The men’s soccer team played two overtime games this week against in-state rivals. As tough as the 1-0 loss to Binghamton University in overtime last Saturday night was, the 3-2 O.T. victory over the Syracuse Orange on Labor Day at Van Doren Field was exactly the opposite.
In Binghamton, both defenses would bend, but not break, in regulation. Each team had several chances to score, but neither team could find the back of the net during regulation. Junior midfielder Jeff Leach had two shots on goal, and senior midfielder Chris Salmon provided the best chance for the Raiders all game when his header glanced off the crossbar.
The game headed into overtime, but it did not last long as Binghamton’s junior defender Kyle Manscuk scored less than 90 seconds into the extra period. The goal came off a free kick for the Bearcats, taken by senior defender Kyle Kucharski, who crossed it to junior midfielder John Saliar, whose shot hit the crossbar. Luckily for Binghamton, Manscuk was right there to collect the deflection and finish the chance, past Colgate’s sophomore goalkeeper Chris Miller.
“It was definitely a hard fought game for both of us, and they were able to sneak one in,” Leach said. “There is no one to blame, they just were able to sneak one in off of a good bounce. No team really deserved to win, but we learned a lot from the game.”
Binghamton’s team held the leading edge in shots and corner kicks, with an 11-9 and 6-3 advantage respectively.
On Monday, however, it was the Raiders who got the bounces they needed to defeat the Orange. The game was very entertaining to watch, as it was full of offensive firepower and great saves. Although neither team could score in the first half, the game was played at a very up-tempo pace with the Raiders out shooting the Orange 10-5. Syracuse first-year goalkeeper Ryan Jones was tested early and often in his first collegiate start. Colgate’s best chance of the half came from first-year forward Shane Conlin’s 30-yard blast that beat Jones, but caromed off the post.
When the second half commenced, the fans got an immediate taste of the offensive show that was going to take place over the next 45 minutes. The Orange got on the board first as senior forward Tom Perevegvencev scored just two minutes into the second half. Perevegvencev was able to run down a through-ball and beat the charging Chris Miller for the goal. Colgate was able to net the equalizer just 11 minutes later as senior midfielder Alex Weekes scored. Weekes’ blast from twenty yards out sent the Colgate fans into a frenzy. In the 75th minute, senior midfielder Chris Ross gave the Raiders their first lead of the match as he dissected the Syracuse defense and put one home from just inside the 18-yard box. However, this did not affect the Syracuse offensive attack as the Orange’s first-year midfielder Mark Brode scored a mere minute later. Brode took a throw-in from junior defensemen Justin Arena and was able to curl the ball into the far post from the outside box.
The Raiders caught a break in the overtime session to seal the win. Syracuse’s first-year midfielder Mawuena Agbossoumonde, older brother of US U-20 defender Gale Agbossoumonde, was called for a handball inside of the penalty area, which earned Colgate a penalty kick. Jones gave a great effort on the penalty kick, as he was able to get fingertips to the Weekes’ blast, but that was not enough as the ball coasted into the back of the net, giving the Raiders their second home victory of the season.
“We sometime find ourselves coming out slow in the second half and then immediately following the goal, and those instances they charge us up actually, but I prefer not to have us get charged up that way,” Ross said. “We were able to maintain our high level as we saw Syracuse getting tired. Our persistence going forward is what really got us the win.”
Colgate outshot the Orange 25-16, with Jones making 12 saves for Syracuse, and Miller making three saves for Colgate. The Raiders also held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks on the night. It was just to see the Raiders pull this out, as they outplayed Syracuse throughout the game.
“We played a great half of soccer in the first half and [we were] ready to get out in the second half and get a lead. We had a defensive breakdown early in the second half, but luckily we were able to rally back, and then another defensive breakdown tied it up,” Leach said. “It’s tough with the ups and downs of the game, and it was a deserved outcome for us. We definitely wanted a point from this game at the least.”
Colgate returns to action tomorrow, as the team travels to face another in-state foe in the University at Albany. Kick-off is slated for 4 p.m.