Sept. 18, 2012
NFHCA Top 25 (Sept. 18)
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Lafayette's strong start to the season has been recognized by national voters, as the Leopards came in at No. 18 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) top 25 released on Tuesday.
Lafayette cracks the rankings with a 5-1 record, including a 2-1 win over then No. 15 Drexel on Friday in Easton. The Leopards also own an impressive 2-1 win at James Madison on Sept. 1, and their only loss came the next day when they fell 3-2 at a Penn State team that is now No. 6 in the nation. Lafayette is ranked for the first time since 2002.
The defending Patriot League champion Leopards lead the League in both scoring average (3.00) and goals against average (1.33). Deanna DiCroce (10), Emily Valeo (9) and Brittany Blass (8) are all in the top 10 in the Patriot League in points, while Jessica Deutsch leads the way with a 1.33 goals against average. Each player was instrumental in the win over Drexel, as DiCroce and Valeo set up Blass for both goals off of penalty corners and Deutsch made four saves in the game. DiCroce and Blass were honored for their performance with Patriot League weekly awards on Monday.
No. 18 Lafayette will get an immediate test to its status when it visits No. 21 Albany on Saturday afternoon. Lafayette will then host Rider on Sept. 25 before beginning Patriot League play at preseason favorite American on Sept. 29.