In its first game of the 2009 season, the Colgate women’s lacrosse team stormed back into action by defeating Stony Brook 19-7 last Saturday afternoon at Tyler’s Field. With the win, Colgate avenged its 18-14 season-opening loss to Stony Brook last year.
Fresh off their 2008 Patriot League Championship and automatic birth into the NCAA tournament, expectations are very high for Colgate’s women’s lacrosse in 2009. In fact, on February 10, Colgate was chosen by the Patriot League to win the league title in 2009. The Raiders, who went 11-10 overall and 5-1 in Patriot League action last year, return 10 of 12 starters from last year’s team. Colgate received 11 of 14 first-place votes to garner the number one position.
“The expectations of being preseason number one does in fact add a little extra pressure to the season,” first-year middie Courtney Miller said. “It’s going to be hard to uphold such a good reputation.”
On Saturday these high hopes did not faze Colgate and sophomore middie Colleen Bubnack, who scored a career-high four goals and dished out two assists. Junior midfielder Meghan Lawler and senior midfielder Molly Carroll each scored three times.
Colgate struggled in the opening minutes, watching Stony Brook take a 2-1 lead early on. But the Raiders used a 6-0 run in the first half to jump out to a commanding 11-3 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Women Raiders continued to punish the Seawolves’ defense as they scored the first three goals of the second half. Carroll scored at 29:02, junior attack Brie Moran at 26:30 and Lawler at 19:55 to push the lead up into double figures at 14-3. Colgate never backed down, and at one point in the game led by 13. Junior attack Alex Kuntz and first-year attack Katie Sullivan both netted their first career collegiate goals in the second half.
“It was so great to score a goal,” Sullivan said. “It was off of a play we had practiced a lot, so to connect in a game and have it count was really exciting for the whole team. It was also the first time I had heard my name announced on Tyler’s Field!”
Sullivan and Miller picked up their first assists of their careers as well.
Colgate’s senior goaltender Sara Drexler had to save only four shots in 45 minutes of action before being taken out of the game. First-year Christina Roa saw her first collegiate action and saved two shots in 15 quality minutes. Stony Brook junior Mickey Cahill played the first 46:57 in net and collected 12 saves, including 11 in the opening half. Sophomore Jamie Carlson made two saves for the Seawolves in the closing 13:03. Colgate outshot Stony Brook 41-15.
Stony Brook sophomore Samantha Djaha and senior Kim Wodiska each tallied two goals, but the Raider defense held the reigning America East Conference Player of the Year, senior Kaitlin Leggio, scoreless.
“Keeping Leggio out of the offense was one of our goals in practice all week,” Miller said. “We definitely did a phenomenal job keeping her out of the attack.”
Colgate now faces off against La Salle in Philadelphia on Saturday at 1 p.m.