Women’s Lax Clinches Patriot League Regular Season Title

Women's Lax Clinches Patriot League Regular Season Title

Jaime Heilbron

Last Saturday, in a sunny yet bitterly cold afternoon in Hamilton, the women’s lacrosse team faced its toughest in-league competition in Bucknell. As has been the norm this year, the Raiders defeated their opponent, this time by a score of 12-7, to cap off an undefeated Patriot League regular season.

With the win against the Bison, Colgate clinched the Patriot League regular season title and the right to host the Patriot League Tournament on the last weekend of April. The victory also gave the Class of 2009 the chance to play at least one more game at Tyler’s Field.

“In our four years playing lacrosse, the class of 2009 has never had the opportunity to host the tournament,” senior captain Ashley Didio said. “Hosting the tournament was one goal we had for the team this year, and we are all thrilled to be playing on Tyler’s Field in two weeks.”

The game-winning goal came from first-year Courtney Miller at the 11:01 mark of the second half off an assist from junior attacker Brie Moran. Miller’s goal gave Colgate an 8-5 lead and momentum in the second half. The Bison were never able to fully recover.

As it had during the past few games, Colgate drew first blood to go up 1-0 at the 2:31 mark of the first half. Senior midfielder Maddie Kearns scored the goal, assisted by junior midfielder Meghan Lawler. Just over two minutes later, Bucknell scored two back-to-back goals, 92 seconds apart, to take its only lead of the game. The Bison lead was short-lived, however, as sophomore midfielder Colleen Bubnack scored sixteen seconds later to tie things up at two-all. A little over three minutes later, Didio scored her first of three goals off a free position shot to give the lead back to the Raiders, making the score 3-2. Colgate scored four of the game’s next six goals to take a 7-4 lead into the half.

At the beginning of the second half, Bucknell tacked on one more goal. After the goal, however, ‘Gate regained control of the game, scoring three straight goals to put away its opponents. The Bison answered with another goal, to make the game 10-6, but the disciplined Raider team held on to win the game 12-7.

“Our team was really focused this week in preparing for Bucknell,” Didio said. “We knew how important this game was, and we wanted to make sure we were prepared.”

Didio and Miller led the team in goals with three goals apiece. Lawler paced the team in assists with three. Senior goaltender Sarah Drexler and first-year Christina Roa split time in the net, each playing a half. Colgate outshot Bucknell 32-15, but Bucknell goaltender Alyssa DeLorenz made 14 saves to keep Bucknell in the affair.

“We need to keep working hard in practice, something we have been doing all year,” Didio said. “It is important that we play as a team in the upcoming weeks.”

Thanks to a great week, three Raiders received Patriot League honors. Roa was the Patriot League Goalie of the Week, Bubnack was named the Defender of the Week, and Miller was the Rookie of the Week.

The Raiders will travel to Bethlehem, PA next Saturday to take on Lehigh in their final regular season game of the year. They will then head home to host the Patriot League Tournament. Didio and the Raiders will look to win that and qualify for the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive year.

The two semifinals will be played on Friday, April 24, while the 2009 championship game will be played on Sunday, April 26.