Next season Lafayette will welcome five new members to its field hockey program,
including one player from Vancouver, British Columbia and one from Glasgow, Scotland.
Introducing Ellen Colbourne, a 5’7” forward from New Westminster Secondary School in Vancouver:
After attending a Junior National tournament in July in Vancouver, head coach Jennifer Stone was especially intrigued by Colbourne’s gameplay.
“What really attracted me to her was her speed with the ball and speed without the ball,” Stone said. “Her speed on the forward line and her athleticism, and her creativity inside the attacking twenty-five.”
Stone is confident that Colbourne will fit into the Lafayette offensive system nicely.
“The senior class that we’re graduating was a very fit and fast class,” Stone said, “And Ellen definitely is a person who would help to contribute in that way.”
Rosie Shanks, on the other hand, comes from the Craigholme School in Glasgow, making her the first overseas recruit to ever sign a letter of intent with Lafayette field hockey.
Stone was able to come into contact with Shanks while coaching an American-based team in Scotland through the use of a touring company.
Stone described the touring company as “for players interested in playing abroad and getting playing experience in an international setting.”
Along with the help of an international recruiting service, Lafayette was able to sign Shanks for the class of 2018.
Stone is not concerned that getting acclimated to American field hockey will be a challenge for Colbourne and Shanks. The culture at Lafayette, however, is a different story.
“I do think getting used to the American education system, that would be if anything, the biggest adjustment for them.” Stone said. “Just getting used to the life of Lafayette and how their athletics will tie into that.”
Stone anticipates that these players will make an immediate impact.
“I do think both these players certainly have the talent and the athleticism to contribute to the program right away.”
Both Colbourne and Shanks come to Lafayette to play field hockey at the highest collegiate level.
“Internationally, field hockey is more of a club sport whereas in America it is more of a high school and university sport,” Stone said.
Along with Colbourne and Shanks, Lafayette will also add Cody Hunsicker, Meg Lillis, and Christie Schlarbaum.
Hunsicker, Lillis, and Schlarbaum, all hailing from Pennsylvania, have experience playing multiple positions.
“I think those three, along with Rosie and Ellen will contribute just as much,” Stone said. “Pennsylvania is traditionally the best place for [field] hockey in America. This region draws an incredible amount of talent”
With ambitions of returning to the NCAA tournament, the Leopards look to help the recruiting class adjust quickly to the program to continue efforts to succeed on the national level.
“I expect this class to be a pretty solid one and an impact one for the program,” Stone said. “And I think this class should leave their mark.”