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Leopards Pull Off Upset

Sept. 14, 2012

Box Score

Lafayette Photo Store

  1 2
 #15 Drexel 0 1 1
 Lafayette 1 1 2

Box Score

 Scoring Summary
 Player  Assist Time
 LC - Blass  DiCroce, Valeo  35:00
 LC - Blass  DiCroce, Valeo  54:00
 Drexel - Lynam  McArdle  57:30
 Player Mins GA S
 LC - Deutsch (4-1) 70:00 1 4
 Drexel - Gunter (5-2) 70:00 2 4

EASTON, Pa.- The Lafayette field hockey team made a statement Friday night, as it knocked off the 15th-ranked Drexel Dragons in a thriller, 2-1.

Two perfectly executed corners led to a multi-goal night for sophomore Brittany Blass, her second multi-goal performance in the first five games. Senior co-captains Emily Valeo and Deanna DiCroce assisted on both goals, as the Leopards proved they are ready for another Patriot League title run this season.

"I thought we played with really good energy." head coach Andrew Griffiths said. "We said we wanted to represent Lafayette and the work that we've done, and I think we did that really well tonight."

Sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch made four saves on the night, as the defense in front of her posted arguably their best performance of the season.

"I think the energy was great and the work rate all over the field, especially defensively, created a lot of opportunities for us," added Griffiths.

A stalemate for most of the first half, the first goal came with no time left on the clock, as a Lafayette corner ended the half. A prototypically solid DiCroce feed led to a firm Valeo stop and a Blass rocket past the stick of Drexel goalkeeper, Jantien Gunter, to give the Leopards the 1-0 lead going into the break.

With the momentum completely in the Lafayette corner coming out in the second half, the Leopards and Dragons each played conservatively as neither wanted to give an inch. Lafayette took advantage of another corner in the 54th minute, as this time, Valeo took the feed from DiCroce and popped up as if she was going to take the shot herself. Instead, she slid a pass onto the stick of Blass, who beat Gunter for the second time on the stick side, giving Lafayette the 2-0 lead.

"I was happy to get a lot of corners, and to score on two really nice ones," Griffiths said. "That was the difference in the game. Drexel is a really strong team, so I'm very pleased with the result."

A lot of corners is right, as Lafayette took advantage of an 8-2 edge.

In the 57th minute, Drexel proved that the 15th-ranked team in the nation was not going down without a fight. A long cross from Lindsay McArdle found the stick of Mary Lynam, who was able to deflect the ball into the back of the net to pull the Dragons within one with 13 minutes remaining.

Drexel pulled out all he stops as they subbed an extra attacker in for Gunter with approximately six minutes remaining. Lafayette hung on in the frantic final minutes for the 2-1 victory, its first over a top-25 team since Sept 16, 2009, when they took down No. 21 Penn State, 1-0.

Next up for the Leopards is a road trip to Hamden, Conn. to take on Quinnipiac at 12 p.m. on Sunday.