out what I could do in track," said Jones, wearing a T-shirt, lime-colored shorts and sandals during a mid-week interview outside Lafayette's track and field office on the third floor of the Kirby Sports Center. A 20-year-old sophomore at Lafayette where he's the top-ranked discus thrower in the Patriot League, Jones' first throwing coach was Harrison Bailey, a former Lafayette football and track athlete who holds the school record in the event (174 feet). As he developed in the Freedom program, he eventually was recruited by Michele Curcio, Lafayette's throws coach and an Easton High graduate. Jones will be in the discus competition out at Metzgar Field this afternoon on opening day of the two-day Patriot League meet. The discus and hammer throw, where Jones is seeded 10th, will take place at Metzgar with all the remaining events taking place at Fisher Field.

Thursday, May 5, 2005

TRACK & FIELD: Portland´s coach (Jill Corey '00) knows way around
Portland (Maine) Press Herald/ By Tom Chard
Ten years ago, Jill Corey was a record-setting sprinter at Portland High. Now she´s the Bulldogs´ head coach. After serving as an assistant for two years, Corey recently was appointed interim head coach for the girls´ track team to replace Buzz Maloney, a longtime track coach and educator who retired after the indoor season. Jill Corey always smiles when she thinks of her days as a Portland High athlete, and now she wants her new girls' track team also to have fun while improving. Earlier this week at a Portland High practice, Corey was as active as her athletes, hustling around trying to prepare her team for its first meet. Corey, 27, wants to impart the knowledge she learned in high school and at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Bennett banking on a productive summer
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Before playing in his final Maroon and White Game on Saturday, linebacker Maurice Bennett learned he was elected one of Lafayette's two captains for the 2005 season. He'll spend this summer learning away from the football field. This winter, Bennett, a junior business and economics major, landed a 10-week internship through Sponsors for Educational Opportunity. He was placed at Credit Suisse Bank in New York, N.Y., where he will work in investment banking. Bennett learned about the SEO Career Program through Lafayette's Office of Career Services. The program, according to SEO's Web site, is ''the nation's premiere summer internship program for talented students of color leading to full-time job offers.'' Bennett came to Lafayette as an undecided major. Once he chose business and economics, he became interested in investment banking.

Sunday, May 1, 2005

FOOTBALL: Fade to Fisher returns on cue
The Express-Times/ By Michael Blouse
EASTON -- It's a play coach Frank Tavani plans to call often this fall. And it's a play wide receiver Archie Fisher hopes to make frequently this coming football season. The play is a simple fade pattern -- a call Lafayette College's coach prefers and the Leopards' 6-foot-2, 195-pound playmaker has mastered. The play was executed as planned in Saturday's Maroon-White spring scrimmage when backup quarterback Pat Davis lofted a perfect 8-yard strike to Fisher for the game's first touchdown.

FOOTBALL: Hall gets rewarded for adjusting well
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
After spending two years with Lafayette's junior varsity football team, Brandon Hall began to make the transition from quarterback to tight end last spring. Catching passes wasn't a problem for Hall. He always had his hands on the ball while playing quarterback at Oil City (Pa.) High School. Blocking defenders, something Hall never did at Oil City, took longer to learn. One year later, Hall's transition appears complete. The Leopards' coaches named him the most improved offensive player of spring practice at halftime of Saturday's rainy Maroon and White Game at Fisher Field.

Friday, April 29, 2005

FOOTBALL: Tavani's Leopards already cooking
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
While his team went through its final full-contact practice before the Maroon and White Game, Lafayette coach Frank Tavani mentioned three keys for Saturday's annual intrasquad scrimmage. Play well. Avoid injuries. Get to the postgame luncheon.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette to get six recruits; Douglas is leaving program
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
There appears to be good news and bad news coming out of the Lafayette College men's basketball program. The good news is Fran O'Hanlon's incoming freshman class has been bolstered to six with the oral commitments from guard Andrew Brown, the Colorado 5A Player of the Year, according to the Rocky Mountain News, and 6-8 forward Blake Nielson from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

FOOTBALL: Return of the playmaker: Lafayette's Fisher, trying to stay healthy, has had a solid spring.
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
On the final day of full-pad drills, Archie Fisher jogged from Lafayette's locker room to Metzgar Fields. It's a jog the Leopards make each day after dressing for practice. For much of the last 21/2 years, Fisher couldn't complete it without feeling pain in his right foot. The pain has subsided since Fisher had offseason surgery to repair a shattered bone in the foot, an injury that kept him sidelined for all but two games last season. It hasn't disappeared and could linger forever. The difference is Fisher, a junior wide receiver, can play through the aches now. He has throughout Lafayette's spring practices, his first live action since he started at Georgetown on Sept. 11, 2004. He plans to continue doing so, right through Saturday's Maroon and White Game and into the offseason.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

BASKETBALL: Thank Elgin (Lafayette '73) for bringing NCAA to St. Louis
St. Louis Post-Dispatch/ By Bernie Miklasz
In the early 1990s, Missouri Valley Conference commissioner Doug Elgin and his staff had this crazy idea: try to convince the NCAA to put a piece of the men's basketball tournament in St. Louis at The Arena on Oakland Avenue. The Arena was old, dusty and dilapidated. Birds swooped into the building through cracks in the ancient roof. Cats were turned loose to apprehend rats that had free run of the old barn. Rusty pipes were exposed, and the plumbing had more leaks than the Nixon White House. A date with the wrecking ball was looming. This was to be the wheezing Arena's last gasp. Somehow the meticulous, quietly driven Elgin convinced the NCAA to give St. Louis and the Arena a last shot. And the 1993 men's Midwest Regional was a surprising hit. The Arena was cleaned up and painted over, and the event went off without any structural failures or run-ins with vermin.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

BASEBALL: Army takes two from Lafayette on newly named field
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Before the first pitch Saturday, Lafayette renamed its baseball field. The change failed to alter the Leopards' fortunes against Army. The Black Knights ran their winning streak over Lafayette to 10 games with a doubleheader sweep at Class of 1978 Stadium, claiming 5-3 and 8-3 victories on newly-christened Hilton Rahn '51 Field. They did it with pitching, holding the Leopards to five earned runs in 16 innings. Army, the defending Patriot League champion, entered Saturday with a 2.80 team ERA. That number rose slightly, but only after Lafayette scored two ninth-inning runs in Game 2 to close within 8-3.

Friday, April 1, 2005

SPRING FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Hurt playing numbers game
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- When Jonathan Hurt arrived at Lafayette College as a freshman tailback, he was issued No. 34. For Hurt, No. 34 was the closest he could get to his old Boone High School jersey No. 35, which was occupied at Lafayette by upperclassman and defensive end Paul Ziska. Only after being indoctrinated into the Lafayette program did he come to understand the significance of wearing No. 34. "They told me it was Erik Marsh's number," Hurt said. Around Lafayette football, Erik Marsh, the Patriot League's career-rushing leader by way of Bethlehem Catholic High School, still walks on water. Marsh's position coach from 1988-92, Frank Tavani, is now the Leopards head coach and he's never had a better poster boy for Lafayette football than Marsh. The potential the Leopards see in Hurt, a junior-to-be, is limitless. Hurt was so impressive during the early portion of last year's Patriot League championship season that he unseated senior Joe McCourt as the starting tailback.

SPRING FOOTBALL: Leopards look to get O-line in order
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When spring football practice opens Saturday, new faces will fill Lafayette's offensive huddle. Sure, center Rob Stroble will still snap the ball to quarterback Brad Maurer. Brandon Stanford, Joe Ort and Chad Walker will still run pass patterns for the Leopards. But when Maurer turns to his backfield, tailback Joe McCourt won't be there to take a handoff. Fullback Brendon Green won't be there to open a crease. McCourt and Green were key cogs in the power running game that helped the Leopards reach the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs last season. How the players competing to replace McCourt and Green perform over the next four weeks will be a major story line during spring practice. While the new faces in Lafayette's offensive backfield figure to garner the most attention this spring, the Leopards' offensive line has undergone the most change since last season. How the Leopards revamp that line will go a long way in determining whether or not they remain atop the Patriot League.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

BASEBALL: Leopards look to peak for Patriot League
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. -- The Lafayette College baseball team is young this spring. How young, you ask? First baseman/co-captain Adam Bucci looks up and down the dugout and sees only one other senior -- left fielder Rob Fioretti. The Leopards, coming off a 9-6 non-league loss to La Salle on Wednesday afternoon at Class of '78 Stadium, enter Patriot League play this weekend against Holy Cross with a starting lineup that probably will include the two seniors, five sophomores, a freshman and one junior.

SPRING FOOTBALL: Leopards' pride won't surprise opponents this season
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Before last season, Frank Tavani adopted the motto ''Pride, Purpose, Passion'' for his Lafayette College football team. The Leopards embraced those words and surprised everyone by going 8-4 overall, winning a share of the Patriot League championship and appearing in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history. With the motto working so well, Tavani's players wanted to keep it for the coming season. But Tavani, the reigning Patriot League Coach of the Year, couldn't resist tinkering with it. The words ''Pride, Purpose, Passion'' are again emblazoned on the Leopards' workout T-shirts as they prepare to begin spring practice Saturday. This time, they are accompanied by a bull's-eye, a reminder that everyone in the Patriot League will take aim at Lafayette this fall.

Monday, March 28, 2005

BASEBALL: As pitching fades, triathlons beckon
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Ira Josephs
Jeremy Kacuba is doing it for the kids. But rather than a Catcher in the Rye, Kacuba is a "Pitcher in the Tri." How's that? As a pitcher at Lafayette College in the late 1990s, Kacuba attracted pro scouts with a 92 m.p.h. fastball. A right-shoulder injury dashed Kacuba's major-league dreams. But he's still aiming toward a career as a professional athlete. Make that a professional triathlete. Kacuba, a mechanical engineer by trade, quit his corporate job with pharmaceutical giant Merck last year to devote himself to triathlon training. He's not a professional yet, although he does have a handful of corporate sponsors. And a huge heart.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

BASKETBALL: Lafayette club pushes on for scholarships
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette College's athletic support group, the Maroon Club, will send a recommendation to the Board of Trustees to convert 19 basketball grant-in-aid equivalencies into 19 merit-based -- or scholarship -- awards. Former Board of Trustees member and current Maroon Club executive board member Bill Rappolt (Class of '67) said the recommendation will be accompanied by results of a survey the club conducted over the past few months. The Board of Trustees will hold its spring meeting April 1-2.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

BASEBALL: Local college baseball teams head into conference play
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Watching his team drop four straight games in Florida didn't change Joe Kinney's belief in his players. This is only the opening portion of Lafayette's baseball schedule. For Kinney, the Leopards' sixth-year coach, it is the one that matters the least. Yes, Kinney wants to win. He wasn't happy to watch the Leopards commit six errors in losing a weekend doubleheader against Pittsburgh and Boston College. But more than anything, Kinney wants the Leopards to use their March schedule to prepare for the rigors of Patriot League play.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

MEN'S SOCCER: Barbieri signs to play soccer at Lafayette
Hillsborough Beacon/ By Rudy Brandl
Chad Barbieri knows his versatility will come in handy when he takes his soccer career to the next level at Lafayette College. Playing midfield all these years has allowed Barbieri to showcase his goal-scoring prowess and defensive ability. He'll need both to succeed on the college pitch. The Hillsborough High senior recently signed his official letter of intent to play for Lafayette, a Division 1 school in Easton, Pa. Barbieri also considered The College of New Jersey, Iona, Loyola (Md.), Bucknell and Lehigh but chose Lafayette for a variety of reasons. "Lafayette really stood out athletically and academically I don't think I can do better," said Barbieri, who plans to study business and economics. "There's a nice group of freshmen coming in and I think I'll be able to fit in nicely. The campus is gorgeous."

Sunday, March 6, 2005

After 12 years Lafayette leader leaves behind a rejuvenated vibrant college
The Express-Times/ By Jeff Schogol
Fund raising had dried to a trickle. Faculty was at odds with the administration. Colleagues were bickering and not listening to each other. It was cacophony. In the early 1990s, Lafayette College needed a new leader, someone who could tame the squabbling and lift Lafayette above the disarray of Robert J. Rotberg's three-year term as president of the Easton college. The college board of trustees began searching for someone who could broker peace among all of the college's constituencies, come up with a plan for the future and move the college forward. Lafayette needed a builder. Many agree the college had turned toward its current success when Arthur J. Rothkopf arrived as interim president. He came from the nation's capital, where he was working as an attorney and had served as deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It was a rediscovery of sorts because Rothkopf was a graduate of Lafayette. Rothkopf said he took the job after consulting with his wife on the understanding that the venture would last only one year. One year evolved into a 12-year presidency during which he helmed building projects that brought the college off College Hill and led the most successful fund-raising campaign in college history.

President's college affiliation spans decades
The Express-Times/ By Jeff Schogol
Arthur J. Rothkopf grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn near the now demolished Ebbets field, home of the Dodgers. He said his college application process was "not very organized or methodical." He had applied to the University of Pennsylvania, but when he visited it as a high school senior, he noticed it was in a rundown area that resembled his own neighborhood, so he decided to look at smaller schools. A friend's cousin had gone to Lafayette College, so Rothkopf applied and was accepted, he said.

Saturday, March 5, 2005

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's McCourt earns football accolade
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Tom McGurk
Lafayette's Joe McCourt never ran away from the doubters, but he did take pleasure in running them over. When the Leopards were the only collegiate football program to offer him a chance to try out as a tailback, McCourt took the ball and never stopped running. Last fall, McCourt rushed for 1,193 yards - his third straight 1,000-yard season - and tied the school record with 16 rushing touchdowns. More important, McCourt led Lafayette (8-4) to its first NCAA Division I-AA playoff berth in the school's 123-year history and its first Patriot League championship in 11 years. For his accomplishments, the senior tailback was honored as the Tri-State Player of the Year last night at the Maxwell Football Club's 68th annual awards dinner at Harrah's in Atlantic City.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards' season ends with crushing defeat
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- To corrupt a Yogi Berra-ism, Friday night's Patriot League basketball tournament quarterfinal between Bucknell and Lafayette was over before it was over. The Bison's 70-34 humiliation of the Leopards was really over in the first five minutes, much to the delight of the partisan orange-clad crowd of 3,032 at Sojka Pavilion.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette offers little resistance to Bucknell
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
LEWISBURG, Pa. | Not long after stepping onto the Sojka Pavilion court Friday night, Lafayette crumbled. The Leopards missed layups and jumpers -- nine straight in all -- before senior forward Sean Knitter scored on a half-hook, six minutes and 44 seconds into the game. Then, there was the Leopards' rebounding, which was even sadder. Bucknell bullied, leaped over and outhustled Lafayette. When it was over, the seventh-seeded Leopards (9-19) had suffered their second-worst defeat of the season and established a Patriot League tournament record for fewest points in a game, losing 70-34 to the top-seeded Bison before a jacked-up home crowd of 3,032.

Friday, March 4, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette, Lehigh must turn up the 'D'
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Here are the story lines for the Lafayette and Lehigh men's basketball teams as they storm into tonight's Patriot League tournament quarterfinals: Lafayette has won three of its last four games, but all the momentum the Leopards possess may matter little against a Bucknell team playing on its home court -- where it's unbeaten against league opponents over the last two seasons. ( Lehigh is the defending tournament champion but is playing anything like a champion. Despite a lineup featuring four starters from that title team, the Mountain Hawks (13-14, 7-7) come into their game against Colgate (12-15, 7-7) on a four-game losing streak.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Holy Cross ousts Lafayette
The Express-Times/ By Jorge Bannister
WORCESTER, Mass. -- It was history repeated for the Lafayette Leopards women's basketball team Thursday night. No. 1-seeded Holy Cross (18-10, 13-2) overwhelmed the eighth-seeded Leopards 74-61 to advance to the semifinals in front of 676 fans at the Hart Center on the picturesque campus of College of the Holy Cross. The loss is Lafayette's 19th straight against the Crusaders and the 14th straight at the Hart Center. Holy Cross will face fifth-seeded Navy (11-17), a 62-40 winner over American in the first game of the doubleheader, at 1 p.m. Saturday in a semifinal match. Lafayette closes its season 5-23 and 3-12 in the Patriot League. "Holy Cross is a great team," Leopards head coach Tammy Smith said. "They're tough to play when they are at home. Unfortunately, we didn't get the job done offensively or defensively."

