For head coach Dianne Nolan and the Lafayette women’s basketball team (2-0) the goal is simple – rise to every challenge. With wins against Rider and Brown to open its season, the team has done just that.
The challenge is stay perfect heading into tonight’s game against Columbia in the Kirby Sports Center. If Lafayette does keep its record unblemished, it’s likely junior forward Emily Homan will have played a pivotal role.
“Emily has blossomed and has been able to become a dominating presence inside,” Nolan said. “She is playing the complete game right now.”
Homan scored 21 points and had seven rebounds in the win against Rider. She followed up that performance with a double-double (21 points, 13 rebounds) and the game winning basket at Brown. Homan was also awarded the Patriot League Player of the Week Award to add to an already impressive start.
In the first two games, the key has been solid play late in the second half.
Nolan pointed out how this is a veteran team who has been here before, and is comfortable playing in different situations.
“The players are very aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses and you can see that by the way they pass to each other late in games,” Nolan said. “That only comes from a lot of practice, to be able to know your teammates’ moves.”
Alongside Homan has been the strong play of senior Danielle Fiacco ‘14. Both Fiacco and Homan provide a 1-2 punch that constantly challenges opponents on both ends of the court. When one sits, the other stands in and continues to control the paint.
“They have a nice rhythm going,” Nolan said. “When a new unit comes on [opposing teams] have to contend with one or the other.”
Fiacco is averaging eight points and six rebounds per game thus far.
According to Nolan, what makes this team so tough is their ability to match up with whichever lineup the other team features. This will be key moving forward.
“You want to play us five guards, we can play five guards,” Nolan said. “If you want to go big, we can go big.”
Nolan knows that as the season progresses the key is to continue to develop and come together as a team. And if this weekend was an indication of what is to come, then the rest of the Patriot League better prepare appropriately.
“As long as we keep growing and continue to get better, then I think we are in for a fun season,” Nolan said.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.