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Leopards Up to No. 13 in Latest NFHCA Rankings

Oct. 2, 2012

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EASTON, Pa. - Coming off impressive victories over Rider and Patriot League foe American last week, the Lafayette field hockey team has moved up one spot in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) rankings to number 13.

"It is a tremendous honor to be ranked up amongst some great teams and highly-regarded athletic programs," head coach Andrew Griffiths said. "It is a reflection of how we have been playing, and of the hard work that our players are putting into the process."

Lafayette's senior co-captains Deanna DiCroce and Emily Valeo have been the anchors for this year's squad, leading the team in points with 18 and 15, respectively. Valeo currently sits third in the nation in assists per game, averaging exactly one assist per contest. DiCroce is right behind her nationally in the fourth spot, notching 0.89 helpers per game. Her 18 points and Valeo's nine assists lead the Patriot League.

Sophomore Jessica Deutsch has been a staple in the cage this season, holding opponents to a stingy 1.19 goals per game. Deutsch's goals-against average currently ranks 10th nationally and leads the Patriot League. She has allowed only four goals against the three ranked opponents the Leopards have faced this season, giving up two to Penn State and one apiece to Drexel and Albany.

"Our expectations for ourselves will remain high," added Griffiths. "It's important for us to keep improving with each practice and game, but our players are determined and we feel very good about where we are at this point in the season."

Lafayette has recorded multiple marquee victories this season, taking down No. 15 Drexel and No. 21 Albany, as well as coming up with a decisive 4-1 victory over Patriot League preseason favorite American on Sept. 29. The Leopards' only loss came at the hands of No. 9 Penn State (ranked sixth in this week's poll) on Sept. 2 in a 3-2 defeat.

Next up for the Maroon and White is a matchup with Penn on Wednesday at Rappolt Field at 7 p.m.