Men’s Lax Picks Up Two Huge Wins Against Navy and OSU

Men's Lax Picks Up Two Huge Wins Against Navy and OSU

Steve Urban

The men’s lacrosse team posted two huge victories in their last two games, outlasting Patriot League rival and No. 13 Navy 10-9 and beating Ohio State 9-4 in Colgate’s first annual Springcoming game at Andy Kerr Stadium last Tuesday. Colgate’s victory over Navy last year in the Patriot league tournament marked Navy’s first loss in Patriot League tournament play, and the Raiders victory at Navy Saturday was the Midshipmen’s first home loss in conference. The victory puts Colgate in the driver’s seat for the Patriot League regular season crown, as the Raiders are now 2-0 in league, while Navy is 3-2.

The offensive effort against the Midshipmen was led by the attackmen as senior Brandon Corp, senior Kevin Colleluori and junior Zach Craumer scored eight of the Raiders 10 goals. Corp had five points on three goals and two assists, increasing his point scoring streak to 40 games. Colleluori had four points on three goals and one assist and Craumer had two points on a pair of goals. Sophomore middie Rob Bosco and senior middie Nick Monastero added the other two goals for the Raiders.

Colgate got on the board first as Bosco scored less than 30 seconds into the game off the opening face-off. Navy then answered with two goals of its own before the Raiders went on a three-goal run on scores from Craumer, Corp, and Monastero to make the score 4-2. However, Navy was able to net a goal in the closing seconds of the period to make the score 4-3 at the end of the first period.

In the second quarter the two teams traded goals, and it looked as if the Raiders would be heading into the half with a one-goal cushion, but Navy’s junior attackman Tim Paul found the back of the net with less than 15 seconds remaining in the half.

Navy came out strong to the second half, but the Mids weren’t able to put the ball in the net until about five minutes into the quarter. Navy got the next goal of the game midway through the quarter to push their lead to two goals. However, the Raiders responded scoring two goals by Colleluori and Craumer in less than two minutes to tie the game up at eight entering the fourth quarter.

The Raiders offensive surge continued entering the fourth, as the Raider offense looked to their attackmen to continue their production. Corp and Colleluori both had goals and the Raiders found themselves up 10-8 with less than six minutes to play in the closing period. However, Navy answered right back with a goal just over 30 seconds later the cut the lead to one, but the Midshipmen weren’t able to beat junior goalie Tim Harrington over the final five minutes as he made numerous saves to preserve the victory. Harrington was also aided by the fact that Navy hit him squarely in the chest and in the stick several times throughout the game. Harrington posted an astonishing 13 stops on the afternoon, while Navy’s first-year goalie RJ Wickham had a poor showing with only four saves an a save percentage under 30%. This was the Raiders’ first win against a ranked opponent this season, as two of their three previous wins they did not play as well as expected, and their win against Holy Cross was a blowout.

The Raiders did not disappoint the hometown crowd at Andy Kerr in their next game, decisively beating The Ohio State University 9-4 in a defensive minded match-up during the first-ever night game at Kerr.

“The atmosphere was great, we really fed off the energy of the crowd, and the guys would love it if this many people showed up to each game,” first-year attackman Pat Campbell said.

The low scoring game came as a surprise as both teams had top-20 offenses coming into the game, and both defenses were outside of the top 20. However, the only fireworks for the first three quarters at this game were saved for the half-time show. There were long stretches throughout the game where the teams didn’t register a single goal. The Buckeyes opened the scoring in the first quarter when senior middie Brian Lalley tallied his fourth goal of the season in the opening minute. Colgate then responded with a three-goal run started by Brandon Corp. The goal extended Corp’s point scoring streak to 40 games. Sophomore middie David Tucciarone scored off of the face-off following Corp’s goal by taking the ball and running uncontested down the field for a score, and senior attackman Kevin Colleluori scored ‘Gate’s final goal of the period.

The Raiders’ offense struggled to find the back of the net in the second period, and Ohio State took advantage by tying the game up at three with a pair of halfway through the second period, but that was all the offense the crowd would see for a while, as the game remained tied until two minutes into the fourth quarter.

Colgate finally broke the deadlock when the always reliable Corp forced a turnover by Ohio State goalie Brian Freeman. Corp then scooped up the groundball and fired it into the open net. The game’s momentum swung entirely in Colgate’s favor, starting an onslaught of goals.

“Corp’s goal off the turnover really fired up the offense. We we’re able to clean it up and score some goals. Plus, we’re a fourth quarter team. We have conditioned hard throughout the year and were able to run some teams into the ground because of our up-tempo style,” Campbell said.

Senior middie Nick Monastero scored his lone goal of the contest 90 seconds later to increase the Colgate lead to two goals. Yet, the Buckeyes would not go away as they quickly responded with a goal off the faceoff to bring the lead back down to one. The Raiders often got their goals in small spurts throughout the period as Corp and junior middie Ian Murphy added two goals in one minute to put the Raiders up 7-4. Late in the period the Buckeye defense began to press, and even pulled their goalie in an attempt to get the ball back to make a comeback. However the Raiders were able to exploit the Buckeye defense for two goals in the final minute. Kevin Colleluori was able to split a double team and deposit the ball in a an empty net, and Ian Murphy scored his second goal of the contest as Corp found him wide open on a cut and beat Freeman 1 on 1.

Junior goalie Tim Harrington posted another solid game for the Raiders, stopping nine shots and having a save percentage of 69.2%.

“The defense stepped up big today; Greg Perkins has been taking on every teams best attackman each week,” Campbell said, “He got the game ball last night.”

Ohio State’s Brandon Freeman had 11 saves and a save percentage of 55%, but kept the Buckeyes in the game as he shut out the Raiders in the second and third period. The game was remarkably clean as the Raiders committed only one penalty, and Buckeyes committed none. Both defenses played very solid clean defense, able to strip the offense of the ball resulting in many ground balls.

The key to the game, however, was at the X. Ohio State’s main faceoff man was injured in the Buckeyes’ previous game was out for the night, and Colgate’s steadily improving duo took full advantage with stellar performances. ‘Gate won 15 out of 17 faceoffs. Sophomore Jim Carroll won eight of the 9 nine restarts he took, and senior Will Planer won seven of eight. The Raiders did not lose a face-off until the fourth quarter. ‘Gate also out-hustled the Buckeyes, scooping up 32 groundballs versus only 10 for the Buckeyes.

Colgate takes on another Patriot league foe this Sunday as they play the Army Black Knights on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Andy Kerr Stadium. The game will be broadcast on Time Warner Sports, but everyone should come to Kerr.

“We want to win out in league so we can be the #1 seed for the Patriot League Tournament. If we are the #1 seed, we would host, and it falls on the same weekend as SPW, so we would love to get big crowds out for the games,” Campbell said.