Field Hockey Fights for Playoff Berth Down the Stretch

Field Hockey Fights for Playoff Berth Down the Stretch

Amanda Gilmore

Over the last two weeks, the Raiders split two games, a 2-0 loss to #18 American University, who has yet to lose a league match-up in over five seasons, and a 4-3 win over Holy Cross on Senior Day. Colgate now stands at 2-1 on the season and will clinch a Patriot League Tournament berth with a win over Bucknell tomorrow at noon.

On Saturday, October 11, American scored both their goals off corner plays in the first half of the game within a 52-second window. Although Colgate was able to hold American off from scoring again in the second half, the Raiders proved unable to register any goals themselves, which allowed an American victory,

Despite earning only one less corner play than the Eagles, the Raiders posted just nine shots to American’s 20, which attributed to their lack of offensive production in the game.

Trying to move on from that game, the Raiders remained on campus last weekend while most of the student body left for Fall Break and charged Tyler’s Field for the last time this season as they battled Holy Cross. Looking to regain a winning record in league play, as well as capture a win as emotions ran high on Senior Day, Colgate and Holy Cross would go on to trade goals throughout the length of the game that ended in a 4-3 decision for the Raiders.

The Crusaders were first to get onto the board at around the 16-minute mark, but senior midfielder Lauren Carey would tie the game at one when she scored her first goal of the afternoon just over 28 minutes into the contest. The teams entered the half time break at a 1-1 stalemate, but came out into the second half determined to outplay the other.

Holy Cross would again strike first to break away from the tie, as they scored two goals in less than a four-minute span early in the second half to take a convincing 3-1 lead. However, the Raiders rallied around their seniors in their last career game on Tyler’s Field to go on and score three unanswered goals, mystifying the Crusader defense.

Junior midfielder Mika Ella-Tang scored off of a Colgate corner play at the 55-minute mark to close the score. However, just over two minutes later, Carey would score her second of the day off of an assist from junior forward Katelyn Nerbonne to tie the game up at three. With this goal, Carey moved into a tie for second on Colgate’s all-time goal list and was also crowned the Patriot League’s Offensive Player of the Week.

With 15 minutes remaining in the game and the score locked, sophomore forward Laura Denenga provided her own tribute to the team’s four seniors as she tallied her fourth game-winning goal of the season to place the Raiders ahead, 4-3. Revved by this turn of events, the Raiders rallied behind Denenga to hold off the Crusaders in the game’s final minutes to pull out another miraculous Patriot League victory.

“Coming off of an exciting win against Holy Cross should really propel us into this weekend’s game against Bucknell with a ton of enthusiasm,” senior co-captain Laura Flisnik shared. “With a win this weekend we will be able to secure a spot in the playoffs, and doing that two years in a row is something this program has not been able to do in recent campaigns. I would be very proud to make a trip to the league tournament with this year’s team, we have definitely earned the chance.”