Women’s Soccer Ends Winless Streak

Colgate women’s soccer endured a busy five-day stretch last week, taking on three in-state rivals. On Wednesday, the team travelled to Ithaca, falling 2-0 to Cornell. Then in a Friday night showcase at Van Doren Field, the Raiders broke their 6-match winless streak, beating St. Bonaventure 2-0, before falling 1-0 to Albany on Sunday.

The Raiders headed to Cornell on a high, having earned a late draw against Marist three days prior. The enthusiasm was quickly suppressed, however, as an 18-yard blast from Cornell’s Hannah Labadie put the Big Red ahead, 1-0, in the 12th minute. The Raiders pressed for the remainder of the half, outshooting Cornell 7-5, but could not beat the Cornell ‘keeper.

In the second half, Cornell simply dominated possession and play, registering eight shots to Colgate’s two. Their control was justly rewarded in the 55th minute, when a through ball from Sam Wright was perfectly weighted for first-year Maneesha Chitanvia, who beat Colgate’s first-year goalkeeper Ashley Walsh on a breakaway to give Cornell the final 2-0 advantage.

After the disappointing defeat to Cornell, it would not be unfair for an outsider to expect the Raiders to fall to a St. Bonaventure team that had already registered wins against Syracuse, Buffalo and Bowling Green. However, in a resilient performance, Colgate proved their doubters wrong. The Bonnies came out firing early, putting Colgate in a defensive position from the opening whistle. It took a moment of leadership and brilliance to give the advantage to Colgate. Off of a throw-in, senior co-captain Jillian Arnault found herself 30 yards from goal, and looked up to see the St. Bonaventure goalkeeper off her line. In an effort that would make Wayne Rooney proud, she chipped her shot over the keeper and under the crossbar to give Colgate a 1-0 lead, a scoreline that would hold until halftime.

“I just saw I had some time and space after getting passed the ball in the middle, so I figured I would take a chance,” Arnault said. “The best part about the goal was the confidence it gave the team. It really served us well and led to a great attacking mentality.”

Coming out of the locker room, armed with a lead – their first since the September 4 match against Oregon – the Raiders were determined not to let this one slip away, and stepped up their attack. In the 61st minute, a blinding display gave Colgate a 2-0 advantage, and it was truly a first-year experience. First-year midfielder Elise Amioka gained possession of the ball on the left wing and raced up the sideline, delivering a Beckham-esque cross to the far post. A perfect cross is nothing without someone on the other end, however, and fellow first-year forward Jillian Kinter was not about to let this one go to waste. She raced onto the end of the cross, leaving no doubt as to her intentions by hammering a shot into the bottom corner.

“I was very excited to score my first collegiate goal,” Kinter said. It felt great to be able to contribute to the win and help the team get back on the winning foot.”

A two-goal advantage was more than enough for the Raiders. The defense held strong for the next half hour, and Colgate walked off the field, heads held high and spirits soaring, proud owners of a 2-0 victory.

“I think the confidence we took out of the game was very important,” Arnault said. “We finally realized how good we are once things come together.”

Still riding the high of the home victory, Colgate travelled to Albany to take on the Great Danes. Albany took an early lead, scoring in the 13th minute under controversial circumstances, as Colgate’s Walsh collided with an Albany forward, leaving the net open for Chrissy Klepper to give Albany the lead. Despite a tough effort from the Raiders, they could not grab the equalizer over the next 77 minutes, falling 1-0.

The Raiders wrap up their out-of-conference schedule this weekend with home matches against Vermont on Friday at 7 p.m. and Columbia on Sunday at 1 p.m. Colgate kicks off Patriot League play the following weekend, travelling to Annapolis to take on the U.S. Naval Academy on October 2.