Nov. 5, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Lafayette field hockey team captured the 2011 Patriot League Championship with a 3-1 victory over fourth seeded Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at Jacobs field. Deanna DiCroce scored twice for the second seeded Leopards, who won their eighth Patriot League Championship and first since 2002.
Each team had its share of scoring chances in the opening 35 minutes with Lafayette finally breaking the ice with 2:28 to play in the half. Maria Machalick gained possession on the near sideline and swept a pass through the circle that found Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, DiCroce on the far post. The junior put her stick on the turf and directed the ball into the cage, giving the Leopards a 1-0 lead they took into the break.
The advantage was short lived for the Leopards as Bucknell's Mallory Smith evened the score with 32:10 to play. Smith collected a deflected pass in behind the Lafayette defense and chipped it over a sliding Jessica Deutsch for the goal.
Lafayette quickly regained the lead less than three minutes later. Senior Carolyn Cabrey fed a ball into the center of the circle from straightaway and Kristin Heaney ran onto the pass and flicked it over Bucknell goalie Erica Perrine into the top left corner of the cage. Heaney's tally was her fourth of the season and proved to be the game-winner.
After surviving two Bucknell penalty corners with 17 minutes to play, Lafayette extended its lead at the 13:43 mark. DiCroce carried the ball along the far goal line and took a touch inside before slipping a shot past Perrine. DiCroce's second marker of the match put Lafayette ahead 3-1 and held up to be the final score.
Lafayette controlled the game statistically, taking 11 shots compared to seven for the Bison. The Maroon and White earned five corners while Bucknell (8-11, 3-2 Patriot) had three. In goal for Lafayette, Deutsch made five saves while Perrine stopped two on the other end.
In addition to winning the Patriot League Championship, Cabrey earned Tournament Most-Valuable Player honors. DiCroce, Emily Valeo and Brittany Blass were also selected to the Patriot League All-Tournament team.
The Leopards have scored the first goal of the game in 14 of 19 contests this season. In those games, Lafayette owns an 11-3 record.
Lafayette (11-8, 4-1 Patriot) continues its season on Tuesday, when it travels to Athens, Ohio to take on the Mid-American Conference Champion, Ohio University. The game is scheduled for 1 p.m.