The men’s lacrosse team got off to a solid start last Friday at Tyler’s Field, as the Raiders knocked off the defending MAAC champs Canisius, 15-11. Senior middie Nick Monastero led the scoring for the Raiders, tallying six goals and one assist. Senior middie Brandon Corp, who was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week, also had a strong showing with five goals and three assists, and senior attack Kevin Colleluori added three goals and an assist. Rounding out the scoring was junior middie Ian Murphy, who tallied a goal and three assists.
The Raiders entered this season with the highest expectations in the program’s history. Last year the team garnered its first-ever Patriot League Tournament title and NCAA playoff appearance, and this year the Raiders are picked to finish at the top of the Patriot League once again.
“We were disappointed with how the season ended last year, and this year we look to repeat as Patriot League champs and win a few games in the NCAA tournament,” Monastero said.
The Raiders lost their top middie from last year in Matt Lalli, but Colgate will look to fill the void with Monastero and Murphy. From the looks of the first game, they will be up to the challenge as both were key parts of the offense.
The game was deadlocked at five with just less than two minutes left in the second quarter when Monastero netted his third goal of the game. That was as close as Canisius would get, as Colgate tallied two more goals before the half, highlighted by Corp intercepting an errant clear from Canisius goalie Bryan Jack and putting in the net. The game was at times sloppy, and often physical as Canisius drew many penalties for loose-ball pushes and illegal body checks. These man-up opportunities helped Colgate break the game open.
“Canisius is a very chippy team, and Coach Nagle stressed that we keep our heads and not go man-down,” Monastero said. “He also wanted us to seize our opportunities on man-up as well.”
This was evident by the 12 extra-man opportunities the Raiders had, versus only two for Canisius. Monastero was often the beneficiary of the opportunities, netting most of his goals on the man-advantage,
“I just happened to be open, and when you’re open you pull the trigger, but any man out there is capable of finding the net,” Monastero said.
Consecutive man-up goals by Monastero gave Colgate a 10-5 lead early in the third quarter. Canisius was able to cut into the lead and make it an 11-8 game at the start of the fourth quarter. But after two more man-up goals, the Raiders were in control of the game and cruised to a 15-11 win.
“Overall we were pleased with the first game,” Monastero said. “We knew it would be sloppy, we knew they had a good offense, so we knew we had to take advantage of the opportunities that we got.”
Colgate’s next two games are down in North Carolina, as they face the Duke Blue Devils on Friday, and the North Carolina Tar Heels on Sunday. Both of these teams are ranked in the top-10 with Duke coming in at No. 7 and North Carolina at No. 5 in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media poll. A win against either powerhouse program would be great exposure for the Colgate lacrosse program.
“Of course we go down there wanting to win both games, but getting one would still be great,” Monastero said. “They aren’t league games, so we have nothing to lose.”