Sunday, February 27, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Douglas makes a last stand
The Express-Times/ By Bruce Buratti
EASTON -- Jamaal Douglas wasn't drawing a line in the sand, so to speak. He didn't have to. It was already drawn for him. And it was 19 feet, 9 inches from the basket. Douglas, a 6-foot-6 sophomore forward, had only 10 3-point baskets for the season but he nailed three Saturday in a 16-point performance that helped carry Lafayette to an 81-76 win over rival Lehigh before a rowdy crowd of 3,500 at Kirby Sports Center. The victory had no bearing on Lafayette's fate in next week's Patriot League tournament. The seventh-seeded Leopards' 8 p.m. first-round meeting Friday at second-seeded Bucknell was already set in stone. But it was still a chance for coach Fran O'Hanlan's Leopards (9-18 overall, 5-9 league) to give rival Lehigh (13-14, 7-7) some grief while also dropping the Mountain Hawks from a three-way tie for the No. 3 to the No. 4 spot where they'll meet fifth-seeded Colgate in the opening round Friday at Holy Cross.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette holds off Lehigh in regular-season finale
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lehigh did not die easy. And Lafayette refused to die on its own court. The Leopards had an 11-point lead with 1:48 remaining, which dwindled down to one, before settling for an 81-76 victory Saturday afternoon at Kirby Sports Center. Lafayette had lost its previous game by 19 points to Navy because it did not have enough fight, especially on the boards where the Leopards were embarrassed by a 71-33 margin. But Lafayette had plenty of mettle for Lehigh, even though the Leopards had to hold on for the victory in the Patriot League regular-season finale before a crowd of 3,500. Lafayette (9-18, 5-9 Patriot) had already secured the No. 7 seed in the league tournament before the game and will meet No. 2 seed Bucknell at 8 p.m. Friday in Lewisburg.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette soph rides highs, lows of 5-21 season
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
What Kara Stetler has learned about life and about herself over the past two basketball seasons at Lafayette College will carry her farther than anything she'll absorb in the classroom on College Hill. The ups and downs the 5-foot-7 sophomore guard has endured would've sent a weaker person spiraling out of the sport. Stetler admits frustration but has never given a thought to removing the athlete portion from her title of Division I student-athlete. "It definitely questioned my confidence, but I never thought of quitting," Stetler said. "It could beat you down loss after loss. We'd come to practice, work so hard and what were we getting out of it?" For Stetler and the 5-21 Leopards, they think they're beginning to see the light. Lafayette is coming off a win over Navy on Wednesday and lost by just two points at American last Saturday.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

FOOTBALL: Club judges McCourt region's best
The Morning Call/ By Bryan Wald
The name Joe McCourt probably isn't the first one that jumps out at you when you look at the list of this year's Maxwell Football Club award winners. Peyton Manning, Jason White and Marty Schottenheimer are likely to catch your eye first. But on March 4 at Harrah's in Atlantic City, the Lafayette senior tailback will share a stage with them -- and others -- when he accepts the 2004 Maxwell Football Club Tri-State Player of Year award, an honor given to the top local college football player. ''It's just awesome,'' McCourt said. ''To be in that kind of company is something really special. It's great to be able to put Lafayette on the map a little bit, so it's really a tribute to my teammates and my coaches.'' But McCourt won't be awestruck at the ceremony; this isn't new to him.

Monday, February 21, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette playing like a team ready to make a run
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Teams that make postseason runs in March usually start to play harder and smarter and win more convincingly at this time of the season. Lafayette has done that in its last two Patriot League games. Teams that have short runs in March usually do what Lehigh has done over its last two games, which is play erratically and confused and get beaten. In the standings, Lehigh (13-12, 7-5 Patriot) is in third place and Lafayette (8-17, 4-8) is tied with Navy (8-17, 4-8) for sixth place. The third- and sixth-place teams meet in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament March 4 at Bucknell. The host Bison are the No. 2 seed. Lafayette can prove it's better than Lehigh even before the tournament begins when the Leopards play the Hawks at 1 p.m. Saturday at Kirby Sports Center. Lehigh won the first meeting, 66-55 on Jan. 12 at Stabler Arena.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Hilliard finds his mark in mission
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
EASTON -- A slight adjustment was all it took for Jamaal Hilliard to show significant improvement. The sophomore guard, on a mission to become more assertive, scored a career-high 23 points while classmate Marcus Harley added a career-best 22 points Saturday to lead Lafayette College to an exciting 93-89 overtime victory over Patriot League rival American before 2,493 at Kirby Sports Center. Hilliard was nearly perfect for the Leopards -- making 6 of 7 shots from the floor and each of his 11 free-throw attempts.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards show they can break hearts, too
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Heartbreak City no longer has Lafayette as a tenant. Jamaal Hilliard, who ranks ninth in the nation in free-throw shooting, made sure of it. Hilliard made two free throws with 6.8 seconds left to clinch a 93-89 Patriot League overtime victory over American Saturday before a crowd of 2,493 at Kirby Sports Center.

Monday, February 14, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Holy Cross and Bucknell sitting pretty for playoffs
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
If the Patriot League men's basketball season were to end today, Holy Cross and Bucknell would host quarterfinal and semifinal tournament games.The Crusaders' big win over Lehigh on Sunday put them in clear control of first place and will reward them with homecourt advantage through the tournament. Bucknell enters the final three league games with a one-game advantage over defending champion Lehigh. The Bison can afford to lose a game -- most likely it would be Feb. 23 at Holy Cross -- finish in a tie with Lehigh and still emerge with the No. 2 seed. Lehigh could finish no higher than third because Bucknell owns a win over Holy Cross. The Mountain Hawks and Bison split their regular-season meetings. The next tiebreaker criterion is record against league opponents, starting at the top and working down the standings. If Lehigh is the third seed, it would face the No. 6 team in the quarters and then get the No. 2 team (Bucknell) if form holds. If the Hawks slip to No. 4, then they would be placed in the Holy Cross bracket. Lafayette could finish anywhere from fifth to eighth. Regardless, the Leopards will draw a difficult first-round matchup and possibly against a home team. Men's first two rounds are Friday and Sunday, March 4 and 6, with the title game 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 11 on ESPN.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Bono wins scholar-athlete award
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Lafayette College senior guard Stephen Bono on Friday was named the Patriot League Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Bono is a civil engineering major with a 3.82 grade point average. He was a four-year starter at right guard and helped lead the Leopards to the league title and the program's first NCAA Division I-AA playoff berth last fall. He was a co-captain. Bono was named to the all-league first team. He also was named to ESPN Magazine's Academic All-America first team and selected for the third consecutive year to both the CoSIDA Academic All-District II team and the I-AA Athletic Directors' Academic All-Star team. He's made the dean's list every semester.

Wednesday, February 9, 2005

FOOTBALL: Lafayette fills out depth chart with talent from New Jersey
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette College coach Frank Tavani sat in his office Monday night and surveyed his depth chart hanging on the wall. The 2004 Patriot League Coach of the Year liked what he saw. "We have upperclassmen returning at every position so we'll be able to put them (incoming freshmen) at the bottom of the depth chart to start with," Tavani said. "I remember what it was like when we first took over here. It wasn't like that at all. Some of the freshmen had to step in and play right away." The Leopards have come a long way since Tavani's first season in 2000 because this recruiting class, although it currently includes just 21 players, possesses some real gems, especially from New Jersey.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football names 21 recruits
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Frank Tavani spent Tuesday afternoon adding the names of his new recruits to his color-coded depth chart. ''I sat here looking at it and said, 'Wow, this is a five-year project I'm looking at,''' Tavani said. Tavani's project -- rebuilding Lafayette College's football program -- took what he hopes will be a step toward sustained success during the recruiting season. The Leopards announced Tuesday they have secured commitments from 21 high school seniors, with several more possible in the next week. With only 12 seniors graduating from a Lafayette team that went 8-4, claimed a share of the Patriot League title and earned the program's first-ever NCAA playoff berth last fall, Tavani didn't have room for a large class. He was happy, however, to nab the players he did. Thirty-six recruits visited campus, with 30 getting offers from Lafayette.

Monday, February 7, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: A Distress Test - Pat Brogan's devotion to basketball is a distraction from his daily pain
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Mike Jensen
TAMAQUA, Pa. - The pain, Pat Brogan said, is like having hammers continually pound the back of your neck. On a recent day, as he talked to his high school basketball players about being in position and ready to shoot, Brogan pushed the palm of his hand against his forehead. Was this a bad day? No, a good one. Over Christmas, Brogan said, it was as if "you had a blowtorch going into my spine." For the last 31/2 years, Brogan has endured one physical trial after another, since the early morning of Sept. 25, 2001, when a bicycle ride in Easton almost cost him his life - and changed it forever. After being knocked to the road by a hit-and-run driver, Brogan has been afflicted with dystonia, a neurological movement disorder that causes muscles to continually spasm. Brogan, a 37-year-old former assistant at Lafayette and Penn State, and a volunteer assistant last season at Georgia Tech, has always been one of the most approachable guys in the college game, a coach who treats the game with reverence. He has seen his world both expand and contract because of the pain he can't ignore. Even his wife and parents thought he was crazy to take a coaching job at a small high school not far from his upstate hometown. But he knew what the game could offer.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Reed's late foul shot denies Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
EASTON -- Of Lafayette College's 16 basketball losses this season, none was more heartbreaking than Sunday's 62-61 Patriot League setback to Colgate before 2,184 enthusiastic fans at Kirby Sports Center. Sophomore guard Alvin Reed's free throw with one second remaining was the difference in a game that saw Lafayette (6-16, 2-7) rally from a 12-point deficit to take a six-point lead midway in the second half. The loss spoiled a strong performance by Leopards' sophomore forward Jamaal Douglas, who had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Saturday, February 5, 2005

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Bison women lose another second-half lead, lose to Lafayette
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)/ By Todd Stanford
LEWISBURG -- Bucknell is still learning how to win tight games. But Friday's lesson must have been especially painful, seeing as how it came at the hands of fellow Patriot League cellar-dweller Lafayette. The Leopards erased a 13-point second-half deficit to rally for a 68-62 victory at Sojka Pavilion. Lafayette is now 4-17, 2-6 in the Patriot League. Bucknell, which has held a second-half lead in six of its seven league losses, drops to 7-14 and 1-7.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bison back on track -- rip Leopards
The Express-Times/ By John Bruns
EASTON -- Could the Bucknell team that came into the Kirby Sports Center on Friday night possibly be the same one that lost to Navy last Sunday? These Bison looked more like the team that had won 11 games in a row before losing to both American and Navy last weekend, a team which numbered Saint Joseph's and Pittsburgh among its victims during that run, both on the road. Bucknell (15-6, 6-2 Patriot League) led from start to finish in dealing Lafayette (6-15, 2-6) a sound 89-69 thrashing before 3,112 fans in Kirby. It was a game that saw the two teams miss only one of 35 free-throw attempts. The Bison went 20-for-20 at the line to establish a league record.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bison men get coach, shooting touch back in victory
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)/ By Tom Housenick
EASTON -- The head coach was back and so was Bucknell's shooting touch. Kevin Bettencourt had a season-high 29 points and the Bison set a Patriot League record by making all 20 free throw attempts en route a convincing 89-69 win over Lafayette in front of 3,112 fans Friday at the Kirby Sports Center. Bucknell head coach Pat Flannery returned after a three-and-half game medical leave to see his club shoot 59.2 percent from the floor in putting up its highest point total this season.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bettencourt leads Bucknell past Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
As John Griffin drove the baseline with the clock ticking down in the first half, Kevin Bettencourt popped free near the Lafayette bench. The seated Leopards had a better chance of stopping Bettencourt than their five teammates on the floor did. Griffin whizzed the ball back to Bettencourt, who swished a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the half. A trend was established. Sometimes Bettencourt created space by beating his defender off the dribble. Sometimes a teammate crushed an unsuspecting Leopard with a screen. Wherever Bettencourt went, points followed. He drilled his last six 3-pointers Friday in Bucknell's 89-69 win over Lafayette.

Friday, February 4, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette, Lehigh ready for important weekend
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Super Bowl Sunday? Forget pro football because there's a smorgasbord of college basketball this weekend in the Lehigh Valley. Lafayette and Lehigh both entertain Bucknell and Colgate in Patriot League doubleheaders Friday and Sunday. Tonight at 7, the Leopards host Bucknell while Lehigh engages Colgate at Stabler. At 1 p.m., Sunday, the local teams switch opponents.

Monday, January 31, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Fast start sparks Lafayette victory
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
The 3-pointers kept flying, smacking the floor like dumbbells dropped from a second-story window. For 27 minutes, not one shot from behind the arc fell for the Lafayette men's basketball team. What mattered were the makes the Leopards sandwiched around their many misfires. Two Matt Betley 3s in the first five minutes allowed Lafayette to take a rare early lead. A trey by his cousin Pat Betley with 8:26 to play ended the Leopards' string of 17 straight misses from beyond the arc. Two more late 3s, by Jamaal Hilliard and Jamaal Douglas, prevented Army from mounting a comeback in Lafayette's 66-49 win Sunday at Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Wednesday-Saturday format a better fit for Patriot
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
The Patriot League's current scheduling format -- featuring five weekend doubleheaders -- is in its second season. From what I'm hearing, the two-year experiment using travel partners won't be renewed, at least if the coaches and players are polled. Other than Holy Cross, which has a minimum three-hour drive to every league opponent, the remaining schools, I'm told, would prefer returning to the old Wednesday-Saturday setup. The players would rather give up Wednesday class time than lose Sundays, which they utilize to catch up on all their school work.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Hamilton helps Holy Cross earn a share of Patriot lead
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- If Holy Cross junior guard Keith Hamilton made his 22 points, six rebounds and three assists look easy in the Crusaders' 74-57 victory over Lafayette on Friday night, there's a good reason. Lafayette and few others in the Patriot League simply do not have anyone as talented as the player Hamilton faces in practice every day.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Crusaders too much for Leopards to handle
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Coming out of a timeout, Andrei Capusan turned to the Lafayette student section and raised his arms, imploring the fans to aid a comeback. The Leopards never allowed the crowd's excitement to build. Credit Holy Cross' offensive execution. Blame Lafayette's scrambling defense. Either way, the Leopards never produced enough stops to threaten the Crusaders, who cruised to a 74-57 Patriot League win Friday at Kirby Sports Center.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Dunphy leaves a parting shot
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
The University of Pennsylvania Quakers came to Kirby Sports Center last Tuesday and dealt Lafayette an 85-63 defeat in the Leopards' final non-league contest. Fran Dunphy's post-game press conference was winding down when the following question was posed to the veteran Penn coach and long-time friend and colleague of Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon: "Considering its youth and athleticism, how is this Lafayette team different than ones O'Hanlon has had in the past?" Dunphy's initial response was predictable. "I've watched a lot of film on Lafayette, especially the last couple of weeks, and I like their team. It is different (than past teams), but it is well-coached." End of answer? Not quite. Dunphy was just warming up.

