Women’s Lax Loses Tough Game to Penn State

The Colgate’s women’s lacrosse team enjoyed a strong start to the season, winning its first two games by a combined score of 37-8. Since then, however, the Raiders have dropped two straight games against much stiffer competition. After a loss to No. 16 Cornell, the Raiders suffered a 16-6 defeat to Penn State last Saturday.

“Our coaches prepare us the same for every game,” senior midfielder Ashley Didio said. “We knew PSU and Cornell were ranked higher but that didn’t make us change our practices at all.”

The game started as a tight battle. After Penn State took an early lead at 1-0, Colgate was quickly able to counter, as sophomore middie Colleen Bubnack converted her free position shot.

The Nittany Lions then responded with two more goals, but this time senior captain Nancy Clayton was able to stem the tide, tickling the twine with a shot of her own. After Penn State followed that up with a goal of its own, Didio tallied the first of her two scores to bring the score to 4-3 with 23:23 left in the first half. However, that 23:23 mark was where the game took a turn for the worse.

“We had a tough game overall,” Didio said. “It was really a team effort because we all just broke down as a team.”

The Nittany Lions scored 10 unanswered goals from there, six of which came before the half, which ended with the Raiders trailing 10-3. Coach Heather Bliss tried to change things up and get the momentum going in the Raiders’ favor, even subbing first-year goalkeeper Christina Roa in for senior starter Sara Drexler, but nothing seemed to be the answer.

It wasn’t until the 19:56 mark of the second half that Colgate was able to find the back of the net again, meaning they had gone 33:26 without scoring a goal. After that goal at 19:56 by junior attack Brie Moran, Didio brought the score to 14-5, but any threat of a run diminished when Penn State scored twice more.

“It doesn’t mean anything to me to score goals when we don’t win. I’d rather win and not score,” Didio said.

Senior Maddie Kearns added the game’s final score with a little over two minutes remaining.

“This year’s team isn’t really individually oriented so we can’t all come out flat,” Didio said. “We don’t have one go-to player so to win this year it will have to be a team effort.”

The Raiders next return to action on Saturday at Tyler’s Field at noon against American in the Patriot League opener.

“We’re looking forward to American,” Didio said. “We’re excited to get the Patriot League schedule started.”

Colgate is favored to win the league this year, while the Eagles are slated to finish fourth.

“Being picked to win the league puts a little more pressure on us, but I really think that makes us work harder,” Didio said.