From Iowa City, Iowa to Easton, Pa. Last Sunday, the Lafayette field hockey team hosted No. 13 ranked Iowa (2-0) in its season opener, losing 3-0.
It was also the team’s opener under new head coach Jennifer Stone (featured this week in The Lafayette’s Coaches Corner). Stone was a six-year assistant under former head coach Andrew Griffiths, who left for Old Dominion last December.
“We’re just really comfortable with Jennifer,” junior goalkeeper Jessica Deutsch said. “Getting a new coach half way through our athletic careers would have been a rough transition. [But] Jennifer knows us and how we play.”
Deutsch, the reigning Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Year, made four stops against the Hawkeyes. A Lafayette infraction in the circle led to an Iowa penalty stroke 10 minutes into the first half. Just three minutes later, Iowa scored again.
Lafayette appeared to score once, but a penalty called it back. Iowa scored shortly into the second half to secure the victory. Both teams had 10 shots on goal and six penalty corners.
“We played well as a team,” Hanna Sotiropoulos ‘14 said. “One of our goals for this season is definitely to be able to be more aggressive in the circle and be able to finish by putting the ball in the back of the goal.”
Despite the loss, Lafayette left for the locker room with lessons learned.
“After playing Iowa we are able to walk away knowing that there are a lot of things we need to keep working on,” Kristin Heaney ‘14 said. “There were also a lot of positives we were able to take away from the game. We are in a good place as a team.”
Iowa was the first of four top-20 ranked teams on Lafayette’s schedule. Boston University, a new addition to the Patriot League, is ranked No. 19 nationally and is the preseason favorite to win the Patriot League Championship.
“It’s a really great opportunity to play some of the best competition in the country and will help us later in the season when it matters,” Heaney said. “We will know what it is like to play the best of the best.”
“We’re setting the bar high,” Captain Brittany Blass ‘15 said. “You can’t beat the best if you don’t play them. With so many tough competitors, we have the ability to figure out what it takes to win against them.”
This weekend, Lafayette will travel to face Central Michigan (2-0) in Philadelphia tomorrow and the University of Delaware (1-1) on Sunday.