Saturday, January 22, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Bison men struggle, but take over Patriot League league lead
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)/ By Tom Housenick
LEWISBURG -- Friday night's game went from a run to a walk, sometimes a crawl, in a hurry. Most of the crawling was to the free-throw line (43 combined fouls) or the other end of the court (41 turnovers) as Bucknell and Lafayette combined for just 40 field goals in the Patriot League contest at Sojka Pavilion. In fact, it kept Bison coach Pat Flannery in the lockerroom at halftime, again leaving assistant Nate Davis to take charge of the struggle. The game was a lot of things, but most importantly for Bucknell, it was a win, 71-53, in front of 3,502 fans. It was Bucknell's 10th win in a row and gives them sole possession of first place at 4-0, after Colgate beat visiting Lehigh (3-1), also Friday night.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Coach leaves at half for apparent health reason
The Patriot-News (Harisburg, Pa.)/ By David Jones
Basketball is a simple game. The goal is to score more than the opponent, and that is accomplished by making shots. LEWISBURG - Eleven months ago today, Pat Flannery left the bench at Bucknell's Sojka Pavillion in the first half of what would become a 50-point blowout of Army, afraid he was suffering a heart attack. He was hospitalized, underwent a battery of tests, missed two additional games and was eventually cleared of heart problems. The diagnosis was sketchy. According to Flannery and Bucknell officials, an acute gastrointestinal event was the conclusion. "It scared the crap out of me," said Flannery two weeks after the attack. "Until they got the nitroglycerine in me, I was seeing stars." Last night, Flannery again left the arena, this time at halftime of a 71-54 defeat of Lafayette.

Friday, January 21, 2005

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards looking to change spots
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
The week without games arrived at the right time. For three weeks the Lafayette women's basketball team did nothing but prepare for and play games. That left coach Tammy Smith little practice time to work with the Leopards on the basics of their new offense and defense. So even with her team in the midst of an 11-game losing streak, Smith has enjoyed the week without games. It has allowed her to focus on teaching dribble handoffs and backdoor cuts, a staple of Lafayette's work-in-progress offense. And it has given her a chance to reflect on where the Leopards are headed. Her message: Don't compare the 2004-05 Leopards to last year's team.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Van De Venter having an impact for Leopards
The Pocono Record/ By Pete Nevins
When Tammy Smith, Lafayette basketball coach, recruited Vanessa Van De Venter out of Pocono Mountain East High School, she says "I knew she would help us." Smith didn't realize, however, how much help the 6-foot forward from Tannersville would provide for the Leopards' basketball team. Although only a freshman, Van De Venter leads the squad in scoring with 10.6 points per game and is tied for the team lead in rebounding with 5.9 per contest.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: 10th annual sportsperson of the year to be selected (Mike Farrell '04 a finalist)
The News-Journal (Daytona Beach, Fla.)/ By Ed Plaisted
Basketball is a simple game. The goal is to score more than the opponent, and that is accomplished by making shots. Who will be selected The News-Journal's West Volusia Sportsperson for 2004? That question will be answered Monday night during an awards banquet for the 10th annual event at the DeBary Golf and Country Club. The Sportsperson program was created in 1995 to honor West Volusians from all walks of life for their positive contributions to local sports. A winner is selected each month by a blue-ribbon committee and honored at a luncheon at Wally & Julie's restaurant in DeLand.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Begley, Penn earn passes vs. Lafayette
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Guard Tim Begley, the University of Pennsylvania's leading scorer, made just one of his seven shot attempts and scored but three points Tuesday night against Lafayette. Yet, the shaggy-haired 6-foot-5 senior dominated the Quakers' 85-63 victory over the Leopards before 2,011 Kirby Sports Center spectators.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Quakers find the range, down Lafayette
Philadelphia Daily News/ By Mike Kern
EASTON - Sometimes, it's about evolution. In his first six games this season, Penn's Eric Osmundson was shooting just over 33 percent from the field and averaging 3.7 points. In his last seven games he's shooting a little better than 50 percent from the floor and averaging 14. Last night at Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center the junior guard tied a career high by scoring 20. Sometimes, it doesn't have to make any sense. In the last three games, the Quakers' Ibrahim Jaaber had made all but 11 of his 12 three-point attempts. For the season, he was 9-for-52, which computes to 17 percent. So naturally, the sophomore guard converted his first four from the arc against the Leopards, en route to a career-best 24 points.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Penn prevails on 2d-half surge
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Kevin Tatum
EASTON, Pa. - Ibby Jaaber scored a career-high 24 points and Tim Begley tied the school record for assists with 13 as Penn pulled away in the second half for a dominating 85-63 win over Lafayette in a nonleague basketball game last night.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Guards heat up at Lafayette
The Daily Pennsylvanian/ By Jeff Shafer
EASTON, Pa. -- Despite the frigid temperatures outside, Penn's perimeter shooters needed only two minutes to catch fire. Eric Osmundson set the tone with a trey and Ibby Jaaber followed suit as the Quakers rolled to an 85-63 victory over Lafayette last night at the Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Begley's points not essential
The Daily Pennsylvanian/ By Michael Gertner
It is important to see that the Quakers can win big against the teams they are supposed to defeat. But it is even more important to see that the Quakers can maintain their offensive attack without much contribution from their major scoring threat. Penn received a very balanced scoring effort against Lafayette last night, and it showed in the stats. The Red and Blue was able to tally its second-highest scoring output this season, and the team did it with only three points coming from senior Tim Begley. True, the Leopards were a more offensive-minded team, and seemed confused with Penn's inside cuts and high screens. But the Quakers were able to balance their attack with sufficient scoring from inside the paint as well as from three-point range.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Up-tempo half paves way for Penn rout
The Daily Pennsylvanian/ By Josh Hirsch
EASTON, Pa. -- With one half to go, the Penn men's basketball team led Lafayette 47-39, but they still had much to improve. The Leopards had been shooting 54.2 percent from the field, including going 5-of-8 from three-point range. Penn had turned the ball over nine times. Eight minutes and 14 seconds later, the Quakers led by 20, 63-43. They only committed three turnovers during the run while causing five, and held Lafayette to two field goals. They scored 16 points themselves on 6-for-11 shooting from the field.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette no match for Penn
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette knew what was coming, but could not stop the Penn Quakers Tuesday night. That's because the Quakers constantly scored off sharp cuts into the lane, dominated the boards, chalked up their share of steals and flew all over the Kirby Sports Center hardwood as if it were an airport runway. The pilot of Penn's attack was 6-6 senior guard Tim Begley, who tied a school record with 13 assists in leading the Quakers to an 85-63 non-league victory before a crowd of 2,011.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

FOOTBALL: Kats Release Flora and Royle
Basketball is a simple game. The goal is to score more than the opponent, and that is accomplished by making shots. NASHVILLE - The Nashville Kats waived defensive specialist Joey Flora and lineman Chris Royle on Tuesday as head coach Pat Sperduto trimmed the team's roster in order to meet the AFL league maximum of 24 active players by Sunday, January 23.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: M. Hoops looks to build off road win
The Daily Pennsylvanian/ By Jeff Fisher
Basketball is a simple game. The goal is to score more than the opponent, and that is accomplished by making shots. Penn has learned that the hard way over the past six games. During a five game losing streak, coach Fran Dunphy said the Quakers had been "playing relatively well," and attributes the losses to not making shots. In an 89-62 win at Siena, on the other hand, Penn was on fire from the outside, scoring a season-high point total and looking like a far different team from the poor shooting squad that had showed up the previous five games. "We haven't made any shots," Dunphy said. "And against Siena we made shots so it's a great equalizer when you can put the ball in the basket. Obviously we did that in Siena and hopefully we can do that again in Lafayette."

Sunday, January 16, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Clutch Shot By Ingram Lifts American
The Washington Post/ By Kathy Orton
With the score tied and time running out, American appeared on the brink of letting another game slip away. The Eagles had squandered a six-point lead in the final 30 seconds, but had possession with a chance to win. Andre Ingram got the ball, nearly lost it, then sank a jump shot from the right wing with one second remaining to lift the Eagles to a 76-74 victory over Lafayette at Bender Arena yesterday before 1,476.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh defense stands up tall
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
BETHLEHEM -- The reason for Lehigh's 63-55 Round 1 victory over rival Lafayette on Wednesday night at Stabler Arena was simple: the Mountain Hawks produced the game's last big defensive stand. Lehigh held the Leopards to zero points over the final 5:05 of the first half. Then, when they were trailing 53-49 with 6:07 to go, Billy Taylor's crew handcuffed Lafayette and threw away the key.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: DePalo has Lehigh off to notable start
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
EASTON -- Over the past decade, Sue Troyan has never had a faster start to a college basketball season. Which is why Lehigh University's 10th-year women's basketball coach is ready to declare the 2004-05 Mountain Hawks her best team. "It probably is, since I've been here," Troyan said. "I don't know about most talented, but it's a team that's got great chemistry and got senior leadership." "It's very special for us," senior Jess DePalo said. "This is the closest, I think, our team has ever been." While both talked about unity and togetherness, it was DePalo who turned Lehigh's 58-48 Patriot League victory over archrival Lafayette into a one-woman show Tuesday night at Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh 'D' dumps Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Neither Lehigh nor Lafayette won style points on offense, but they might have impressed a boxing promoter with the way they battled in their first Patriot League meeting of the season Wednesday night in Stabler Arena. In one fierce second-half flurry, Lehigh's Nick Monserez and Lafayette's Bilal Abdullah blocked shots so hard that their victims agonized in pain on the floor for a short time before slowly rising. But Lehigh had more handcuffs. Led by junior transfer guard Joe Knight, the Mountain Hawks ball-hawked the Leopards, holding them to just two points over the final 5:03. The tough defense enabled Lehigh to pull out a 63-55 victory before a crowd of 2,675.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lehigh, Lafayette men meet tonight for 201st time
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Perhaps the person who makes up the Patriot League schedule overlooked the fact that Lehigh and Lafayette are two neighboring teams with a storied rivalry. Otherwise, the first league meeting between the two would not have been scheduled for 8 tonight at Stabler Arena while both school's student bodies are still on semester breaks. The women's matchup between Lehigh (9-4, 1-0) and Lafayette (2-11, 0-1) will be played at 5:30 p.m. at Kirby Sports Center in Easton. That game had traditionally been part of a doubleheader with the men's game until the league changed its formats for men's and women's games following last season.

Monday, January 10, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette and Lehigh were ready, after all
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Lehigh faded in the second half. Lafayette never made it out of the starting block. Momentum? Who needs momentum? Lafayette's and Lehigh's final non-league tune-ups last Tuesday did not portend what was to come in Saturday afternoon's Patriot League openers. Both teams exuded confidence early last week and claimed they were ready for Saturday's league openers. They proved to be right despite suffering ugly losses last Tuesday -- Lehigh 55-45 to Cornell and Lafayette 79-64 to St. Francis (N.Y.).

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lange makes sure Navy doesn't have sinking feeling
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
The excitement is slowly returning to Navy basketball. Though the Midshipmen's 4-9 start has included a 75-69 loss to Division III Gettysburg on Dec. 18 in Annapolis, first-year coach Billy Lange is not discouraged. A stale offense was the main reason the Midshipmen compiled a 23-63 record the last three seasons, but they now lead the Patriot League in scoring at 70.4 points per game. That's a drastic improvement from the next-to-last 56.2 points they averaged while going just 2-12 in league play last season. The problem is Navy surrenders a league-high 77.6 points per game, seven more points than it allowed last season. Navy has allowed 90 or more points three times, including Saturday in a 90-80 loss to Lafayette at Kirby Sports Center.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards win on Douglas' career game
The Express-Times/ By Paul Sokoloski
EASTON -- The worst fear of Navy's new basketball coach Billy Lange came true Saturday. And it led Lafayette straight to an opening-day victory in the Patriot League. Using superior strength and unbridled determination under the basket, Jamaal Douglas cut loose for career highs of 18 points and 17 rebounds, and Sean Knitter added 12 points in key stretches as the Leopards lashed Navy 90-80 at Kirby Sports Center.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette overpowers Navy, 90-80
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
The real Patriot League games began Saturday. For Lafayette, no more top-25 teams like Louisville and Georgia Tech, both of whom drubbed the Leopards by more than 30 points. Lafayette will now only play teams more on its level, but those teams are more familiar with the Leopards, and they made be more scrappy. That's what Navy tried to do, but the Midshipmen couldn't slow Jamaal Douglas and the Leopards. Douglas was too potent in the lane, posting career highs in points and rebounds to lead the Leopards to a 90-80 victory in the Patriot League opener for both teams at Kirby Sports Center.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: O'Connor continues his education at Georgia Tech
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
ATLANTA | For the first time in his life, John O'Connor is far away from Philly cheesesteaks and the City of Brotherly Love, in which he grew up. His living situations, not to mention diet, are much different these days. His job as Georgia Tech's director of basketball operations is also much different than the job he held the previous three years, that of being the top assistant coach at Lafayette College.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards commit 37 costly turnovers in loss
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- If the Lafayette College women's basketball team can achieve any respectable level of offensive proficiency, watch out. Until then, the Leopards will continue to struggle like they did Monday night in a 61-50 non-league loss to Howard, which dropped them to 2-8.

Monday, January 3, 2005

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards putting pieces together
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- With only one other non-league game remaining before the Patriot League season starts this Saturday, Lafayette College senior forward Sean Knitter said it was imperative the Leopards beat Columbia on Sunday afternoon. Knitter emerged from a scramble under the basket to put in the go-ahead field goal with 30 seconds remaining, and Lafayette held on for a confidence-boosting 65-62 triumph over the Lions before 1,877 in Kirby Sports Center.

Friday, December 31, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette rewards Tavani with deal that runs through 2010
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
EASTON -- An historic football season at Lafayette College got even better Thursday for Leopards coach Frank Tavani. The man chosen to resurrect football in the aftermath of a study by the college to examine the future of its athletic program, was rewarded with a contract extension that will keep him on the Leopards' sideline through the 2010 season.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards' solid start melts into a rout at Georgia Tech
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
ATLANTA | The speed and leaping ability of No. 9 Georgia Tech was unlike anything Lafayette College contends with in the Patriot League. But for 29 minutes Tuesday night, the Leopards were not overwhelmed by the Yellow Jackets. Lafayette actually held a four-point lead in the first half and trailed by just eight points with 11:24 remaining. The rest of the non-league game, however, was just a blur. Georgia Tech stepped up on both ends of the hardwood to dismantle the Leopards 92-58 before a near-capacity crowd of 9,191 at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Morrow shoots his way to career-high night - requires registration
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution/ By Rana L. Cash
Anthony Morrow has a constant reminder for Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt: "I'm a shooter. I'm a shooter," Morrow says. Tuesday night, he proved it once again. The freshman swingman poured in a career-best 20 points --hitting 6-of-9 from 3-point range -- to help lift No. 9 Tech to a 92-58 victory over Lafayette at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

MEN'S BASKETBALL: It's Betleys all around as Lafayette pulls away
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette's 73-56 victory over visiting Moravian on Wednesday night was more than a college basketball game between two local schools. With three Betleys on the court at the same time and the son of Lafayette's greatest scorer wearing a Moravian uniform, the game took on the feel of a family affair, much to the delight of the 1,225 Kirby Sports Center spectators. "There were a lot of interesting stories out there, weren't there?" offered Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon. "I wonder if this is the first time Tracy Tripucka rooted against Lafayette."

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette trounces Moravian for non-league win
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
For the first six minutes of the first half, Division III Moravian was taking it to Division I Lafayette Wednesday night at Kirby Sports Center. Jumpers were falling, turnovers were being forced, and the Greyhounds had a five-point lead. The talent disparity then set in as Lafayette went on a 17-0 run and stayed in control in easily winning, 73-56. It was the first meeting between the two college's since 1989 and Greyhounds veteran coach Jim Walker isn't in a rush to set up another game soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards survive in overtime
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- When is one win more important than another? Put Monday night's 95-89 overtime conquest of Cal State Northridge in the category of a potential season-maker for the young Lafayette Leopards. The essentially same Matador team drilled last season's more experienced Leopards by 23 points. At the time, members of Fran O'Hanlon's team proclaimed CS Northridge to possess more athletic talent than Southern California, the other team to beat the Leopards during their two-game California swing over the Christmas break

Sunday, December 5, 2004

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Cardinals leave Leopards seeing spots, 98-57
The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.)/ By Brian Bennett
Late in the first half of the University of Louisville basketball team's home opener against Lafayette yesterday, fans were treated to this special Colombian blend: First Juan Diego Palacios hit a turnaround jumper in the lane. About a minute later he got loose for a layup. Then he pulled down a rebound, dribbled to midcourt and threw a 25-foot bounce pass to Perrin Johnson for a dunk attempt. The sequence had little effect on the outcome, which UofL (4-1) decided in a hurry by zipping out to a 17-1 lead on its way to a 98-57 victory. Still, a breakout performance by Palacios was encouraging news for the depleted Cardinals and the 18,398 fans in Freedom Hall.

