Senior midfielder Camryn Monfort scored the game-winning goal on a screamer from outside the penalty box as the Leopards defeated Colgate 3-1 last Saturday for their first win this spring.
The team is now 1-1-1 at the midway point of a shortened season, with three games remaining before the playoffs begin in April.
“I am just happy it went in and gave us the lead,” Monfort said of her 67th minute goal. “I think after scoring, we never looked back and finished out the game really strong and with a lot of confidence.”
Head coach Mick Statham was thrilled too, and extolled the “spirit of the team” throughout the entire road trip. He said the team had the best warm up he’d seen in a long time and clearly came ready to play.
“I thought they raised the bar for a Lafayette team, just how to go about your business, how to perform, how to get it done when you know you have to,” Statham said. “I thought it was very well done by the players and they deserve a lot of credit.”
On Saturday, Colgate held a seven to three advantage in shots during the opening half, but it was sophomore forward Melissa Lamanna who struck first. She corralled a cross from senior forward Krista Kissell and beat the goalie with her second shot after the first was blocked by a defender.
“We knew we had to get the job done, especially for the sake of our season because it’s so short,” Lamanna said.
For the second straight week, Lamanna scored almost immediately after being substituted into the game, notching a goal in the 37th minute just six minutes after coming in. Last week against Holy Cross, Lamanna scored less than four minutes after entering the game.
“I think it’s just fresh legs,” Lamanna said. “And I know I might not play as much as my other teammates, so I know that every minute I’m in I have to try to make a difference.”
Statham, laughing, said he would consider exclusively bringing in Lamanna as a substitute if she continued to score every time she entered the game.
Lafayette carried a 1-0 advantage into the halftime break, but Colgate found the equalizer in the 55th minute off a quick shot in the box. Kissell nearly scored less than a minute later, but her shot from point-blank range was turned aside.
The Leopards did score again just a few minutes later, as Monfort’s bullet from outside the box snuck its way into the lower left corner of the net. It was just the second career goal for the four-year player, who was a defender during her first three seasons on College Hill.
“I grew up playing in the midfield position more so getting to be back there is great,” Monfort said. “I was really just happy to contribute and help in any way I could.”
Monfort was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week after notching the go-ahead goal.
Monfort’s score was assisted by senior midfielder Clare Mengel, who earned her first career point in the process. The Leopards added an insurance goal in the 80th minute on a one-timer from sophomore defender Rory Schauder, who redirected a corner from senior forward Rebecca Schreiner. Lafayette held on for the 3-1 win and their first Patriot League victory this spring.
The Leopards were outshot 14-9 but recorded more shots on goal (5-2) and corner kicks (5-3) than the Raiders. Once again, Lafayette used different goalies in the first and second halves: senior Maggie Pohl played the first half and made one save while sophomore Natalie Neumann was the netminder in the second half.
The matchup against the Raiders ended a brief two-game road trip for the Leopards, who will play their next two opponents in Easton before making the short trip to Bethlehem to face Lehigh in the season finale.
“It’s a short season, obviously you’ve got to rack up points quickly because you don’t get many second chances,” Statham said. “We’re going into the weekend pretty confident and hoping we can get some more points against BU.”
Next up is a battle with Boston University tomorrow at 2 p.m., with a small number of tickets available online.