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NCAA Tournament Opening Round Preview

Nov. 8, 2012

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 Lafayette vs. Maryland (Storrs, Conn.) -- NCAA Tournament 
 Date  Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at 2 p.m. (ET)
 Location  Storrs, Conn. | George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex
 At Stake  Berth in NCAA Tournament - Second Round Nov. 10
 The Opponent  Maryland Terrapins
 Live Coverage  Live Video | Live Stats | Twitter | Facebook

Facility & Directions: For an overview of George J. Sherman Family-Sports Complex, click here, and directions to the University of Connecticut, click here.

Scouting the Terps: The defending national champion Maryland Terrapins are ranked No. 6 in the latest NFHCA rankings and are coming off a 4-2 loss to No. 1 North Carolina in the ACC Championship game. Jill Witmer leads a balanced Terrapin attack with 35 points on 13 goals and nine assists. Maryland has five players with over 20 points and 10 players with points in double figures.

Coaching Tree: Prior to becoming the head coach at Lafayette, Leopards' head man Andrew Griffiths spent seven seasons as an assistant coach. In his time at Maryland, the Terps won four ACC championships, made it to four Final Four's, two championship games, and won the national championship in 1999.

Emotional Roller Coaster: Lafayette field hockey rode a wave of emotions on Tuesday. In the NCAA Play-In Game, the Leopards fell to No. 2 Princeton, 6-0, dampening hopes of an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. That night, the team gathered to watch the NCAA Selection Show. After 10 names went by, Lafayette was called and the day immediately went from one of dissapointment to gratitude that a season's worth of work did not come down to one game. 

Individual Honors
: Senior co-captain Deanna DiCroce, sophomore goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch and head coach Andrew Griffiths all received major awards from the Patriot League for outstanding seasons. DiCroce was named Offensive Player of the Year, while Deutsch was Goalkeeper of the Year and Griffiths earned Coach of the Year honors.

All-League: Six members of the squad were named to All-League teams as senior co-captain Emily Valeo and sophomore Brittany Blass joined DiCroce and Deutsch on the First Team. Sophomore Jenna Seybert and senior Jaclyn White were Second Team honorees. 

In the Classroom: Valeo and White were named to the Academic All-Patriot League squad after stellar academic careers. Valeo, an English major, is currently sporting a 3.73 GPA, while White holds a 3.63 GPA as a Geology major. 

Taking Home the Hardware: After capturing a share of the Patriot League regular season title, Lafayette won its league-leading ninth Patriot League Field Hockey Championship by defeating American and Colgate in the Patriot League Tournament, both in overtime.  

All-Tournament Team: Led by Patriot League Tournament MVP, DiCroce, Lafayette had four players selected to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team. Joining DiCroce were co-captain Valeo, junior Haley Keenan and sophomore Brittany Blass. 

DiCroce for the Win:
 DiCroce leads Lafayette and the League in goals (18) and points (51). The Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year scored the game-winning goal on a penalty stroke in overtime to take down American in the Patriot League Championship game. 

In The Cage:
 Deutsch has been stellar in the cage all season long, allowing just 23 goals in 19 games. Her 1.30 goals-against average ranks among the best in the nation.

Getting Defensive: Lafayette has shut out six opponents in 2012, including a stretch of five striaght to close the regular season. In the 7-0 over Holy Cross on Oct. 20, the Leopards did not allow a shot or a corner. 

Connect With The 'Pards: Make sure to `like' the Lafayette Leopards on Facebook and follow @goleopards on Twitter to keep up with the latest Lafayette College Athletics breaking news.