The Lafayette Lancers heads into two tough field hockey games this week fresh off winning the Public School League Gold Division tournament championship.
The Lancers defeated rival Marquette 4-2 in the title game played at Lafayette.
The Lancers (15-1-3) now have won seven consecutive games. Lafayette’s only loss came Sept. 18 in a 3-2 decision against at Villa Duchesne.
This will be a big week for the squad.
Lafayette plays the MICDS Rams (12-4-2) on Tuesday and then the John Burroughs Bombers (8-6-1) on Thursday. Both games will be played at Lafayette. Both games have 4:15 p.m. starts.
Schroeder knows these games present two solid challenges to her Lancers. Last fall, Lafayette defeated perennially powerful MICDS 2-1 in the quarterfinals of the Midwest Field Hockey State Tournament.
“They will be two very tough teams and will help use prepare for the postseason,” Schroeder said. “MICDS is a very well-coached and disciplined team so it will be a good challenge and test for us. ”
Schroeder knows what her Lancers have to do to have a good week against two qualify opponents.
“The girls just have to stay focused, humble, and keeping working as a team to keep winning games,” Schroeder said.
The Lancers entered the Gold Division play on a roll. Schroeder liked what she has seen from her squad.
Schroeder believed Lafayette would win the tournament.
“We have been playing very good in the last few games leading up to the tournament so I was pleased with our play in the tournament,” Schroeder said. “Our expectations are always to outwork our opponent and, of course, the expectation was to win the Gold Division.”
The Lancers opened with a 6-1 victory over Ladue. In the semifinals, Lafayette topped Edwardsville by a 6-1 margin.
“We took control early and never looked back, and we were the same with Edwardsville,” Schroeder said. “We played as a team and our passing was great.”
The Lancers showed their grit and determination in the championship match against the Marquette Mustangs.
Twice in the first half, the Mustangs held the lead. However, Lafayette rallied and went into halftime holding a 4-2 lead.
“We always know playing Marquette is going to be tough because it’s one of our rivals,” Schroeder said. “It was so important to go into halftime with the lead. It makes the players be able to relax and just go play.
“When we had to play from behind I wasn’t worried because I know how competitive our team is and how bad they fight to win. But Marquette is a tough, resilient team that won’t give up. ”
The tournament title was a good one for her squad, Schroeder said.
“The girls reaction was great and it shows how hard they have worked to get to this point and be 15-1-3 on the season,” Schroeder said. “They are seeing the results of all the efforts they have put in and its a nice reward for them. As a coach, I was just happy to be done with four games and four wins during homecoming week.
“There were a lot of distractions that they could have focused on this week, but they didn’t and focused on field hockey.”
Winning the tournament featured many Lancers playing big roles, Schroeder said.
“We had a so many different goal scorers throughout the tournament, but Meghan Conroy and Jill Wipke, our senior captains, know how to take control of a game and they proved it this week,” Schroeder said. “We had some really good minutes from kids off the bench as well. Overall, we played as a team and not individuals which is nice to see as we finish out the last two weeks of regular season.
“Other pretty major contributors were freshmen Mia Simpson and Elayna Malak, and junior Katherine Goddin. Our defense has been very good for us all season and this week.”