Men’s Lax Drops Two Close Ones to ACC Powerhouses

The men’s lacrosse team dropped two close games last weekend to No. 5/7 Duke and No. 4/6 North Carolina 9-8 and 11-9 respectively. The Raiders were done in by slow starts as they found themselves down by as many as six goals in both games. However, Colgate was able to rally back and make the games interesting, only to fall just short.

In Friday’s game against Duke, the Raiders started out flat and Duke jumped out to a 3-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter. The Raiders only logged one shot in the entire quarter, and that shot came with less than four minutes to play in the opening period. The Blue Devil dominance continued into the second quarter, as Duke increased their lead to 7-1. However, senior attackman Brandon Corp netted two goals before the half ended to make the score 7-3.

Duke started off the second half with a goal by Ned Crotty to push the lead to 8-3. The Raiders answered with a goal by senior attackman Kevin Colleluori, and sophomore middie Rob Bosco added his first career goal minutes later to reduce the Colgate deficit to three.

“Coach Nagle told us to just relax and stick together as a team and take it one goal at a time,”junior goalie Tim Harrington said.

The Raiders then finished off the third period in a flurry as Colleluori netted two goals in the final 30 seconds of the quarter to cut the gap to just one at 8-7. Colleluori’s third goal of the game came with just one second to go in the period as senior middie Nick Monastero hit Colleluori with a lengthy pass on the crease before Colleluori slipped it by Duke goalkeeper Rob Schroeder.

The Raiders began the fourth quater with the momentum, but Duke was able to slow the pace down and the quarter had a much slower pace to it. The Raiders got the equalizer with just over four minutes to go as Corp registered his fourth tally of the game. Duke quickly answered with a goal by senior middie Brad Ross on a possession that started with a failed clear by the Raiders with just under three minutes left. Duke then withstood a last-minute surge by Colgate to take the game, 9-8. Duke held the shot advantage, 41-26 for the game and 23-8 in the first half. Harrington posted 13 saves and his play kept the Raiders in the game. Leading the scoring for Colgate was Corp who had four goals and an assist, and Colleluori who netted three goals and dished out an assist.

On Sunday the Raiders played North Carolina, and the game started similarly to that of the Duke game. Carolina jumped all over a flat Colgate defense and raced to a 6-0 advantage after the first period.

“Our defense had issues getting mentally ready in the beginning of the game, and we were a little nervous. It’s early on in the season and we are just waiting to gel as a unit and get relaxed and comfortable,” Harrington said. The Raiders came out in the second quarter looking to get on the board, and they came out shooting.

“The offense freed itself up after the first quarter; they worked for opportunities to try and come back and finish,” Harrington said.

Their shooting was rewarded as the Raiders found the back of the net four times, highlighted by first-year middie Chris Zielinski’s first career collegiate goal midway through the quarter. Zielinski had a coming-out party this game as he registered four points on two goals and two assists. Corp registered the half’s final goal; his only goal of the game. With that goal Corp extended his scoring streak to 35 games. The Raiders went into the half with the deficit trimmed to a very manageable two goals at 6-4.

The Raiders started the second half just like they finished the first, as they exploded out of the gate by scoring two goals within the first two minutes to tie the game up at six. Zielinski tallied the first of the two after making a nice move to free himself for a wide-open shot, and senior middie Nick Monastero got the second after he was able to dissect the Carolina defense for his lone goal of the contest. Tim Harrington recorded six saves in the period and 15 for the day, as he was a critical part of the Raiders comeback. The teams then traded goals over the next few minutes, but Carolina’s lead was 9-7 entering the fourth.

The Raiders drew first blood in the fourth with a goal by Rob Bosco, but that was as close as Colgate would get for the remainder of the game as North Carolina pulled out a hard-fought victory 11-9.

This week Colgate travels to Baltimore to face the No. 7/9 UMBC Retrievers on Saturday. This should be another tough match-up for the Raiders.

“We’ll be working hard this week because we are facing another good team. Readiness in the first quarter will be a key, and we want to make sure that we play a full four quarters not just a solid two and a half or three,” Harrington said. “It’s good to see the competition of the upper echelon of lacrosse because it’ll help us in the long run during league games and the Patriot League Tournament.”