Women’s Soccer Loses OT Heartbreaker; Rivalry Game With ‘Cuse

Mike LeClair

Colgate women’s soccer showed a lot of improvement over the past weekend, but came out of their two matches with no points in hand.

The Raiders opened up their weekend schedule with a Friday night match against St. Francis (PA), who was undefeated as it stepped on to Van Doren Field. The Red Flash defeated Colgate’s Patriot League rival Holy Cross late in August for its only win of the season, but had accumulated three ties against Bucknell, Northeastern and Duquesne.

First-year midfielder Danielle Wessler opened the scoring for Colgate, adding her second goal of the season 6:58 into the first half, the fourth time in six games the Raiders had scored the first goal of the match. The lead would not last, as St. Francis’s junior forward Rachel Seibert tied the score at one just ten minutes later. Colgate, however, grabbed the momentum heading into the locker room for halftime, as junior midfielder Jillian Arnault gave the Raiders the lead with an unassisted goal from the top of the box.

St. Francis appeared to be unshaken by the late first-half Colgate goal, as they came out flying in the second half. Less than a minute in, Red Flash sophomore forward Chelsea Traurig scored an unassisted goal, tying the match at two. Right after this goal, a torrential downpour began, soaking the players and fans from head to toe. However, this did not stop action from continuing on the field. Seibert scored her second goal of the day soon after the rain started tied the game for the Red Flash. As the match drew closer to its conclusion and the rain began to dissipate, it looked as though St. Francis would eke out a regulation win, but Wessler continued her extravagant play for the Raiders, scoring a late second half goal by deking out two defenders in the box. That was enough to send the match into overtime.

Overtime was not foreign to either of these teams, as both had competed in three overtime games thus far. Just two minutes into overtime, however, Seibert completed her hat trick for the Red Flash, and condemned the Raiders to their third straight defeat, scoring from seven yards out on an assist from senior captain Marina Accordo. The goal gave St. Francis its first overtime win of the season and made Seibert the second hat-trick hero thus far for the Red Flash, after first-year midfielder Traci Flick scored a hat-trick in their other victory of the season, a 4-2 win over Holy Cross.

The Raiders, looking to recover from the gut-wrenching defeat, headed to Syracuse last Sunday afternoon to face their Central New York rival. Both teams came into the match in a rut, with both sides having only won one match this season: Syracuse with a 3-1 opening win over Albany, and Colgate with a 1-0 overtime victory over Marist.

The Orange came out as the stronger side, firing five first-half shots to Colgate’s two. The aggressive attacking paid off in the 12th minute, as sophomore Megan Bellingham scored her team-leading fifth goal to give Syracuse the early 1-0 lead. That lead held through the half. Syracuse added to the lead in the 56th minute, when junior forward Tessa MacDougall pounced on a loose ball and sent a shot past Colgate first-year goalkeeper Rebecca Michlin to give Syracuse the 2-0 advantage. That cushion was all the Orange needed, as Colgate could not crack the Syracuse defense, anchored by junior goalkeeper Eliza Bennett-Hattan, who earned her school-record 14th career shutout.

Colgate goes on the road this weekend to Vermont and Hartford, hoping to improve its form before a weeknight encounter with Princeton at Van Doren Field at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.