Women’s Lacrosse Drops Final Regular Season Game

Last Saturday, the women’s lacrosse team traveled to Bethlehem, PA to face the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. This was the team’s final regular season match before hosting the Patriot League Tournament. The 15-11 loss was a reality check for the team and deprived it from going undefeated in Patriot League Regular Season action.

“We started off the game very slow, and once we got back on track we were down by too many goals to come back,” Head Coach Heather Bliss said. “Lehigh deserved to win that day; they played a great game.”

The Raiders drew first blood at the 1:43 mark to take their first and only lead of the game at 1-0 when junior attacker Brie Moran scored on an unassisted goal. From then on, the first half of the game belonged to the Mountain Hawks. Lehigh scored two unanswered goals 32 seconds apart before Colgate answered back to knot the game at two with 26 minutes left in the half, off a goal by first-year Courtney Miller that was assisted by senior captain Ashley Didio. After the second Raider goal, the Mountain Hawks went on a rampage. They scored eight out of the last nine goals of the half to take a 10-3 lead at the intermission. The third Colgate goal of the half was scored unassisted by junior midfielder Meghan Lawler.

In the opening moments of the second frame, it seemed as if this half would bring more of the same, when the hosts scored 30 seconds into the half to make the score 11-3 in favor of Lehigh. That goal, however, seemed to wake the Raiders up, as they started playing the way they are used to by controlling the game. Sophomore midfielder Colleen Bubnack scored the first of three Colgate unanswered goals at the 2:18 mark, as the Raiders got within five goals with 24 minutes left in the half. Throughout the next twenty minutes, both teams traded goals, scoring four each to make the score 15-9 in the Mountain Hawks’ favor with three minutes left. ‘Gate scored the last two goals of the game to make the final score a respectable 15-11 in Lehigh’s favor.

Bubnack and Moran led the way for the Raiders, each scoring two goals and adding two helpers. First-year goaltender Christina Roa had a career-best 19 saves in the loss.

“The loss was a big reality check for us, as we had won 10 out of the last 11 games and we were all getting complacent,” Bliss said. “It was a great reality check of how hard we need to work this week to try and defend our title. In a way the loss has helped put us back on track and we are ready for our game this Friday.”

Halfway through the week, the annual All-Patriot League First and Second Teams were announced. Six Raiders were honored this year. Five were named to the First Team and one Colgate player was named to the Second Team. Moran, Bubnack, Miller, Lawler, and senior Maddie Kearns were named to the All-Patriot League First Team. Didio was the lone representative of the Regular Season Champions in the All-Patriot League Second Team. Furthermore, Kearns was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Bliss is the Patriot League Coach of the Year.

The Raiders will host the Patriot League Tournament this coming weekend at Tyler’s Field.

“This weekend the focus needs to be on us and our style of play,” Bliss said. “We have done a lot of scouting and we know the ins and outs of the teams that are in the tournament. We are going to rely on our strengths as a squad as that is what has proved to be successful for us so far.”

No. 2 Lehigh will face No. 3 Navy in the first semifinal on Friday at 2 p.m., while the first-seeded Colgate Raiders will try to overcome the fourth-seeded Bucknell Bison in the second semifinal game at 5 p.m. The 2009 Championship game will take place on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. Colgate defeated Bucknell, 12-7 and Navy, 10-4 earlier this year.