Friday, December 3, 2004

FOOTBALL: No. Highlands grad passing all the tests
The Record (Bergen, N.J.)/ By John Rowe
The next time the NCAA is looking for an athlete to feature in one of its television spots, it should recruit Stephen Bono. Lafayette College's 6-foot-3, 275-pound offensive guard from Upper Saddle River is the perfect student-athlete. Bono completed his college football career Saturday when the Leopards lost to defending Division I-AA national champion Delaware, 28-14, spoiling Lafayette's first-ever playoff appearance. On and off the field, however, Bono has been a winner.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette on target to maintain its success
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
With Lafayette College's football season extending a week longer than normal this year, coach Frank Tavani hasn't had time to reflect on the 2004 season. He won't until the week of Christmas, a silent period for recruiting. Tavani and his staff have spent the past three days prepping for recruiting trips, something they normally do the week after their annual clash with Lehigh. This season, the Leopards spent the week after their win over the Mountain Hawks preparing for the first NCAA Division I-AA playoff game in program history. That game, a 28-14 loss Saturday to defending national champion Delaware, ended a season in which the Leopards won a share of the Patriot League title and finished 8-4 overall. So Tavani doesn't mind that his recruiting prep work was compressed.

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Drexel turns up the volume
The Express-Times/ By John Bruns
EASTON -- Playing with four senior starters last season, Lafayette lost only twice at Kirby Sports Center. Often playing with one senior and up to three or four freshmen, the Leopards already are 0-2 this season at Kirby after dropping a 78-67 decision to visiting Drexel on Tuesday night. Now all the young Leopards, 1-3 with three straight losses after winning their opener at Duquesne, have to do is prepare to play at 17th-ranked Louisville on Saturday. Taking command in the second half, Drexel won its first game after suffering road losses at Penn and Rider. Playing without their top returning scorer, Sean Brooks, the Dragons got a career game from Phil Goss, who scored 26 points, including five 3-pointers. Jeremiah King finished with 17 points on 5-of-6 shooting that included 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, and Chaz Crawford chipped in with 10 points.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Drexel's Goss leads Dragons to first win
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Mel Greenberg
EASTON, Pa. - Drexel did not have to improvise much inside last night due to the absence of forward Sean Brooks. Senior guard Phil Goss compensated nicely on the outside with a career-high 26 points to propel the Dragons to a 78-67 victory over Lafayette at the Kirby Sports Center, its first win this season. Goss shot a little better than 50 percent from the field, going 9 for 17. That included a 5-for-11 effort on three-point shots that moved him into third place on Drexel's career list with 236.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards meet another quality foe, lose another game
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette may be in for a long and frustrating season. And the Leopards' 78-67 non-league loss to Drexel Tuesday night at Kirby Sports Center may not be the worst of their woes. The Leopards (1-3) still have to play at No. 17 Louisville in the Cardinals' home opener Saturday and at No. 4 Georgia Tech Dec. 28. Following a season-opening win at Duquesne of the Atlantic 10, Lafayette has now lost three straight. However, they succumbed Tuesday to a Dragons team that is considered a contender for the Colonial Athletic Association title and lost to Ivy League favorite Princeton 40-38 on Saturday in Easton. ''We are playing good teams,'' said Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon. ''We are going to play one of the national favorites. We just have to get better.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

FOOTBALL: Tigers even record with low-scoring win over Leopards
The Princeton Packet (Princeton, N.J.)/ By Bob Nuse
EASTON, Pa. -- Joe Scott isn't overly concerned that his Princeton University men's basketball team managed just 40 points in its win over Lafayette on Saturday. What matters most to the first-year head coach is what his team did on the defensive end. The Tigers challenged every shot, limited the Leopards to 15-for-43 shooting, and came away with a 40-38 win to even their record at 2-2. "It was a pretty hard-fought game and I thought both teams played extremely hard," said Scott, whose team will be back in action Wednesday night at Holy Cross. "Fran (O'Hanlon) does a great job preparing his team and getting them to play hard. I'm most happy with our defense. All we've been working on in practice is defense. We've even forsaken working on our offense to work on the defense, with the understanding that we need to do that to win."

Monday, November 29, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards have come long way quickly
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
NEWARK, Del. | As they sat in the Bob Carpenter Center for their postgame press conference, Lafayette seniors John-Frank Stubits and Joe McCourt patted one another on the shoulders. The gesture was as much about acknowledging what their class accomplished over the last four years as it was about consoling one another following a 28-14 loss to Delaware in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. No football team in Lafayette history played a postseason game before the 2004 Leopards did Saturday. That it took the Blue Hens, the defending national champions, 57 minutes to vanquish the Leopards added to the resume of Lafayette's seniors. Before Saturday, Lafayette's 14 seniors helped the Leopards win a share of the Patriot League title for the first time since 1994. They also posted the most wins since the Class of 1995, which won 24 games and two Patriot League titles from 1991 to 1994.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

FOOTBALL: Delaware Closes Out Lafayette With Hard Hit Near End of Game
The New York Times/ By Dave Caldwell
NEWARK, Del., Nov. 27 - Delaware linebacker Mondoe Davis has his own cheering section. It covers most of Delaware Stadium. He makes a tackle, his name is announced over the loudspeaker, and the fans on each side sing out, "Mondo-o-o-o-e." Davis made 14 tackles as the Blue Hens opened defense of their N.C.A.A. Division I-AA national title with a 28-14 victory over Lafayette on Saturday. No tackle was as big as the one he made as the Leopards threatened to tie the score with three minutes left. On second down from the Delaware 15-yard line, Delaware cornerback Sidney Haugabrook hit Lafayette quarterback Brad Maurer on a draw play. That hit loosened Maurer's grip, then Davis slammed into Maurer and knocked the ball free.

FOOTBALL: Delaware ends Lafayette's season
The Philadelphia Inquirer/ By Ron Reid
NEWARK, Del. - For more than 57 minutes through a cold and sunless afternoon, Delaware and Lafayette battled each other with great intensity and erratic execution yesterday in a first-round matchup of the Division I-AA playoffs. Long gainers on offense would usher in no-gainers. Sacks were prelude to 20-yard completions, with inconsistency the norm on both sides of the ball. So it both stunned and delighted most of the 13,707 partisan fans in Delaware Stadium when the game was decided in their favor by a late Lafayette fumble. The big turnover of the day ended in Garron Bible's 87-yard fumble return for a touchdown inside the final three minutes. The play by the senior free safety gave Delaware a 28-14 victory that will send the defending I-AA champion (9-3) to William and Mary next week. It also ended the hopes of a courageous Lafayette team, playing its eighth game on the road and finishing its season at 8-4.

FOOTBALL: Leopards proud of the effort
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEWARK, Del. -- Coach Frank Tavani and players Joe McCourt, John-Frank Stubits, Maurice Bennett and Brad Maurer all came into Saturday's postgame press conference with red eyes, but they were all proud of the team's performance in the 28-14 loss to Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. Seniors McCourt and Stubits played their final games in a Leopard uniform. McCourt leaves as the program's career all-purpose yardage (5,631) and scoring leader (326 points). Stubits was a significant defensive contributor for three seasons before switching over to tight end as a senior. He scored his first career touchdown, a 3-yard pass in the second quarter. They were recruited after Tavani's first team went 2-9 and they endured a 2-8 season as freshmen. Since then, the Leopards have posted seasons of 7-5, 5-6 and 8-4, with a Patriot League co-championship and the school's first playoff appearance this fall as their ultimate legacy.

FOOTBALL: Fumble return in closing minutes turns away upset-minded Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEWARK, Del. -- Don't be fooled by the final margin of Delaware's 28-14 victory Saturday over Lafayette. The Leopards nearly shocked the college football world in their first NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearance. They took the defending national champion Blue Hens down to the wire before losing the first-round matchup before a partisan crowd of 13,707 at Delaware Stadium. Lafayette was 12 yards away from scoring a tying touchdown with a little more than three minutes to go in the game when sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer tried to find running room around right end on a designed draw play.

FOOTBALL: Laubach: Lafayette's back, ahead of schedule
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
An assistant college coach was out sowing fertile December recruiting ground in central Pennsylvania the day his school suddenly pulled the plug on its proud football program. If Frank Tavani didn't consider himself a lame duck then, in 1998, he certainly did the following November when his boss, Bill Russo, announced during the week of the season-ending game with Lehigh that he was giving up Lafayette's head coaching job. As Russo's top aide, Tavani sensed he, too, was history after 13 years on the Leopards' sideline.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Princeton hangs on to defeat Leopards in defensive struggle
The Express-Times/ By Tom Hinkel
EASTON -- Limiting your opponent to 10 field goals in a college basketball game gives you a good chance of winning. Unless the opponent happens to be Princeton. The Tigers roared into Lafayette's Kirby Sports Center with their usual cast of blue collar athletes Saturday afternoon and escaped with a hard-fought 40-38 victory over the Leopards before a crowd of 2,431. Lafayette (1-2) had a chance to tie and possibly win in the final seconds, but sophomore guard Marcus Harley missed a pair of desperation shots before the buzzer.

FOOTBALL: In defeat, Lafayette stands tall - Leopards prove they can play with I-AA's big boys
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Martin Frank and Kevin Tresolini
NEWARK -- There were no tears from Lafayette over a tough 28-14 loss to Delaware in the first round of the playoffs. Quite the contrary. The Leopards were ecstatic, knowing that, even by losing, they made a statement that heavily favored Delaware and certainly the rest of the Patriot League heard loud and clear. The statement is that Lafayette has turned the corner and is ready to be a Patriot League contender in the years to come, just like its perennial rival, Lehigh. "Not too many people gave us a chance," Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said. "People said we couldn't even compete in the Patriot League. ... But we beat the No. 8 [team in the country in Lehigh last week], and we certainly didn't embarrass ourselves here." The Hens found that out. They prepared for a relentless Lafayette running game behind Joe McCourt and instead got a passing attack that the Leopards hadn't shown all season.

FOOTBALL: Hens find way to survive - Late-game heroics end Lafayette's upset dreams
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Kevin Tresolini
NEWARK -- Despite its status as an old hand at postseason football, the University of Delaware found itself in an unusual state of vulnerability Saturday against Johnny-come-lately Lafayette. Had a week of warnings not to take the Patriot Leaguers lightly been unheeded? Had whispers about the Blue Hens' presumed supremacy been incorrectly accepted as fact? "We heard things like that," said Mondoe Davis, Delaware's perceptive middle linebacker. "We didn't take that mentality, and it paid off because, if we did, we would have lost the game." Lafayette showed it certainly did belong in its NCAA Division I-AA playoff debut at Delaware Stadium. But only Delaware remained in the hunt for the national title after pulling out a hair-raising 28-14 win over the Leopards in a first-round game of the 16-team tournament.

FOOTBALL: Fan asks for big play; UD answers
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Doug Lesmerises
NEWARK -- Daryl Brown, Class of 1994, the leading rusher in University of Delaware football history, was just another fan in the stands at Delaware Stadium on Saturday. After Lafayette, driving for the tying score, converted a fourth-and-21 pass to the 12-yard-line late in the fourth quarter, he was just another worried fan. So, he asked for a favor. "Mondoe, give us a turnover," Brown said to his friend Jon Council. "We've been screaming your name all day. We need you now, Mondoe." Senior linebacker Mondoe Davis couldn't hear Brown. But he delivered anyway. Two plays after Blue Hens fans began bracing themselves for possible overtime, Leopard quarterback Brad Maurer took off on a draw. As he skittered toward the sideline, cornerback Sidney Haugabrook hit him low. Davis, chasing him on an angle, hit him high. Out came the ball, which bounced into the arms of safety Garron Bible. Bible sprinted down the sideline for an 87-yard touchdown and a 28-14 win in the Division I-AA playoff game. And that sick feeling in the stomachs of so many Blue Hen fans evaporated.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Defense rescues Princeton
The Times (Trenton, N.J.)/ By Craig Haley
EASTON, Pa. - Freshman Noah Savage laughs at how in the preseason Princeton basketball coach Joe Scott never told him he would begin his career as a starter. All Savage knew was that he kept being told to wear a first-team black jersey in practice. Eventually, Savage figured out his good fortune. Now Princeton is learning the benefit of starting the 6-foot-5 forward from the Hun School. The Tigers have focused so much on learning their new matchup zone that the offense has suffered - enough so that it needs Savage's outside shooting. Savage's 13 points at Lafayette yesterday not only was his second straight career-high, but it was the game-high as the Tigers' defense rescued the offense in a 40-38 victory.

FOOTBALL: Gifted and grounded: Maurer handles playoff loss with grace
The Morning Call/ By Mark Wogenrich
NEWARK, Del. | After fumbling away Lafayette's chance at the unthinkable, quarterback Brad Maurer picked himself up, patted the Blue Hens on the back and went about the rest of his evening. He even smiled. ''In Spanish there's a slang verb, torear, meaning 'to do the bullfight move,' to handle everything that comes at you gracefully, and look good doing it,'' Sidney Donnell, Maurer's Spanish professor at Lafayette, said recently. ''That's Brad.'' Boy, does this kid have it all together. He waved a red cape at Delaware for 33/4 quarters, bringing the Leopards to within 11 yards of tying the score against the defending NCAA Division I-AA champ in their first postseason football game in school history. And then... Maurer found himself racing toward the inevitable, 20 yards behind Delaware's Garron Bible, who returned Maurer's late fourth-quarter fumble 87 yards for a touchdown. Lightning struck Lafayette's season to a close, 28-14.

FOOTBALL: Delaware's Bible writes last verse in 28-14 victory
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
NEWARK, Del. | Brad Maurer lay helpless on the ground, the ball squirting out of his arms after Delaware's Sidney Haugabrook and Mondoe Davis converged on him. Garron Bible benefited, scooping up the ball with nothing but empty grass in front of him.Bible then derailed Lafayette's dream season by racing 87 yards. When he reached the end zone with 2:56 to play, he clinched Delaware's 28-14 win over the Leopards in the opening round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. The Blue Hens (9-3 overall) advanced to the Division I-AA quarterfinals against William & Mary, a 42-35 winner over Hampton. Lafayette (8-4) finished one of the best seasons in school history knowing it came within minutes of beating the defending national champions.

Saturday, November 27, 2004

FOOTBALL: McCourt, Lafayette know what's ahead
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEWARK, Del. -- Lafayette went through its final dress rehearsal Friday for its NCAA Division I-AA playoff debut this afternoon against defending national champion Delaware. Kickoff for the first-round game at 22,000-seat Tubby Raymond Field at Delaware Stadium is 3:05 p.m. A crowd of at least 15,000 is expected, and the game will be televised live by RCN-4 and WBPH-60. Coach Frank Tavani's squad, wearing gray sweatsuits and helmets, ran through a one-hour session on practice fields adjacent to the stadium. The Leopards weren't allowed to practice on the stadium turf because the grounds crew just had completed spraying down the yard markers and sidelines. Tavani did walk the team over to the stadium and gathered the Leopards at midfield for a final word. "Tomorrow," the Patriot League Coach of the Year said, "this is where we start playing for the national championship." The 24th-ranked Leopards (8-3) are the league's representatives in the playoffs. No. 10 Delaware (8-3), the Atlantic 10 Conference co-champion, received an at-large bid and will be playing in its 10th straight home playoff game, not counting its appearance against Colgate in the national championship game last year in Chattanooga, Tenn.

