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Leopards Move to 14 in NFHCA Poll

Sept. 25, 2012

EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette field hockey team moved up from 18 to 14 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) rankings, it was announced Tuesday.

The team's jump in rank is due in large part to its win over No. 21 Albany on Saturday, 2-1, in double overtime. Senior co-captain Emily Valeo worked past three Albany defenders and slid the ball past the goalkeeper in the 86th minute to break the 1-1 tie.

"Albany is a strong, talented team, so I am very pleased to get the win at their field," head coach Andrew Griffiths said after the game. "It was a determined performance by our deep defense, as they were under pressure in overtime. We also got some excellent goalkeeping from Jessica."

Sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch is putting together a stellar season in the cage, recording a 1.28 goals-against average, good enough for 10th place nationally. Deutsch has allowed only nine goals in seven games so far this season.

Valeo and fellow senior co-captain Deanna DiCroce have led the Leopard offense, tallying 13 and 12 points, respectively. Valeo's 13 leads the Patriot League and her 0.86 assists per game slot her fifth in the nation.

Sophomore Brittany Blass controls a defense that has allowed just nine shots on goal per game. Blass has also contributed offensively, leading the team in goals with four.

Lafayette continues its postponed game with Rider tonight at 7 p.m. at Rappolt Field. The Leopards lead 2-0 with 6:15 left in the first half.