2014 Field Hockey Season Preview
Aug. 29, 2014
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette field hockey team is looking to make its way back to the top of the Patriot League this season. Under the direction of head coach Jennifer Stone in her second year, the Leopards are poised for another run at the League title.
Last year, the Leopards finished 6-12, including 3-3 in the Patriot League, and earned a berth in the 2013 Patriot League Tournament. The Maroon and White fell to eventual League champion, American, in overtime of the semifinals.
"As coaches, we always want more time in preseason, but are anxious to get the season started this weekend." coach Stone said. "The strength of our schedule will help prepare us for Patriot League play. Our veterans continue to lead the group on the field, and we are looking for key contributions from new players as well."
Lafayette will play seven games at home this season at Rappolt Field, including reigning national champion Connecticut. Rappolt Field underwent a $1.2 million renovation this summer that included a complete replacement of the playing surface and a permanent irrigation system.
Below is a position-by-position breakdown of the Leopards, who were picked fourth in the Patriot League Preseason Poll.
Senior Jessica Deutsch will lead the group in goal for the Leopards. The Connecticut native held a 2.06 goals against average and posted a 6-11 record last season.
Sophomore Katelyn Arnold will also contribute this season and has looked strong in preseason.
Senior Jenna Seybert, a Preseason All-Patriot League selection, will anchor the Lafayette defense. She was an All-League selection last season and contributed four goals and an assist.
Seybert is joined on the back line by junior Hannah Millen and sophomore Aliza Furneaux. Millen started all 18 games last season and made a defensive save against Lehigh. Furneaux appeared in a pair of games during her rookie campaign and has also impressed the coaching staff this preseason.
Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year Brittany Blass will lead the midfield unit in 2014. The senior was an all-league selection last season and tied for the team lead in goals (5) and points (13).
Junior Kirby Szalkowski will join Blass in the midfield. She had a team-high eight assists in 2013. Sophomore Ami Turner saw action in 10 games last season contributing an assist. The North Vancouver, British Columbia native will see significant time this season. Another Canadian, freshman Ellen Colbourne has impressed in the preseason and will make an impact this season.
Stefanides and freshman Meg Lillis will also battle for minutes in the middle.
Mead tied for the team lead last season with 13 points, scoring four goals and handing out five assists. Weedling saw action in 17 games and tallied a goal against Temple. Magadan was named to the USA U-21 squad this summer and has had a strong preseason for the Leopards.
The Leopards begin the season on Saturday afternoon in Hamden, Conn. against No. 13 Boston College, followed by a matchup with Quinnipiac on Sunday. The Maroon and White are scheduled to play five teams ranked in the NFHCA Top-25 Preseason Poll.
Patriot League play begins September 20 against Boston University at Rappolt Field. The League tournament is set for November 7 and 8 at the site of the highest seed.