FOOTBALL: McCourt gets chance, runs with it for Lafayette
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Kevin Tresolini
Joe McCourt can identify with the nobody-gives-us-a-chance attitude that has motivated his Lafayette College football team. McCourt was a football, basketball and baseball standout at Philadelphia's Roman Catholic High. He had some collegiate opportunities in baseball, but football was his passion. "There's no sport better than football," he said. And to McCourt, there was no position better than running back. But the schools that recruited him most diligently - Villanova, Lehigh and Buffalo - wanted him to play defense. Only one thought he could play running back, which is why he went to Lafayette. The Leopards were right. McCourt, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound senior, comes into Lafayette's playoff debut against Delaware today with 4,431 career yards, No. 2 on Lafayette's all-time list.

FOOTBALL: Raymond recalls loss to Leopards
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Kevin Tresolini
NEWARK -- Leave it to the coach who won 300 games, ninth most in college football history, to remember one that got away. Tubby Raymond was still a University of Delaware assistant coach under Dave Nelson when Middle Atlantic Conference rival Lafayette visited Delaware Stadium on a sunny day on Oct. 11, 1958, that attracted 5,181 fans. Asked what he remembered about UD-Lafayette meetings, that one stuck out. "Dave was on the rules committee and that was the year they put the two-point conversion in," said Raymond, who replaced Nelson in 1966 and coached UD through 2001. "Our first game that year we'd lost to Lehigh 8-7 because they scored the last touchdown and went for two. When we played Lafayette [two weeks later], we weren't going to let that happen again."

Friday, November 26, 2004

FOOTBALL: Tavani's Leopards fighting long odds
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
The Lafayette College football team that will meet defending champion Delaware in the opening round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday afternoon at Delaware Stadium believes anything is possible. No one gave the Leopards a chance to win the Patriot League. Frank Tavani's 8-3 squad tied Lehigh for the league crown despite being predicted to finish fifth out of seven teams in the preseason poll. Nearly everyone picked Lehigh, then No. 8 in the I-AA Top 25, to defeat the Leopards last Saturday. Instead, it was Lafayette putting a 24-10 hurting on the Mountain Hawks to earn the league's automatic playoff bid. Now, the newly-anointed 24th-ranked Leopards face their biggest challenge of the season. Again, no one's giving them a snowball's chance in hell of upsetting the 10th-ranked Blue Hens (8-3), coached by Emmaus native K.C. Keeler.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette stays put on holiday
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Members of the Lafayette College football team will be home for Christmas, but moms and dads will not be able to count on them for Thanksgiving dinner. Instead, the newly-minted 25th-ranked Leopards will be on campus today preparing for their first-ever NCAA Division I-AA playoff appearance Saturday afternoon at defending champion Delaware. Kickoff for the nationally-televised contest at Delaware Stadium is 3:05 p.m. "I can go home anytime, but you never know when you'll go to the playoffs again," said sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer of Loveland, Ohio.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette football back on its feet
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Kevin Tresolini
The fear that Lafayette College's football program could be de-emphasized or dropped entirely, though not likely, was enough to realize how important it was to the Leopards' followers. Six years later, Lafayette has rewarded itself for the faith and greater commitment it showed in football. When the Leopards come to Delaware Stadium on Saturday, it'll be their first appearance in the NCAA Division I-AA football playoffs, which were launched in 1973. In Delaware, making its 18th NCAA appearance since then, they encounter an opponent of significant pedigree. Yet, it's a challenge they welcome and for which they have strived against some difficult odds. Defending I-AA champion Delaware, ranked No. 10 nationally, and No. 25-ranked Lafayette both bring 8-3 records into the 3 p.m. game. "This is a dream come true, a dream come true," Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette having too much fun to let down now
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Maurice Bennett was hoping to see his high school, George Washington of the Philadelphia Public League, play its first-ever PIAA football playoff game tonight against Easton. His schedule won't allow it. Bennett has a different first to attend to, one he has worked toward for three years. It's so important to him that he's spending Thanksgiving at school instead of with his family. This afternoon, Bennett, a junior, will line up at middle linebacker for Lafayette (8-3) in the first NCAA Division I-AA playoff game in school history. And he'll do so against a team -- defending-national champion Delaware (8-3) -- that told him he couldn't play at this level. Kickoff is 3:05 p.m. at Delaware Stadium.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

FOOTBALL: Tavani's Leopards go deep to secure NCAA playoff bid
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- There was a time not too long ago when an injury sent a tidal wave through the Lafayette College football program. Sometimes, depending on the position, coach Frank Tavani was forced to pull a player over from the other side of the ball to fill the vacancy. This didn't happen in the offseason; it occurred in midweek. Not anymore for the NCAA Division I-AA playoff-bound Lafayette Leopards. Depth beyond the first-string players is one the main reasons why the Leopards have been able to rise from the ashes of consecutive two-win seasons to go 20-14 over the last three years and share the Patriot League crown this fall. Not only is there depth, there is no drop-off in production.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

FOOTBALL: Stubits contributing despite change in role
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Consider these two weekend sports scenes: On Friday night, Ron Artest and fellow members of the Indiana Pacers jumped into the stands to duke it out with Detroit Pistons fans, setting off the ugliest brawl in NBA history. On Saturday afternoon, John-Frank Stubits looked up into the home stands at Fisher Field as the seconds ticked down to the end of Lafayette's 24-10 football victory over Lehigh and thought, "Wow!" Stubits, a senior tight end from Nazareth Area High School, understands playing football for Lafayette College is a privilege and not the entitlement some professional athletes take their situations to be. Stubits had every right to be an angry young man when the Lafayette coaching staff moved him from linebacker, where he had been an off-and-on starter for two years, to tight end this season. Chad Walker was the No. 1 tight end so Stubits usually played only in two-tight-end sets. But Stubits remained a positive contributor this season -- he was one of four captains as a junior -- and now gets to play at least one more game. Lafayette, representing the Patriot League, meets Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday in Newark, Del.

FOOTBALL: Blue Hens driven after early setback
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Kevin Tresolini
NEWARK -- From disappointment and failure often springs satisfaction and accomplishment. In the University of Delaware football team's case, such seeds were planted Sept. 2 in a humbling 24-21 loss to New Hampshire in the season opener at Delaware Stadium. "We are not playing today if it wasn't for that New Hampshire game," UD coach K.C. Keeler said Monday. Perhaps still preening from its 2003 Division I-AA title, Delaware, ranked No. 1 nationally at the time, was jolted into realizing how difficult a return to the playoffs would be. Another loss nearly followed the next week against Towson. But the Blue Hens got back to the playoffs with an 8-3 record, overcoming back-to-back losses to I-A Navy and James Madison by winning their last two, over Richmond and Villanova. They shared the Atlantic 10 championship with JMU and William & Mary, giving them their first repeat conference titles since 1991-92. No. 10-ranked Delaware plays No. 25 Lafayette on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. at Delaware Stadium in the first round of the 16-team tournament.

Monday, November 22, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette draws a different bird
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette College's first appearance ever in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs will be against defending national champion Delaware. The Patriot League champion Leopards (8-3) will travel to Newark, Del., on Saturday to meet the 11th-ranked Blue Hens (8-3), co-champions of the Atlantic 10 South Division and coached by Emmaus native K.C. Keeler. Kickoff is 3:05 p.m. The game will be televised live by CSTV. Lafayette earned the Patriot League's automatic playoff bid by defeating Lehigh 24-10 on Saturday to gain a share of the league crown with the Mountain Hawks. The Leopards secured the bid based on the league's head-to-head tiebreaker criteria.

FOOTBALL: They're in: Now Hens hope to repeat
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Martin Frank
NEWARK -- At first, there was anticipation, with the University of Delaware football team gathered Sunday at the Trabant Student Center, watching a large-screen TV to see who it would play in the Division I-AA playoffs. But after the first eight teams were announced in the 16-team tournament on ESPNews, that feeling changed to nervousness when the Blue Hens had yet to be called. Then the commercial teaser said, "Delaware won the title last year. Will they get the chance to do it this year?" The few minutes of commercials seemed like an eternity to senior cornerback Sidney Haugabrook. Finally, the suspense ended at 1:15 p.m. and UD found out it had made the playoffs, and that it will face Lafayette College at 3:05 p.m. Saturday in the first round at Delaware Stadium. The game will be televised by College Sports Television, though the local affiliate has not been determined.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette matchup stirs up memories
The News Journal (Wilmington, Del.)/ By Martin Frank
NEWARK -- The circumstances might be similar, with the University of Delaware football team hosting a playoff game for the second straight year against a team that is unfamiliar with postseason play. But UD coach K.C. Keeler didn't want to hear that about Lafayette, the Blue Hens' first-round opponent Saturday in the Division I-AA playoffs. Not after the Leopards beat arch-rival Lehigh 24-10 in the 140th meeting between the two schools Saturday in order to get the Patriot League's automatic bid. And not after Lafayette has rebuilt its program from the possibility of extinction six years ago. Fifth-year coach Frank Tavani went 2-8 in 2001. Lafayette is 20-14 since then. "Right now, Lafayette's belief is a simple one," Keeler said. "They just got done winning a ballgame that no one thought they could win. So they're feeling like why can't they do it again. I'm sure they're approaching it like, 'OK, who's next?' "I don't think the defending national champions moniker across our chest means a whole lot to them." Still, it is the Leopards' first-ever appearance in the playoffs, which is similar to Delaware's opponent last year when it hosted Southern Illinois in the first round. Southern Illinois was making its first appearance in the playoffs in 20 years.

FOOTBALL: Leopards headed to Delaware
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
With empty pizza boxes and soda bottles littering their tables, Lafayette's football players sat awaiting word on their playoff destination. Several commercials and the unveiling of two brackets on ESPNews kept the Leopards in suspense until 1:20 p.m. Sunday. When Lafayette's pairing finally flashed on the projection screen, cheers filled Pfenning Alumni Center. The Leopards will open the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs Saturday at Delaware, the defending national champion. The Blue Hens, who play in the Atlantic 10, were one of eight teams to receive at-large bids into the 16-team playoffs. Lafayette didn't have to sweat out the selection show after securing an automatic playoff berth with Saturday's 24-10 Patriot League win over Lehigh. But with the Leopards preparing for the first postseason game in program history, everyone in the room was anxious to discover their opponent.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

FOOTBALL: Let's dance - Leopards jar Lehigh to capture I-AA berth
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Two Patriot League champions walked off Fisher Field on Saturday afternoon. Only the Lafayette Leopards felt like winners. Lafayette shocked Lehigh with 24 unanswered points in the second half to soundly thump the Mountain Hawks 24-10 in the 140th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry. The victory, before a sellout crowd of 13,750, enabled the Leopards to tie Lehigh for the Patriot League championship with a 5-1 record. More importantly, the win puts Frank Tavani's 8-3 team in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in school history with the league's automatic bid.

FOOTBALL: Fierro: Bono huge in Tavani's master plan
The Express-Times/ By Nick Fierro
So much of football is visualization. The plays last 3, 4, 5 seconds, but the time between them can be an eternity, especially in practice. So Lafayette senior co-captain Stephen Bono and his teammates on the offensive line mostly just kept picturing all week how they were going to exploit Lehigh's undersized defense and eventually wear it down enough to beat their archrivals for the Patriot League title. Never did they imagine what would unfold Saturday. The line pummeled Lehigh into submission, clearing the way for the Leopards to run for 284 yards on a staggering 54 carries and for quarterback Brad Maurer to complete 11-of-21 passes for 108 more yards. Lafayette wound up with a 37:02 to 22:58 advantage in time of possession, nearly doubled Lehigh in first downs (25 to 13), converted four fourth downs in five attempts and won the game 24-10.

FOOTBALL: 'Black' day for Leopards leads to a much brighter tomorrow
The Express-Times/ By Michael Blouse and Corky Blake
EASTON -- Saturday was the perfect day for Frank Tavani's Lafayette Leopards. Their long list of accomplishments is impressive: 1. Lafayette beat Lehigh 24-10 before 13,750 fans at Fisher Field in the 140th meeting of college football's most-played rivalry. 2. Lafayette claimed a share of its first Patriot League championship since 1994. 3. Lafayette qualified for the Division I-AA playoffs by earning the league's automatic berth. "Oh man, it's excellent," cornerback Tye Murphy said in the middle of a wild celebration at midfield that included coaches, players and fans. "We kept with our theme of one goal at a time all year and kept working real hard. I couldn't have dreamed of any scenario better than today. We're a team this year, and it's made all the difference." And the season isn't over.

FOOTBALL: Stovall's 'trip' helps earn a trip
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When asked where they would like to play their NCAA Division I-AA playoff opener, most of the Lafayette Leopards offered the stock we-don't-care answer. Sophomore linebacker Justin Stovall differed. He wanted to go home. ''I want to go to Florida,'' said Stovall, a native of Melbourne. The Leopards will discover their destination this afternoon when the NCAA unveils the Division I-AA bracket. They owe Stovall for helping them get wherever they're going. While Lafayette's offense dominated the day in the Leopards' 24-10 win over Lehigh, it wouldn't have had the chance without Stovall, who contributed three momentum-changing plays. He forced two fumbles and converted a fake punt as Lafayette secured a share of the Patriot League title and the football program's first-ever NCAA playoff berth.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette rolls over Lehigh
The Morning Call/ By Keith Groller
The theme of Lafayette's 2004 football season is ''Pride, Purpose, Passion.'' And now, the Leopards can add one more word that begins with the letter P -- playoffs. That's where the Leopards are going for the first time in school history after a punishing 24-10 win over Lehigh Saturday at Fisher Field in the 140th edition of college football's most-played rivalry. Lafayette (8-3, 5-1) will share the Patriot League title with Lehigh. But the head-to-head win gives the Leopards the PL's automatic playoff berth. Despite having an eight-game win streak snapped, Lehigh (9-2) still hopes to get one of eight at-large spots into the 16-team field when the NCAA announces the schedule today. When asked where his team might prefer to play next, Lafayette coach Frank Tavani said, ''How about Goodman Stadium, how would that be?''

Saturday, November 20, 2004

FOOTBALL: Numbers add up to Lafayette having date with destiny today
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
OK, so Lehigh's ranked No. 8 in the country in Division I-AA and has beaten Lafayette like a drum in eight of the last nine meetings. And, the Mountain Hawks are 9-1 and 5-0 in the Patriot League while the Leopards -- the little school down the road, according to coach Frank Tavani -- are scuffling along at 7-3 and 4-1. Lest we forget Lehigh leads the league in scoring offense, scoring defense, total offense, total defense, home attendance, band members, local booster clubs, kegs per tailgater . yeah, yeah, yeah.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette will win if McCourt outperforms Lehigh's Rath
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
In the week preceding this afternoon's Lehigh-Lafayette football game, someone told Leopards coach Frank Tavani that the Mountain Hawks would throw for 600 yards against the Leopards' defense. Tavani chuckled when he recalled the encounter. ''I said, 'I hope they throw for 900,''' Tavani said. ''As long as it's 3-2 or 6-5 or 12-10 and we're on the upper end of that, go ahead. It doesn't matter. I'm not hung up on statistics.'' The Leopards probably can't win today if Lehigh throws for 900 yards. Their chances of beating the Mountain Hawks, winning a share of the Patriot League title and claiming the league's automatic berth into the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs will improve if they do the following.

Friday, November 19, 2004

FOOTBALL: Time is right for senioritis to set in
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Four years ago, Frank Tavani's second recruiting class arrived on Easton's College Hill. The class was not large in numbers and it still isn't. When Lafayette meets Lehigh on Saturday in the 140th renewal of college football's most-played rivalry, only eight Lafayette seniors will be in uniform. Another five will be watching in street clothes, victims of season- or career-ending injuries. "There were only 20 or 22 of us; we were not a big class," said Brendon Green, who starts at fullback. "But I had a feeling we'd be a good class. I still live with (injured seniors) Brian Carstens and Anthony Jones." It also has been an impact class.

