The Colgate’s women’s lacrosse team played the final two games of its regular season last weekend. The first one against American saw the winner clinch the top seed in this weekend’s Patriot League playoffs, and the other match against Quinnipiac resulted in a close and hard-fought contest.
The Raiders first visited American on Saturday, April 19th, knowing that the winner would claim the right to host the Patriot League Tournament, the top seed and possibly sole possession of the regular season title. Unfortunately, Colgate found itself down relatively early against American, and was forced to play catch-up almost the whole game. Senior Lindsay Pittard gave Colgate a 1-0 lead just four minutes into the game, but that would be the only lead the Raiders would have all day, as American responded quickly and often. After four straight goals, American was up 4-1. American went on to score the last two goals of the period, taking a 7-3 lead into halftime. In the second half, Colgate was able to cut the deficit to 7-5 and later 12-9, but timely runs by American kept the Raiders from ever seriously threatening. The game ended in a 13-10 American victory, ensuring them the top seed in the Patriot League Tournament, a top seed and a share of the regular season title with the Raiders.
“Our team was really excited to play American,” first-year Colleen Bubnack said. “We just came out flat; we weren’t really clicking. Our attack played timid, and I think the weather conditions didn’t favor us. At the end of the day, it was just a devastating loss.”
Junior Ashley Didio led the Colgate offense, scoring three goals. First-year Colleen Bubnack also had a strong game, recording two goals and an assist. Senior Lindsay Pittard, sophomore Brie Moran, juniors Molly Carroll and Maddie Kearns and first-year Lizzie Kusbit also recorded points for Colgate. The loss against American was the Raiders’ first league loss, giving them an overall record of 7-9 and a Patriot League record of 5-1. American has the same exact overall and conference records.
Determined to bounce back and erase the sour taste left from the American game, Colgate was back at it the very next day at Quinnipiac. Finding themselves down 6-5 at the beginning of the second half, the Raiders tightened up their defense and capitalized on their scoring opportunities, first tying the score at eight, and after a five-goal explosion, grabbing a 13-8 lead. Quinnipiac responded with four of the next five goals of the game to cut the deficit to two, but Colgate responded once more, scoring two of the last three goals to put the game out of reach for good.
“Our win against Quinnipiac was huge for our morale,” first-year Sophia Adler said. “We wanted to pick it up and finish the year strong. Our coaches have been working with our attack a lot in practice and I think it really paid off.”
The Raider offense was paced by sophomore Meghan Lawler (three goals and an assist) and senior Lindsay Pittard (three goals). First-years Colleen Bubnack and Lizzie Kusbit also had strong games, contributing two goals apiece. Junior goalkeeper Sara Drexler had yet another stellar game, earning the win with 11 saves.
The 16-13 win over Quinnipiac successfully put the cap on an exciting and impressive regular season for the Raiders. After starting 2-6, Colgate went 6-3 in its final nine games. The Raiders will face third-seeded Lehigh in the Patriot League semifinals on Friday at American’s Jacobs Field. The winner of that game will move onto the Patriot League championship game on Sunday, against either the top-seeded American Eagles or fourth-seeded Navy. In the last time Colgate faced off against Lehigh, the Raiders won 19-7.
“We know how hard it is to beat a team twice in a row,” Adler said. “We know we can beat them but at the same time we know they are going to be gunning for us and trying to get revenge. We’re just trying not to get too nervous and get a hard week of practice in before the game.”