Women’s Soccer Earns a Tie, Loses to Syracuse

Colgate women’s soccer kept things in-state last weekend and came out of their two matches with a loss and a draw, falling 1-0 to Syracuse and tying Marist 1-1.

The team’s weekend play kicked off on a rainy Friday night at Van Doren Field against Syracuse University. The Orange dominated the match from the commencing whistle, registering 12 shots in the opening half, though Colgate’s first-year goalkeeper Ashley Walsh only had to handle two. Despite its offensive dominance, Syracuse could not capitalize in the opening 45, and the teams went into halftime tied at 0-0.

The second half proved to be a continuation of the first, with Syracuse again dominating both sides of the ball. The constant pressure they provided finally bore fruit in the 62nd minute. Syracuse’s first-year midfielder Rosina Castillo blasted a shot from the top of the penalty area, which took a deflection off of fellow first-year Jenna Rickan, sending the ball past a diving Walsh, who was merely the victim of an unfortunate ricochet. Colgate’s offense stepped up in the ensuing 28 minutes, with a great chance from first-year defender Sarah Henderson stopped by the Syracuse keeper, and a close-range header from senior midfielder Jillian Arnault sent just wide of the post. Thus was the story of the day, with the Raiders walking off the field with the scoreboard showing a 1-0 Syracuse victory.

The Raiders looked to redeem themselves on Sunday with a road trip to Marist College in Poughkeepsie. Marist controlled the opening half, and their reward came much sooner than Syracuse’s had. Marist’s senior forward Kate Fox met a cross from their first-year defender Jessica Arabia just in front of goal. Her lofted header drifted over Walsh, who was just a bit too far off of her line, giving the Red Foxes a 1-0 lead, a score which held into halftime.

Colgate came out hard in the second half, not wanting to see another game lost by so close a margin. Though the Raiders were outshot in the half 14-8, they generated a number of quality chances, especially in the final ten minutes. With less than a minute remaining on the clock, in the midst of a scramble in front of the Marist goal, the ball fell to Colgate’s first-year forward Avery Atkins, who made no mistake with her opportunity, blasting into a poorly-defended goal, to tie the match at 1-1 and send it into overtime.

“[It was a] huge relief that, after 89 minutes of our team fighting for a goal, we got it,” Atkins said. “It’s crazy to think that I scored with 50 seconds left. It was pretty incredible.”

Though deflated because of the late equalizer, Marist was not content to settle for the draw, and nearly won the match in the first overtime period, when a header from Fox careened off the crossbar. In the second period, Arnault had a great look on goal for the Colgate, and was just barely denied by Marist goalkeeper Jaime Balzarini. That was the last of the good chances for either side, and the match finished 1-1.

“It was a tough weekend, but we can obviously learn a lot from the two games,” Arnault said.

Despite the poor start to the season, team co-captain Arnault believes things will get better.

“We have an amazingly talented team, and I have full confidence we will turn things around,” Arnault said. “We just need to capitalize on our opportunities and continue to do well, which we are fully capable of doing.”

Colgate’s next home match is September 18 at 7 p.m., against St. Bonaventure University on Van Doren Field.