Undefeated Men’s Soccer Team Ties Binghamton and Destroys Rider

Mitch Waxman

The men’s soccer team enjoyed a successful showing at last weekend’s Raiders Adidas Fall Classic at Van Doren Field. The Raiders’ first game, against the Bearcats of Binghamton, ended in a 1-1 draw. In the final game of the Classic, the Raiders left their mark on the tournament with a 4-0 shellacking of the Broncs of Rider University.

After a hard fought 1-1 tie in their previous game against Syracuse, Colgate was eager to get back on the familiar confines of Van Doren Field to face Binghamton. Junior Alex Weekes opened the scoring, converting an indirect free kick from ten yards out. The Raiders’ lead was short-lived however, as Binghamton somehow managed to get one past goaltender David Cappuccio with less than five minutes remaining before the intermission when Scott Zobre chipped in a ball ever so slightly past Cappuccio for a goal from seven yards out.

After the 15-minute break, Cappuccio would get his revenge on the Bearcats in a play that would ultimately decide the game. In the 60th minute, Binghamton was awarded a penalty kick. Barry Neville, Binghamton’s star midfielder, took the shot and drove the ball to the lower right corner of the net. Sure enough, Cappuccio was up to the test, denying the Bearcats of their first lead of the game. First-year forward Matt Schuber felt the save was easily the play of the game.

“It was a relieving save because it kept the tie, and it really seemed to life us as a team because we dominated after that,” Schuber said.

After the save the Raiders did all they could to get the game-winner, including outshooting the Bearcats 7-0 in the two ten-minute extra time sessions, yet Binghamton goalie Jason Stenta was up to the task, preserving the tie.

“We felt this was a game we should have won,” Schuber said.

This frustration seemed to carry over, because when the Raiders returned to Van Doren Field for the final game of the classic, it seemed the team was fed up with games where they seemingly did everything but emerge victorious. Rider University would be the merciless victim on last Sunday, and this time, the Raiders were not going to leave any doubt. The game started out pretty slowly, and though the Raiders got seven shots on goal, none of them found the back of net. But when the Raiders emerged from the locker room for the second half, it was as if Colgate had been shot out of a cannon. In the 49th minute, Colgate opened the scoring, as sophomore Steven Miller deflected a perfect pass from Schuber into the lower right corner. Only seven minutes later, it was Schuber’s turn to score, as he headed in a perfect corner served off the foot of sophomore Jeff Leach.

“Obviously it felt great to finally score that first goal. As a forward you really feel the pressure to score, so it was like getting a huge weight off my shoulders with my first one,” Schuber said.

Leach continued Colgate’s offensive onslaught, as he decided to do things himself only a minute later, lofting in a beautiful ball from 25 yards out. Finally, senior captain Glenn Volk added the final nail in the Broncs coffin, converting a header from ten yards out, once again off the foot of Leach.

“Obviously we hadn’t lost this year,” Schuber said. “But we’ve had a ton of opportunities this year, so it was finally great to capitalize on them(on Sunday).”

Lost in the offensive mastery was the stellar defense shown by the Raiders, as they did not allow a single shot in the second half and outshot the Broncs, 22-1 for the game.

With the Raiders concluding the Adidas Classic unbeaten, they continued their home unbeaten streak to twelve games. In fact, it’s been nearly two years since Colgate last lost at home, a 1-0 defeat to Lehigh on October 21st, 2006. Interesting to note is that the Lehigh squad Colgate played that year lost only two matches all season long, the second of which came in the NCAA Tournament.

The Raiders head for the road now, resuming play today in Hanover, New Hampshire as they take part in the Dartmouth Classic. They face Yale today and Dartmouth, made the NCAA Tournmanent last year, on Sunday.

“Playing Dartmouth is going to be real tough, but we’ll practice hard all week and be ready,” Schuber said.