Women’s Soccer Winless at Colorado Classic

Colgate women’s soccer took off to Boulder, CO last weekend to participate in the Colorado Soccer Classic, an always exciting event for the Raiders. This year proved no exception, as Colgate tied Oregon in their opener, 1-1, and fell to the University of Denver 1-0 in double overtime in their second match.

The Raiders opened the tournament with a matchup against Pac-10 foe Oregon. The shot count from the first half told the whole story, as the Ducks outshot Colgate 14-1. However, thanks to the stellar performance of first-year goalkeeper Ashley Walsh, who had a career-high 12 saves, as well as the ability of the Colgate defense to restrict the Ducks to long-range efforts, Oregon could not grab an early lead, and the match went into halftime tied at zero.

The second half started out similarly to the first, with Oregon heavily pressuring the Colgate defense. As happens so often in soccer when a team is dominating offensively, Oregon found themselves way too far up the field, leaving them susceptible to the counter-attack. After gaining possession after a save, Walsh saw this opportunity and booted the ball up the field to redshirt senior forward Jamie Herrmann, who broke through on goal and bent her shot around the keeper from close range, scoring her first career goal to give Colgate a shock 1-0 advantage. In a year of great stories for Raiders’ soccer, Herrmann’s is among the best.

“The goal felt unreal,” Herrmann said. “This is actually my first year without my ankle being injured. About 18 months ago, I was told I would never play again. So to be able to play, pain-free, against a Pac-10 opponent and score my first goal at age 22 is something I only dreamed about. Both of my parents made the trip to Colorado, so…they were there to see it. The experience seemed like a fairytale.”

Colgate’s defense held strong for the next 28 minutes, until a set piece goal from Oregon’s senior defender Danielle Sweeney leveled the match at one-all, and sent the game into overtime, where neither side managed to capture a goal, and the game ended 1-1.

“It was very exciting to play in such an intense game,” Walsh said. “The competition was great, and the scenery was beautiful.”

Colgate closed out the tournament with a Sunday match against the University of Denver. The game started out as a defensive struggle, with neither side registering a shot on target in the first half. The second half, however, was very reminiscent of the Oregon match, with Walsh making a number of key saves to keep the Raiders in it.

Regulation ended 0-0, sending the game into overtime. Denver continued to dominate in overtime and finally cracked the Colgate defense in the 103rd minute, as a through ball to senior midfielder Kelli Breidenbach left her one-on-one with Walsh, who could do little to stop the laser directed at the upper part of the goal.

“Our team really came together this weekend and played well,” Walsh said. “Unfortunately, the outcomes of the games don’t reflect how we played.”

The Raiders are in action this weekend with a 7 p.m. Friday home match against Central New York rival Syracuse, before they head downstate to take on Marist College in Poughkeepsie on Sunday.