FOOTBALL: Lehigh and Lafayette Are Still Playing After All Those Years
The New York Times/ By Bonnie DeSimone
ASTON, Pa., Nov. 16 - The winner of Saturday's football game between Lehigh University and Lafayette College will not take home a cup, a jug, an ax, a spittoon, a skillet, a bucket, a bell, a 10-gallon hat or a statue of a farm animal. For the first time in the 120-year history of the series, however, the victor will advance to the postseason via an automatic bid to the N.C.A.A. Division I-AA championship tournament. That prospect has disrupted Lafayette Coach Frank Tavani's sleep pattern this week and helped sand down his emotional defenses.

FOOTBALL: Leopards can look back with pride
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Lafayette's football team used an Ivy League education to position itself to qualify for the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs. While the Leopards play in the Patriot League, their losses to Ivy League schools Princeton and Harvard marked pivotal points in their 2004 season. That season will reach its climax Saturday when Lafayette hosts arch-rival Lehigh to determine which team receives the Patriot League's automatic playoff berth. The Leopards (7-3 overall, 4-1 Patriot League) played their worst game of the season against Princeton, losing 35-18 on Sept. 18. It was a horrid day from the start, with the remnants of Hurricane Ivan lashing the Lehigh Valley and trapping the Leopards.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette -- best of times still to come
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Take a look at the Lafayette College defensive depth chart. Go ahead, try and find a senior in the two-deep list. Other than punter Mike Davis, you can't. Besides, the athletic Davis fancies himself more an offensive threat than a defensive player. When co-captain Wes Erbe, an outside linebacker, broke a bone in his lower leg two weeks ago at Colgate, Lafayette's defense became an all-underclassman outfit. The majority of what's left of Lafayette's small senior class is clustered on offense, particularly on the line. Still, there's not a senior wide receiver in the mix, and the quarterback position is manned by a sophomore, Brad Maurer. The team that meets Lehigh (9-1, 5-0 league) on Saturday at Fisher Field -- with the Patriot League championship and an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs on the line -- is built for the long haul. Frank Tavani's Leopards (7-3, 4-1) should not be a one-hit wonder and could very well be in this position next fall.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette seniors have built toward this
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When Lafayette pursued Stephen Bono at Northern Highlands Regional High School, it had little recent football glory to offer. The Leopards hadn't enjoyed a winning season since 1993. School officials considered eliminating the football program during the winter of 1998-99, a winter that also included talk of dropping all of Lafayette's athletic teams from Division I to Division III. But coach Frank Tavani's recruiting pitch in 2000 offered Bono one thing Bono wanted: the chance to help rebuild a program.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Leopards hope they've hit bottom and started back up
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette College senior Lindsay Myers has been on the injured reserve more than she's been in uniform the last two seasons. Sitting out was tough. Watching the Leopards lose repeatedly was tougher.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Bono is cut above both on and off playing field
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Stephen Bono never claimed to be the smartest man in the room. Heck, the Lafayette College senior offensive guard insists he's not even the smartest player in his offensive huddle. "That would be (quarterback) Brad Maurer," Bono said. "He's got that special quality you want in a quarterback. He's a natural born leader." Indeed, Maurer came to Lafayette two years ago with glowing academic and athletic credentials. The National Merit Scholar finalist was Ohio's 2002 "That's My Boy" award winner, given to the state's top football scholar-athlete. But don't let Bono sell himself short. When Lafayette greets Lehigh on Saturday in the 140th renewal of college football's most-played rivalry, Bono will walk to midfield with fellow captain Wes Erbe for the coin toss. Bono's been a leader on and off the field.

MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette faces demanding early schedule
The Morning Call/ By Andre D. Williams
Lafayette coach Fran O'Hanlon joked at the Leopards media day last week that he had watered down his non-league schedule. Everybody laughed because it really was a joke. O'Hanlon thinks just like Temple's wise old Owl John Chaney when it comes to out-of-conference scheduling. Why make it easy? And this season O'Hanlon really had an excuse to lighten the load since he graduated four starters from last season's 18-10 team that lost in the first round of the Patriot League Tournament. That was four seniors, by the way, that had played extensively for three seasons.

Monday, November 15, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards have passing fancy
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
With its offensive line opening holes wide enough for a Cadillac, Lafayette could have spent all afternoon Saturday running against Holy Cross. For the most part the Leopards did, running three rushing plays for every one passing play. But the 19 passes Lafayette threw at Fisher Field may have more long-term value to the Leopards than the 344 rushing yards they amassed against the Crusaders. The Leopards won't be opting for the run-and-shoot in their Patriot League showdown with Lehigh. They are still at their best when they give the ball to senior tailback Joe McCourt, who has rushed for 100 yards in six straight games, and allow him to overpower people behind an offensive line that averages 290 pounds per player. With teams keying on McCourt, though, Lafayette has had a chance to open up its passing game. The Leopards took advantage against the Crusaders with one of their best air attacks of the season, hitting six pass plays for 14 or more yards. One was a perfect 18-yard strike from sophomore quarterback Brad Maurer to fullback David Nelson in the right corner of the end zone to give the Leopards a 28-14 after their first second-half possession.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette sets up showdown for all marbles with Lehigh
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Bring on the Mountain Hawks! Lafayette College's football team put itself in position to earn its first trip ever to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs by pulling away from Holy Cross 56-20 before 4,543 chilled Fisher Field fans Saturday afternoon. The victory improved the Leopards to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the Patriot League. In six days, Frank Tavani's team will play host to Lehigh in the 140th renewal of college football's most played rivalry. The game, already a sellout, has never meant more. Even though Lehigh (9-1, 5-0) already has clinched a share of the Patriot League crown, Lafayette would secure the playoff bid with a victory over the Mountain Hawks. The league's head-to-head criterion would give the nod to the Leopards, provided they are victorious.

FOOTBALL: McCourt, Lafayette still alive The senior running back sets league scoring record in Patriot win.
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
With Lafayette hammering Holy Cross late in the third quarter, Leopards fans directed their ears to the scores coming from the Fisher Field press box. A cheer erupted when word reached the stands that Bucknell was crushing Colgate, putting an end to the Red Raiders' Patriot League dominance. A sigh followed when the fans learned Lehigh was beating Fordham. The most important thing for Lafayette followers was the Leopards' 56-20 win over the Crusaders. That guaranteed the Leopards (7-3, 4-1 Patriot League) a chance to play for at least a share of the league title next Saturday against Lehigh. But with Colgate losing and Lehigh winning Saturday afternoon, the Patriot League will crown an outright champion next week. If Lafayette beats Lehigh (9-1, 5-0) next weekend, the Leopards will win the league championship and advance to the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

Friday, November 12, 2004

FOOTBALL: Stroble always at home, home or away
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Forty-one days away from Fisher Field, and Lafayette College football player Bob Stroble felt like he never left home. "My parents never miss one of my games, and the great thing about living nearby is I can take my laundry home. I don't know how to do laundry," Stroble said. "And, I can go home on Sundays for dinner." Stroble is the 6-foot-5, 290-pound junior center from Easton Area High School who broke into Lafayette's starting lineup midway through last season and has been a fixture ever since. On Saturday, the Leopards entertain Holy Cross in their first game at Fisher Field since a 38-23 loss to Harvard on Oct. 2. Lafayette played its way into the Patriot League title picture during the long road span. In addition to a non-league win at Columbia, Frank Tavani's club won at Bucknell and Fordham before falling 22-19 last week at two-time defending champion Colgate. At 6-3, the Leopards secured their second winning season in three years. At 3-1, they are very much in the championship race because they still have a date next Saturday against league-leading Lehigh (8-1, 4-0).

Thursday, November 11, 2004

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Lafayette's Kokolus shelved for at least month
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Lafayette College junior guard Katie Kokolus of Notre Dame High School will miss at least a month of the season after being hospitalized earlier in the week with blood clots in her lung and shoulder. Lafayette coach Tammy Smith informed the media of Kokolus' condition at Wednesday night's annual basketball media night at Kirby Sports Center. Smith said Kokolus had trouble breathing during Sunday's practice. On Monday, Kokolus returned to practice and showed Smith purple blistering marks on her left arm.

FOOTBALL: Before the big game, an anxious Tavani looks back
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When Georgetown visited Fisher Field last season, Lafayette's coaching staff warned the team not to overlook the 0-4 Hoyas. It didn't work. Georgetown handed Lafayette a 17-10 loss coach Frank Tavani still hasn't forgotten. ''It was probably the most disappointing loss since I had taken over,'' he said. ''We talked about that all through winter workouts, all summer, all through the preseason camps.'' Georgetown isn't on Lafayette's schedule this week; Holy Cross is. But the Crusaders have a pedigree similar to what Georgetown took into Easton last year. That has Tavani and his staff guarding against a letdown. With Lehigh coming to Fisher Field next week for a game that could decide the Patriot League championship, Lafayette (6-3 overall, 3-1 Patriot) has reasons for distraction. But the Leopards also know that the Lehigh game probably won't carry title implications unless they beat Holy Cross (2-7, 0-4).

Monday, November 8, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette pleased with 3-1 road trip
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
HAMILTON, N.Y. | Frank Tavani has drilled his team on staying in the moment. His players say they don't look ahead to big games, like their meeting with Lehigh in two weeks. Those same players didn't want to look back at their 3-1 road swing, which ended with Saturday's 22-19 loss to Colgate, and call it a runaway success. Consider it another sign of progress for Lafayette's football program. When Harvard downed the Leopards on Oct. 2 and knocked them to 3-2, few people saw Lafayette going 3-1 over a stretch of games at Columbia, Bucknell, Fordham and Colgate. Lafayette did, winning the first three games to grab a share of first place in the Patriot League. But the Leopards (6-3 overall, 3-1 in the Patriot League) weren't satisfied. They wanted to and believed they could beat Colgate, the Division I-AA national runner-up last season.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards control their Patriot destiny
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
HAMILTON, N.Y. -- Lafayette College's drive to the Patriot League football title was sidetracked Saturday afternoon by the suddenly pass-happy Colgate Raiders. Senior quarterback Chris Brown threw for a career-high 318 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive tackle Jeff Galletly knocked down a potential tying field goal with 2:52 to go as Colgate pulled out a 22-19 victory over the Leopards before 4,514 fans at Andy Kerr Stadium. It was Lafayette's first league loss and dropped the Leopards (6-3) into a tie for second place with Colgate, the two-time defending champion, at 3-1. Lehigh took over first place at 4-0 with its victory at Georgetown.

BASKETBALL: Tripucka -- the next generation
The Express-Times/ By Ed Laubach
A Tripucka soon will trot onto the basketball surface at Lafayette College's Kirby Sports Center for the first time in 25 years. You won't find Tyler Tripucka among coach Fran O'Hanlon's Leopards this season, but he should be dressed with the Moravian Greyhounds, who come in Wednesday night, Dec. 22. Young Tripucka's role will be far different from that of his well-known father, Tracy Tripucka, the Lafayette legend who has held the distinction of being the Leopards' career scoring leader for 32 years. Tracy graduated in 1972. His 1,973 points, accumulated over three seasons, continues to stand the test of time, not to mention Lafayette's best players, none of whom has managed over a four-year career to come within 100 points of Tracy's total.

FOOTBALL: Raider blocks that kick, saves that game
The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.)/ By Donna Ditota
Justin Lauver got the call to Lafayette coach Frank Tavani's office just a few days into the 2002 preseason camp, his first in college. Hamilton - Mike Latek and Jeff Galletly discuss it before each kick. The idea, Galletly said, is for one of them to seal off the opposing offensive lineman so the other might wiggle through the line and perhaps take a swipe at the football. Colgate coach Dick Biddle said his team practices the strategy first thing each day. It played out to perfection Saturday on a lovely fall afternoon. Galletly blocked Rick Ziska's 26-yard field goal attempt with 3 minutes, 9 seconds left in a critical Patriot League contest to preserve the Raiders' 22-19 victory over Lafayette. The win increases Colgate's home winning streak to 17 at Andy Kerr Stadium, where the Raiders finished their season unbeaten again this year.

FOOTBALL: Leopards don't make the plays
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
HAMILTON, N.Y. | Maurice Bennett crouched alone at Colgate's 35-yard line. Ten yards upfield, Jamaal Branch emerged from a pile of Lafayette tacklers after his first-down run finished the Leopards. Several times this season Lafayette had slithered past an opponent. This time Colgate slipped past the Leopards, blocking Rick Ziska's 26-yard field goal attempt with 2:52 left in the fourth quarter. The Raiders then ran out the clock, with Branch's final carry of the game Saturday securing a 22-19 Patriot League win at Andy Kerr Stadium. The sight of Bennett crouched alone, a close loss starting to sink in, was similar to what Lafayette (6-3 overall, 3-1 Patriot) saw from Richmond and Bucknell players when it nipped those teams earlier this season. In each of those victories, the Leopards produced big plays -- two defensive stands at Richmond, a blocked field goal at Bucknell -- to escape with victories.

Friday, November 5, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards control their Patriot destiny
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Wes Erbe sees a reason why Lafayette College is playing meaningful football games in November when just a year ago the Leopards were attempting to reach .500. "There's more discipline; this feels like a more complete team," Erbe said. "We're really meshing. Everything is coming together the way everyone hangs out together and cares about one another. Last year it felt like a mess." Erbe, only the third player in Lafayette's long football history to serve as a captain for two seasons, speaks from experience. He knows the Leopards haven't defeated Colgate since 1995. So Saturday's trek to Hamilton, N.Y., will be important on two fronts: End the long losing streak to the Raiders and in so doing maintain a grip on first place in the Patriot League. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. Lafayette, coming off a bye week, is 6-2 overall and 3-0 in the league. Colgate, which reached last year's Division I-AA championship game, is 5-3 overall, 2-1 league after having its 15-game league winning streak ended at Lehigh last Saturday.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

FOOTBALL: Defense will be key to Leopards breaking losing streak to Colgate
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Marvin Snipes' memory doesn't hold many details from Lafayette's 2003 season. He doesn't recall having a bye, and the nine games he played in run together in his mind. ''It seems like last year just kind of flew by,'' Snipes, a sophomore defensive end, said. Snipes' jumbled memories of last season, which ended with him being named the Leopards' rookie of the year, are a plus when it comes to Lafayette's 47-31 loss to Colgate. He doesn't have to be haunted by details like the 34-6 lead the Raiders opened before a late Lafayette rally turned the score respectable. But a lot has changed for Lafayette and Colgate, who play Saturday afternoon at Andy Kerr Stadium, since last year's meeting at Fisher Field. The Leopards (6-2 overall, 3-0 Patriot League) have surged to the top of the Patriot League standings, thanks in part to Snipes and their improved defensive line. Colgate (5-3, 2-1), the Division I-AA national runner-up last season, has slipped from the No. 1 spot in the league and has to catch league co-leaders Lafayette and Lehigh to win a third straight league title.

Friday, October 29, 2004

FOOTBALL: Tom Housenick's college football column: Lauver always adjusting
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)/ By Tom Housenick
Justin Lauver got the call to Lafayette coach Frank Tavani's office just a few days into the 2002 preseason camp, his first in college. Tavani was asking Lauver, a recruited tailback from Selinsgrove High School, to help out at another position. "Coach knows I'm open to anything," Lauver said. Lauver was asked to play strong safety on that August day. Just a few days later, he was moved back to offense. Other office visits resulted in Lauver moving to fullback, back to tailback, then to wide receiver, then back to fullback and now, back again to wide receiver where he is helping Lafayette shake several seasons of frustration. The Leopards are 6-2this season, including two miraculous road wins at Richmond and Patriot League rival Bucknell.

