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Lafayette Jumps Three Spots in NFHCA Rankings

Oct. 16, 2012

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EASTON, Pa. – After consecutive shutouts this past weekend, the Lafayette field hockey team moved up three spots in the latest NFHCA poll from 14th to 11th.

After blanking Bucknell, 2-0, on Saturday to take over sole possession of first place in the Patriot League standings, the Leopards defeated Rutgers by that same tally to give reigning goalkeeper of the week Jessica Deutsch her third clean sheet of the season.

With the Bucknell win, Lafayette became the first team to clinch a spot in this year’s Patriot League tournament to be held on Nov. 2-3.

"It is great to clinch a Patriot League tournament berth with two league games remaining, and we are getting recognition for our consistent results, which is a nice reward,” head coach Andrew Griffiths said. “We know, however, that we clearly have some areas to improve in how we are playing, and this will definitely keep us focused in our last three regular season games."

Deutsch, current defensive player of the week Brittany Blass, and the Lafayette defense have been impressive this season, allowing only 14 goals in 13 games. They allowed only three shots on goal versus Bucknell and five shots total against Rutgers. Deutsch’s league-best 1.06 goals-against average sits fifth in the nation.

The Leopards’ senior co-captains have led the team emotionally and statistically. Reigning Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Deanna DiCroce has tallied nine goals and nine assists for 27 points, while senior Emily Valeo has notched six goals and 12 assists totaling 24 points. Valeo’s 12 assists are good enough for the fourth spot nationally in assists per game (0.92).

Lafayette continues Patriot League play with a trip to Worcester, Mass. for a matchup with Holy Cross on Saturday at noon.