Men’s Lacrosse Repeat Patriot League Tournament Title and NCAA Hopes Dashed

Steve Urban

The men’s lacrosse team suffered a crushing 9-8 defeat in triple overtime at the hands of the Navy Midshipmen last Friday in the Patriot League Tournament semifinals hosted at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. For the Raiders, the automatic qualifier in winning the Patriot League Tournament was their easiest way back to the NCAA tournament this year. Needing a win at No. 1 Syracuse and some help from Yale and Johns Hopkins to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large, Colgate fell to the Orange 13-7 last Saturday. The Raiders finished the season with nine wins and six losses.

In the semis, Navy junior middie Joe Lennon scored his fourth goal of the day just over a minute into the third overtime to give the Mids the win and vault them into the title game against Bucknell. Lennon scored the last three goals of the game, including two in a 90-second time frame between 2:51 and 1:21 left in the fourth quarter that sent the game to overtime.

Both teams had several chances in first two extra periods, but neither team could find the back of the net. The Raiders squandered a man-up in the first overtime, and had a shot by junior middie Ian Murphy glace off the crossbar in the second.

Leading the way for the Raiders was junior attackman Zach Craumer who had a career-high four goals on the afternoon. Junior defensemen Michael Crown added two points on a goal and an assist as well. The Midshipmen held the Colgate senior attack tandem of Kevin Colleluori and Brandon Corp to fairly quiet games, each netting a goal each. Corp’s goal came in the first period, and was the first goal of the game. The goal extended his point-scoring streak to 47-games. Craumer then netted the next two goals of the game to give the Raiders a 3-0 advantage. Navy then responded with a goal midway through the quarter to trim the lead to two. It looked as if the period would end that way, but Craumer scored his third goal of the period with just a second left to give the Raiders a 4-1 lead after one. The goal was caused when Michael Crown stripped a Navy player trying to run out the clock, got the ball, raced down field, and dished the ball to Craumer alone on the doorstep who beat Navy senior goalie Tommy Phelan for the goal. Phelan finished with nine saves on the day, and junior goalie Tim Harrington finished with nine as well for the Raiders.

The second quarter was all Navy, as the Midshipmen registered three unanswered goals to tie the game up at four prior to halftime. The teams then traded goals in the third period, and the score was tied at six heading into the fourth.

Colgate scored two goals in the fourth to give itself an 8-6 lead, which remained at two until the final three minutes. Unfortunately, the Raiders then committed two costly turnovers, which led to the Lennon goals.

Against Syracuse, Colgate was simply out-matched by an Orange team that is the frontrunner for the NCAA Championship. The Raiders found themselves down 9-2 before going on a furious 5-1 run, buoyed by four Corp points. ‘Cuse then woke up and scored the last three goals of the game.

Syracuse jumped out to a 4-0 lead after 10 minutes, but sophomore middie Rob Bosco punched one in for ‘Gate before the quarter ended. ‘Cuse outshot ‘Gate 15-3 in the first 15 minutes.

In the second period, Colgate found itself with the ball more often than not, outshooting Syracuse 11-3, but the Raiders had one goal in this period compared to Syracuse’s two. A big blow occurred when ‘Cuse’s Dan Hardy scored a goal with one second left off a feed from Kenny Nims. The Orange took a 6-2 lead into the half.

Syracuse continued to pour it on in the third, scoring three straight goals. Colgate then scored two of the next three to close the gap to 10-4 heading into the final 15 minutes.

At this point, ‘Cuse was on cruise control, but Corp, Colleluori, and Co. had more pride than to just lay down and lose. The Raiders scored two goals in 45 seconds early on in the fourth quarter, cutting the led to 10-6. Corp assisted both goals; one to Colleluori and onw to Craumer. Corp than took matters into his own hands with an unassisted score with 10:02 left. A 10-4 blowout became 10-7 nailbiter in a matter of three minutes.

All the momentum created by Corp went out the Carrier Dome window, though, when ‘Cuse face-off specialist Jake Moulton immediately won a clean face-off and went unmolested to the Colgate goal for a score, just five seconds after Corp put in his goal. Colgate never recovered, and lost by six.

11 different Orangemen scored goals. Kenny Nims had one goal and four assists for five points. Senior Nick Monastero scored two goals to lead ‘Gate.

Corp finished the season with 35 goals and 28 assists for 63 points at a 4.2 point per game clip. He is second in the NCAA in both overall points and points per game. Colleluori, the Robin to Corp’s Batman, scored 38 goals and 13 assists this year for 51 points.

Next year, Colgate will have a solid recruiting class, but the Raiders will lose Corp, Colleluori, Monastero and senior defender Andrew Watkins. The former three were Colgate’s top scorers, while the latter is arguably Colgate’s top defender.