FOOTBALL: Wofford wonder: Freshman Dan Tavani from Notre Dame starts at safety for South Carolina school.
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Trust us, you do not want the Tavani family's cell phone bill this fall. Consider what transpired on Saturday afternoon, Oct. 13: The dad, Frank Tavani, is coaching his Lafayette Leopards to a 14-13 Patriot League victory over Bucknell in Lewisburg, Pa. A couple hundred miles to the south, son Dan Tavani is helping his Wofford Terriers rally to defeat Western Carolina before a homecoming crowd of 12,000 at Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.

MEN'S SOCCER: It's intense in soccer, too, when Lafayette takes on Lehigh
The Morning Call/ By Ernie Long
College soccer matches don't get much bigger than Saturday's Lehigh-Lafayette men's match at 7 p.m. at Lehigh's Ulrich Sports Complex. Matches between the rivals normally contain plenty of emotion and drama. But this year, there's the added intrigue of Patriot League playoff berths at stake for both in addition to the fact that the Mountain Hawks are seeking revenge for last year's 2-0 loss to the Leopards in the Patriot League final. Plus it's Senior Night for Lehigh. ''At this time of the year the battle for playoffs is a big part of the game,'' said Lafayette coach Dennis Bohn. ''But no matter what the records, this is a rivalry that brings extra energy and intensity.'' The Leopards (11-3, 4-1), third in the Mid-Atlantic Region, are tied atop the league standings with American. A win or tie on Saturday will clinch a spot in the four-team league tournament for Lafayette for the 12th time in the 15-year history of the event. Lafayette has claimed the tournament title five times, including last season.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

MEN'S SOCCER: McVeigh in key role
The Republican (Springfield, Mass.)/ By Dick Baker
Cathedral High School graduate Stefan McVeigh is helping Lafayette College to a successful men's soccer season. McVeigh, only a freshman, scored in the 50th minute yesterday in a 2-1 win at Villanova after scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over Holy Cross Saturday at Easton, Pa. Lafayette is 11-3, 4-1 in the Patriot League. The Leopards are tied for first with American University, and needs only a tie to clinch a spot in the four-team Patriot League tournament for the 12th time in the 15-year history of the event.

Monday, October 25, 2004

FOOTBALL: The bye week comes just in time for McCourt and Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
BRONX, N.Y. | Joe McCourt walked off Fordham's Jack Coffey Field with a slight limp, the wear and tear from four straight 100-yard games evident in every step. Like most of his teammates, McCourt looked ready for a break from football. Lafayette has one with the arrival of its bye week. The bye gives Lafayette a chance to recharge for its Patriot League title drive. The Leopards (6-2, 3-0 Patriot) hold a half-game advantage over Colgate and Lehigh; the Mountain Hawks host the Raiders on Saturday. The Leopards roll into their bye riding a three-game winning streak, with all of the victories coming on the road. They want that roll to continue through their regular-season finale with Lehigh.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette, Tavani finally get Rams
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEW YORK -- Lafayette College's fifth-year coach Frank Tavani and his 12 seniors never experienced victory over Fordham -- until Saturday afternoon in The Bronx. The Leopards' 35-20 conquest of the Rams before 3,150 at Jack Coffey Field was enjoyable on so many levels for Tavani and his troops. The win elevates them to 6-2 overall. It's Lafayette's best start since 1988, and more importantly keeps the Leopards atop the Patriot League at 3-0.

FOOTBALL: Third-Quarter Spurt Sinks Fordham
The New York Times/ By Dave Caldwell
Coach Ed Foley said he could feel the Fordham locker room popping and crackling with excitement. As badly as his Rams were playing yesterday, they trailed Lafayette by only a point at halftime. Then Lafayette quarterback Brad Maurer stunned the Rams with two dazzling third-quarter touchdown runs, and the Leopards rolled to a 35-20 victory on Rose Hill in the Bronx. "We were prepared for him, and we knew he was going to run," Fordham cornerback Tad Kornegay said of Maurer. "We just blew our assignments." The Rams (4-3, 1-1 Patriot League) also tossed away a chance to move past Lafayette (6-2, 3-0) in the league standing. This loss stung. Despite handing the Leopards two touchdowns in a disastrous 12-second span of the first quarter, Fordham had cut the deficit to 14-13 by halftime. Then Maurer scored on runs of 13 and 71 yards in the first 11 minutes of the second half to put the Leopards in command.

MEN'S SOCCER: McVeigh leads Leopard men to league win
The Morning Call
Freshman Stefan McVeigh scored twice, leading the Lafayette men's soccer team to a Patriot League home win Saturday. The Leopards are now 10-3 overall and 4-1 in Patriot League play while Holy Cross goes to 6-5-1, 1-3-1.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette races past Fordham
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
BRONX, N.Y. | When he sprinted for a 63-yard touchdown at Columbia two weeks ago, Brad Maurer credited the Lions' artificial turf for helping him outrun everyone to the end zone. Maurer showed Saturday his wheels work well on grass, too. This time Fordham's defenders discovered how elusive Maurer is once he starts running. The sophomore quarterback ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns in Lafayette's 35-20 Patriot League win at Jack Coffey Field. The victory kept the Leopards (6-2 overall, 3-0 in the Patriot League) alone in first place in the Patriot League. They head into their bye week with a half-game lead over Lehigh and Colgate, which both won Saturday. The win over Fordham (4-3, 1-1) was the first for Lafayette since coach Frank Tavani took over before the 2000 season. Colgate is the only Patriot League team the Leopards have yet to beat during Tavani's tenure.

Friday, October 22, 2004

FOOTBALL: Rejuvenated Leopards playing for keeps
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Frank Tavani is in his fifth season as Lafayette College's head football coach. Mike Davis is a senior and in his third season as the Leopards' punter. Tavani and Davis have experienced numerous highs and lows over the past four seasons. Currently, the Leopards (5-2) are riding a high entering Saturday's important Patriot League contest at Fordham. Lafayette beat Bucknell last week 14-13 as Joe Ort blocked a field goal with time expiring. The Leopards will look to win their third straight game and remain in first place in the league at 3-0 with a win over the Rams, who are 4-2 overall, 1-0 league and coming off a bye week. Lafayette will have a week off before resuming its schedule Nov. 6 at preseason favorite Colgate.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette looking forward to upcoming meaningful games
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Another dreary Tuesday afternoon didn't stop Lafayette's Frank Tavani, Keith Bloom and Mike Davis from enjoying themselves at the Leopards' weekly luncheon. Tavani took some ribbing for the 2-inch vertical leap he displayed at the end of Lafayette's hold-on-for-dear-life win at Bucknell. Davis, a senior punter, and Bloom, a sophomore defensive lineman, smiled as the spoke about Lafayette controlling its Patriot League fate. These are heady times for the Leopards. Unlike late Octobers of past seasons, Lafayette isn't looking to salvage its season with a couple of late victories. The Leopards (5-2 overall, 2-0 in the Patriot League) are focused on playing meaningful games over the final five weeks of the regular season. Lafayette has one Saturday at Fordham (4-2, 1-0), one of three teams a half-game behind the Leopards in the Patriot League.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

FOOTBALL: Tavani takes page from Tuna's playbook
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Frank Tavani might've gained a few pounds since his days as a Hall of Fame running back at Lebanon Valley College, but the Lafayette College coach never will be confused with Bill "The Tuna" Parcells in a police lineup. Tavani is still, as he likes to readily admit, an "old tailback" at heart. So what's the Tavani-Parcells connection? Anyone who's a New York Giants fan from the Parcells era and has watched the 5-2 Leopards of late roar to the top of the Patriot League standings at 2-0 will recognize the similarities.

Monday, October 18, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards meet another goal, sit atop Patriot League
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
LEWISBURG | Each game is a goal. So says Lafayette coach Frank Tavani each time he speaks with reporters. The Leopards' weekly success has them positioned to reach their ultimate goal: winning the Patriot League championship. Saturday's 14-13 victory over the Bison of Bucknell gave Lafayette (5-2, 2-0 Patriot League) sole possession of first place in the league. Sure, the Leopards only have a half-game lead over Lehigh, Colgate and Fordham, but Lafayette plays all three of those teams in the next five weeks, giving it control of its destiny. ''This is a heck of a league now,'' Tavani said. ''A lot of things are going to happen. Bucknell's a heck of a football team, and they're going to beat somebody here down the stretch, and somebody's going to beat somebody else. It wouldn't surprise me at all that with one league loss you can certainly still be in the hunt.''

Sunday, October 17, 2004

FOOTBALL: Ort back in nick of time for Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Welcome back Joe Ort. Ort, a junior wide receiver from Deltona, Fla., returned to the Lafayette College football lineup Saturday against Bucknell after missing three games with a concussion. Ort's presence offensively was minimal, but he triggered Part 1 of the Play of the Game in the Leopards' 14-13 Patriot League victory over the host Bison before a rain-drenched crowd of 3,026 at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. The 6-foot-4 Ort soared up the middle to block Ryan Korn's potential game-winning 39-yard field goal as time expired.

FOOTBALL: Bucknell football team loses another close one on bizarre final play
The Daily Item (Sunbury, Pa.)/ By Tom Housenick
LEWISBURG -- It was fitting perhaps that dark clouds had crept closer to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium as Bucknell lined up for another potential game-winning field goal. The Bison have been down that road before. It has been a painfully bumpy road. Still, there was hope as Ryan Korn trotted out to attempt a 39-yard field goal on the game's final play with Lafayette clinging to a 14-13 lead. After a couple of timeouts, and with a few rays of sun hanging over on an otherwise dreary Saturday, Korn's boot triggered one of the most bizarre, heartbreaking finishes. Lafayette's Joe Ort, just back after suffering a concussion during the club's win at Richmond late last month, blocked Korn's kick with his facemask.

FOOTBALL: Ort's leap helps Leopards nip Bison
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
LEWISBURG | Its final timeout burned, Lafayette's coaching staff got together to discuss which players to send onto the field for Bucknell's game-ending field-goal attempt. The coaches wanted someone tall. They wanted someone who could jump. They wanted 6-4 wide receiver Joe Ort, who was playing his first game since sustaining a concussion against Princeton on Sept. 18. So out Ort trotted, lining up in the middle of Lafayette's field-goal defense as Bucknell's Ryan Korn prepared for a 39-yard attempt with 3 seconds to play. Ort did exactly what the coaches wanted, busting through the Bison line to block Korn's kick. ''I just followed right up the center,'' Ort said. ''When he snapped the ball, I just jumped over him, and it hit me in the face mask.'' Ort's heroics alone weren't enough to secure the Leopards' 14-13 Patriot League win Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium. Lafayette also needed Torian Johnson to tackle Korn at the half-yard line after Korn grabbed the blocked ball at Lafayette's 25 and raced toward the right pylon.

Friday, October 15, 2004

FOOTBALL: Bison stampede a concern
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Lafayette doesn't have to look far to find a Daris Wilson impersonator. "We used Brad (Maurer) last year in preparation for Bucknell and their quarterback," Leopards coach Frank Tavani said. "I'm sure Brad will tell you it was the most fun he had running the scout team all year." The mercurial Wilson leads Bucknell (3-2, 1-0) into Saturday's showdown of Patriot League unbeatens at Christy Mathewson Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa. His counterpart under center for the Leopards (4-2, 1-0) is none other than Brad Maurer. Which means Maurer, who burned Columbia in last Saturday's 35-14 win with a 63-yard touchdown dash, was kept away from Lafayette's No. 1 defense this week at Metzgar Fields.

FOOTBALL: Ex-Colt boosts Lafayette
The Patriot-News/ By Roxanne B. Moses
Maybe you remember Bryan Kazimierowski from his days as a wide receiver with the Cedar Cliff football team or as a high-scoring forward on the basketball team. These days Kazimierowski is making a name for himself as a safety, of all things, for the Lafayette football team. "Last year I was starting to learn the program, learn the plays, just taking it all in," said Kazimierowski, a 6-4, 185-pound sophomore. "It's a good feeling to come from not even traveling last year to getting a chance to really contribute and contribute in big ways." Kazimierowski will travel to Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium tomorrow with his Leopards teammates to meet Bucknell in a key Patriot League matchup. Lafayette is 4-2, 1-0. Bucknell is 3-2, 1-0.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's depth has helped lead to a quick league start
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
After its best six-game start since 1993, Lafayette believes it's prepared to plunge into its Patriot League schedule. Depth may determine whether the Leopards emerge as league champions in November. The play of several backups has helped Lafayette (4-2 overall, 1-0 in the Patriot League) position itself for a run at the Patriot League crown. That run starts with Saturday's game at Bucknell (3-2, 1-0). The Leopards and Bison are in a five-way tie for first place and play the only Patriot League game of the weekend, meaning the winner will be alone in first place.

Monday, October 11, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's Maurer gains confidence with every yard
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
NEW YORK | As Lafayette coach Frank Tavani walked toward his locker room at halftime Saturday, he decided to scrap his plan to play two quarterbacks. Tavani's decision meant a full game on the bench for junior Pat Davis, who played in each of Lafayette's first five games. For sophomore Brad Maurer, it meant his first chance to play from start to finish as a Leopard. Maurer helped Lafayette finish Columbia with a 63-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, stunning the Lions after they climbed within 21-7 on their first second-half possession. He ended the day with 12 completions in 14 attempts, two touchdowns, no turnovers and an immeasurable boost in confidence after leading the Leopards to a 35-14 win.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

FOOTBALL: Buettner, linemates guiding force for Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
NEW YORK -- Lafayette College senior left tackle Drew Buettner insisted he had no input into the Leopards' offensive game plan for Saturday's non-league game at Columbia. "I didn't have any influence on it, but I love when they run behind me," said the 6-foot-4, 290-pound Buettner. Buettner and his line mates repeatedly knocked the Lions off the line of scrimmage and paved the way for Lafayette's fourth win, 35-14, in its final tuneup before five straight Patriot League games.

FOOTBALL: Day to Forget at Columbia (And That's an Order)
The New York Times/ By Dave Caldwell
olumbia's football coach, Bob Shoop, found himself invoking his 24-hour rule again yesterday. His team is to forget every detail of another dismal loss by this afternoon. The 24-hour rule applies after victories, too, but the Lions have not won a game this season. Yesterday's 35-14 loss to visiting Lafayette was especially forgettable. "More games are lost than are actually won," Shoop said. What Shoop meant was that Columbia (0-4) lost the game more than the Leopards (4-2) won it. Those games gnaw at a coach.

FOOTBALL: Leopards' McCourt runs wild in win
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
NEW YORK | Joe McCourt sat in Columbia's interview room, his right elbow raw from smashing into the AstroTurf at Wien Stadium. The rug burns didn't keep him from smiling when asked about running on the Lions' fake grass. ''I still hate it,'' McCourt said. ''These burns, I don't think they're going to go away for two weeks. Every time I went to the ground, I was like, 'Ah.' I was just trying to protect my arms.'' McCourt earned his burns with a heavy workload against the Lions, carrying 36 times for 173 yards in Lafayette's 35-14 non-league win. It was the 19th 100-yard game of McCourt's career and his second straight.

Friday, October 8, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards look to turn up offense
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- Frank Tavani wouldn't tip his hand Tuesday as to who his starting tailback would be for Saturday's football game at Columbia. The Lafayette College coach did admit last week's starter, sophomore Jonathan Hurt, most likely is doubtful for the Leopards' final non-league contest before embarking on five consecutive weeks of Patriot League play. Tavani's vagueness at the weekly media luncheon left senior Joe McCourt wondering what his position will be against the 0-3 Lions.

Thursday, October 7, 2004

FOOTBALL: Columbia will be in a rush to play Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Five games into its schedule, Lafayette College has faced offenses of all varieties. Richmond's Stacy Tutt gave the Leopards a look at a quarterback with the athletic ability to shred a defense by running or throwing. Harvard's Ryan Fitzpatrick showed Lafayette how a senior quarterback could command an offense. Richmond's David Freeman and Harvard's Clifton Dawson displayed as much power and speed as the Leopards will see from a running back. So Lafayette's Torian Johnson believes the Leopards (3-2) are ready for whatever Columbia (0-3) attempts Saturday afternoon on the AstroTurf at Lawrence A. Wien Stadium.

Monday, October 4, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards are still in transition
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
Brad Maurer saw separation. Harvard safety Sean Tracy saw it, too, but he had his eyes on erasing the gap as soon as Maurer threw the ball down the middle of the field. Tracy succeeded, stepping in front of Maurer's pass for his second interception of the game. By the time the Leopards tackled Tracy at their 36-yard line, their uneven offensive play had dashed any chance of a comeback victory over the Crimson. Five games into the 2004 season, Lafayette's offense remains a unit in transition. The Leopards, 3-2 overall following Saturday's 38-23 loss to Harvard, have moved the ball all year with Maurer and Pat Davis sharing the quarterbacking duties. Lafayette has averaged 341 yards and 25.4 points per game, both respectable numbers. But the transition from Marko Glavic, who graduated last year as the school's all-time leading passer, to the Maurer-Davis combination has had its bumps.

Sunday, October 3, 2004

MEN'S SOCCER: Lafayette beats Army, remains undefeated in Patriot League
The Morning Call
Lafayette remained undefeated in Patriot League with a 3-1 win over Army on Saturday at Metzgar Fields. Sophomore Justin Esposito and freshman Stefan McVeigh collected the second-half tallies that made the difference in front of a homecoming weekend crowd. The Leopards (7-2, 2-0) took an early lead when junior Ryan McCaughey scored his first goal of the season just 4:33 into the game. McCaughey took a corner from the right side and headed it in. Thomas Harju assisted on the goal, his eight assist of the season.

FOOTBALL: Dawson drives Crimson
The Boston Globe/ By Tony Chamberlain
EASTON, Pa. -- Lafayette's offense excited its homecoming crowd of 5,365 with 399 total yards yesterday, but it was still no match for Harvard. The Crimson (3-0), sparked by another dominant performance from sophomore tailback Clifton Dawson, took control in the second quarter en route to a 38-23 nonleague win. Dawson, who entered the game leading Division 1-AA in scoring, rushed for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries, passing the 100-yard mark for the ninth consecutive game.

FOOTBALL: Dawson powers Harvard
Boston Herald/ By Timothy J. McGinn
EASTON, Pa. - Any more of this and Harvard's rushing record book will have just one author - Clifton Dawson. One year removed from the 200-plus yard performance that christened his breakout season, the sophomore tailback again left Lafayette battered and bruised, scampering for 172 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries in Harvard's 38-23 win yesterday. In three games, Dawson has scored nine touchdowns, just four short of the Crimson's single-season high, and leads the nation in points per game with 18.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette unable to restrain Harvard attack in loss
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When Brian Edwards snared a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass with one hand in front of the Lafayette sideline, Leopards coach Frank Tavani ripped off his headset and shook his head. The Leopards didn't need to have Harvard making spectacular plays. They were having enough trouble stopping the routine ones. Lafayette never found a way to slow the diverse Crimson offense in a 38-23 Homecoming loss at Fisher Field in Easton. Whether sophomore running back Clifton Dawson was running over linebackers or Fitzpatrick was scrambling and throwing on the run, Harvard (3-0 overall) stayed a step or three ahead of Lafayette (3-2) all afternoon.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette's win over Richmond was huge
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
When Frank Tavani checked his inbox Friday, he found several e-mails from Lafayette alumni predicting the then-2-1 Leopards would return from Richmond with a .500 record. The Leopards ignored their doubters and upset the Spiders, surviving two Hail Mary tosses in the final 5 seconds to improve to 3-1 for the first time since 1996. Tavani and his team are hoping their latest victory won them more fans. Saturday's homecoming game against undefeated Harvard should give them some indication. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Fisher Field. Even if the Leopards haven't seized the attention of the school's students and alumni, they view their victory over the Spiders as a potential springboard for the season.

Monday, September 27, 2004

FOOTBALL: Moving McCourt to fullback created opportunity for Hurt
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
RICHMOND, Va. | Five yards from a first down and 22 yards from a go-ahead score, Lafayette needed a playmaker to produce. Last year, the Leopards would have looked to quarterback Marko Glavic, the Patriot League's all-time leading passer, or tailback Joe McCourt, who ranks second on Lafayette's all-time rushing list. Saturday, they turned to sophomore running back Jonathan Hurt. Hurt rewarded his coaches and teammates by taking a shotgun option pitch from quarterback Pat Davis and dashing 22 yards to the end zone to give Lafayette a 21-14 lead over Richmond.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

FOOTBALL: UR's loss a true close call
Richmond Times-Dispatch/ By John Packett
Lafayette coach Frank Tavani has been a coach for 28 years. This is new University of Richmond coach Dave Clawson's 16th year on the sidelines. Both of them agreed that the ending of yesterday's game between their teams was one of the weirdest they had ever seen. "It's football," Clawson said. "Strange things happen." Indeed. For the players and coaches, along with a crowd of 5,121 at UR Stadium, the conclusion brought heartbreak for the Spiders and joy for the Leopards, who wound up with a 21-16 victory. But not before a controversial call with no time left that could have meant a miracle 22-21 win for UR.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette swats Spiders 21-16
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
RICHMOND, Va. | The chaos continued as Lafayette's players sprinted to their locker room, jubilant after surviving two Hail Mary heaves in the final seconds Saturday. Angry Richmond fans leaned over the railing, screaming that the Leopards had received a gift win from the referees. The Leopards screamed to one another, reveling in their 21-16 win over the Spiders at University of Richmond Stadium. No one -- not the players, not the coaches and not the fans -- had a definitive explanation for the game's wild ending.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

FOOTBALL: On the road at Richmond, it doesn't get any easier for Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
After Princeton tarnished Lafayette's 2-0 start Saturday, Leopards coach Frank Tavani warned that his team would face tougher opponents in the future. Lafayette, meet Richmond. Massachusetts did last weekend, when the Spiders went on the road and upset the Minutemen, then the No. 9 team in The Sports Network's Division I-AA football rankings. That victory lifted Richmond into the teams-receiving-votes section of this week's poll. So Spiders fans have reason for excitement heading into Saturday's home opener against the Leopards at University of Richmond Stadium. Kickoff is 1 p.m. The Leopards (2-1), meanwhile, have reason for concern as they prepare for their third straight road game. They yielded 410 yards in their 35-18 loss to Princeton and gave away field position all night.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

FOOTBALL: Princeton pummels Lafayette 35-18
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
PRINCETON, N.J. | With the remnants of Hurricane Ivan pounding Easton, Lafayette didn't know whether it would make it off College Hill on Saturday. The Leopards did, only to receive a pounding on the football field from Princeton. The Tigers' 35-18 victory at Princeton Stadium was a lot worse for Lafayette than the final score showed. The Leopards (2-1) trailed by as many as 29 points, watching their bid for their first 3-0 start since 1988 end at Princeton, a house of horrors for the program. Lafayette fell to 2-31 all-time at Princeton and hasn't beaten the Tigers on the road since 1982.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

FOOTBALL: Princeton pummels Lafayette 35-18
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
PRINCETON, N.J. | With the remnants of Hurricane Ivan pounding Easton, Lafayette didn't know whether it would make it off College Hill on Saturday. The Leopards did, only to receive a pounding on the football field from Princeton. The Tigers' 35-18 victory at Princeton Stadium was a lot worse for Lafayette than the final score showed. The Leopards (2-1) trailed by as many as 29 points, watching their bid for their first 3-0 start since 1988 end at Princeton, a house of horrors for the program. Lafayette fell to 2-31 all-time at Princeton and hasn't beaten the Tigers on the road since 1982.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette defense puttings clamps on opposition
The Morning Call/ By Stephen Miller
After fighting toward the first yard line he saw following his interception against Georgetown, defensive end Andrew Brown jumped to celebrate his first collegiate touchdown. Tuesday his focus turned to helping Lafayette achieve its first 3-0 start since 1988. The Leopards will have to win on the road for the second straight week to remain unbeaten. They travel to Princeton for the Tigers' season opener Saturday night. Brown and his defensive mates will play a central role in the Leopards' quest to stay undefeated. Lafayette entered the week ranked second in Division I-AA in total defense, holding its opponents to 134.5 yards per game. Only Portland State, which allowed 99 yards in its season opener, is ranked ahead of the Leopards. Brown said he hasn't noticed the numbers. His concern is Princeton, a team the Leopards haven't had a chance to watch on film this year since the Tigers have yet to play.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

FOOTBALL: Lafayette reverses field against Hoyas
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
WASHINGTON, D.C. --Witherspoon, Bennett and Brown is not the name of a local law firm. Instead, it was the winning trifecta of junior defensive players who helped change around the fortunes of Lafayette College's football team Saturday afternoon at Georgetown as the Leopards pulled out a 17-6 win in the Patriot League opener for both clubs. The Leopards' defense was as stifling as the mid-afternoon heat at Harbin Field, but Lafayette (2-0) still found itself trailing 6-3 with just over 12 minutes left in the game. The Hoyas (1-1) parlayed a pair of third quarter interceptions into chip shot field goals by Michael Gillman.

FOOTBALL: Hoyas Are Unable To Take Advantage
The Washington Post/ By Kathy Orton
The offense's inability to capitalize on the opportunities created by the defense cost Georgetown its first 2-0 start since 1999. Although they forced five turnovers, the Hoyas failed to cross the goal line and lost, 17-6, to Lafayette yesterday in a Patriot League game at Harbin Field before 1,842.

FOOTBALL: Defense lifts Lafayette over Georgetown
The Morning Call
Lafayette rode a sterling defensive effort and the right legs of Mike Davis and Rick Ziska to a come-from-behind, 17-6 win at Georgetown in the Patriot League opener on Saturday. The Leopards (2-0, 1-0 Patriot League) scored twice in the final 11 minutes, once on a 2-yard interception return by Andrew Brown, to improve to 2-0 for the first time since 2002 and just the second time since consecutive 2-0 starts in 1992 and 1993.

Friday, September 10, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards look at Hoyas and see Lehigh?
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Georgetown 17, Lafayette 10. That outcome from 2003 clings daily to Lafayette College's returning football players like a meadow bur since the Hoyas humbled the Leopards last Oct. 4 at Fisher Field. "I wish we could've played them Sunday after beating Marist," Leopards tailback Joe McCourt said. "This game's had a checkmark next to it ever since the schedule came out. They beat us not because they were better but because they wanted it more. "We're going to come out on fire." "I don't think anyone understands how much we think about that game," said Maurice Bennett, a junior and the starting middle linebacker. "After that game I had tears in my eyes when I was on the field. "No one's forgotten that game. This game is like Lafayette-Lehigh in importance." Kickoff for the revenge Patriot League matchup is 1 p.m. at Georgetown's intimate 2,400-seat Harbin Field.

Thursday, September 9, 2004

FOOTBALL: Maurer presents different problems for Hoyas
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker
The off-the-cuff remark by Georgetown football coach Bob Benson made its way through cyberspace and 200 or so miles north from Washington, D.C., into the office of Lafayette coach Frank Tavani on College Hill in Easton over the weekend. Benson jokingly said that he might use 12 men on the field Saturday as a means to defense record-setting running back Joe McCourt when the two schools open their Patriot League schedule Saturday at Georgetown. While McCourt, Lafayette's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns and No. 3 all-time in rushing yards, is a viable threat and someone who must be accounted for, it is clear that Benson had not yet seen the tape of Lafayette's 48-7 victory over Marist when he made the statement.

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

FOOTBALL: Maurer opening at QB against Georgetown
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- On Brad Maurer's first snap from scrimmage as Lafayette's quarterback, the sophomore rolled around end on a keeper for a 17-yard gain. On Pat Davis' first snap from scrimmage as Lafayette's quarterback, the junior dumped a play-action bootleg pass to tight end Chad Walker for a 24-yard gain. As you can see, there wasn't much to differentiate between the two quarterbacks in last Saturday's 48-7 thrashing of Marist. Both were effective running and throwing against the outmatched Red Foxes. Barring injury between now and Saturday, Maurer again will be the starting quarterback when the heat gets turned up in Washington, D.C., as the Leopards open their Patriot League schedule against Georgetown.

Saturday, September 4, 2004

FOOTBALL: Plan 'A' golden for Leopards
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
EASTON -- All went according to script for Lafayette College's football team in its season opener against Marist on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards treated its announced Fisher Field crowd of 4,283 to a 48-7 conquest of the Red Foxes as coach Frank Tavani got to see a little bit from everyone in a maroon and white uniform. The dawning of the Brad Maurer/Pat Davis quarterback era was letter perfect. Maurer, the sophomore, played the entire first half and directed the Leopards to 31 points. Maurer, in his first start, completed 4 of 6 passes for 59 yards and rushed eight times for 68 yards. He threw for a touchdown and ran for another.

FOOTBALL: Lafayette crushes Marist
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker
The first time Marist quarterback James Luft threw the football Saturday afternoon at Fisher Field, Lafayette cornerback Larry Johnson caught it. The next time Luft passed, the ball was again intercepted, but a pass interference penalty on the Leopards wiped out the play. On the next play, Lafayette safety Bryan Kazimierowski stepped in front of a Red Fox receiver for an interception of his own. If Lafayette's 48-7 opening-day win over Marist was about repetition, it was obvious early. The Leopards not only nearly duplicated last year's 49-0 win over the Red Foxes, but they did it in a familiar manner. Lafayette (1-0) only punted twice, had three times as many total yards as Marist (0-1), and watched senior tailback Joe McCourt set a school record for career rushing touchdowns with 36.

Friday, September 3, 2004

FOOTBALL: No ordinary Joe
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
Joe McCourt knows the question is coming, and he takes it on as quickly as he darts through the guard/tackle hole for a five-yard gain. "The only thing I want from Erik Marsh is his championship ring," McCourt says. Lafayette College opens its 123rd football season Saturday afternoon at Fisher Field against Marist. McCourt, the 6-foot-1, 223-pound tailback from Philadelphia, enters his senior year with 3,281 career rushing yards and 34 touchdowns. Marsh, the Lafayette and Patriot League's all-time leading rusher, has been an untouchable since 1994 when he capped his incredible four-year run with 4,834 yards and his second Patriot League championship. It's the last time the Leopards raised the Fred Dunlap title trophy.

Thursday, September 2, 2004

FOOTBALL: Marist might make it tougher on Lafayette
The Morning Call/ By Tim Shoemaker
Lafayette beat Marist 49-0 in the first game of the 2003 college football season. Don't expect Saturday's 1 p.m. return engagement at Fisher Field to turn out the same. Many of the Leopards responsible for ringing up those 49 points on the Red Foxes have graduated. That is one theme Lafayette coach Frank Tavani tried to drive home at Tuesday's media luncheon; that the Leopards' offense is in transition, and Marist's defense is a year wiser. ''I'm concerned with the number of seniors they have defensively,'' Tavani said. ''They had a tough outing here last year and I'm sure they'll use that to generate motivation and enthusiasm this week. That presents concerns for us, especially since we're trying to mold together a new offensive unit.'' Lafayette (5-6 in 2003) has a reliable presence in its offensive backfield in tailback Joe McCourt, the school's No. 3 all-time leading rusher, but the rest of the backfield will be new behind a line that returns four starters, including right guard and captain Stephen Bono.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

FOOTBALL: Leopards trying to earn spots
The Express-Times/ By Corky Blake
FORKS TWP. -- It's put up or shut up time in the Lafayette College football program, and fifth-year coach Frank Tavani is the first to admit it. "We're running a no-nonsense camp," said Tavani as he watched his 90-plus troops begin Friday night's three-hour workout. The Leopards were forced onto the artificial surface of Rappolt Field at the Metzgar Athletic Complex because their adjoining grass practice fields were still healing from Thursday's workout in the rain. Tavani is relying on his seniors to lead the way as Lafayette tries to rebound from a 5-6 season that included just two victories in seven Patriot League outings.