Men’s Lax Trounces Lafayette in Home Finale

Dan Belke

Raider vs. Leopard: The battle has raged since the beginning of time (or at least since the inception of the Patriot League). Once again this classic match-up blossomed on a Saturday afternoon. The day was crafted for audacious behind-the-back (BTB) goals and mind-blowing spin moves. With a Patriot League Tournament berth on the line, the Raiders did not disappoint the home crowd in Andy Kerr Stadium, crushing the Leopards, 15-4. Colgate outplayed Lafayette in every facet of the game from the opening whistle, and the Leopards were never able to muster a reasonable resistance to the blitzkrieg that Colgate threw towards their net. The win brings the Raiders’ overall record to 7-5 overall and 3-2 in the Pat League, good enough to secure at least a fourth place finish in the league and a coveted spot in the league tournament along with Army, Navy and Bucknell.

The one-two punch of junior playmaker Brandon “Ferrari F-50” Corp and senior Matt “La Cara de la Luna” Lalli cemented their reputation as “the best show on turf” with a combined nine points for the game. Junior Nick “The Islander” Monastero also displayed an unquenchable thirst for net, knocking in four of his own. First-year Zack “The Kid” Craumer also showed why many consider him a star on the rise in the Pat League, registering a career-high three points. Senior face-off specialist Chris “The Bandit” Eck was stellar, robbing the competition by winning a dominant 14 out of 16 from the face-off ‘X’.

A series of forced turnovers in the Lafayette defensive half turned the game on its head in the early going, allowing the Raiders to gain a practically insurmountable 7-0 lead within the first 20 minutes. Lafayette eventually ended the onslaught with a tally, but Colgate was quick to respond. Senior Lax legend Jon “Mantis” Freeberg took the attempted Lafayette comeback as a personal affront and grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck. Mantis received the ball in the Lafayette zone, shook off his defender and bulged the old onion in the net with callously calculated precision. The Raider lead heading into halftime was 9-2. Nick Monastero explained the Raiders rapid-fire start to the game,

“We went into the Lafayette game knowing it was a must win and I think the team was more than ready for a playoff-like atmosphere. I’ve never seen the team more fired up before a game in the three years I’ve been here and I think the newly spun warm-up mix by ‘DJ go-fed yourself’ was a major reason why we started so strongly.”

Colgate’s defense duplicated its great performance against Lehigh, holding Lafayette to only two goals and eight shots on net. Besides the always consistent sophomore goalie Timmy “Goldberg” Harrington, two other goalies provided solid coverage in-between the pipes, junior Brian “The Enabler” Cain and senior Denis “Mystery” Cronin. While the defense was spectacular, the offense continued to perplex the lackluster Leopard defense, knocking in six more goals for the 15-4 victory. Overall, ‘Gate out shot Lafayette, 40-28, took the groundball contest a staggering 39-14 and took advantage of 12 of 13 clearing opportunities.

Eck had the following to say about the win and the upcoming game with Bucknell: “If we all did our part and played our roles, there was no way we wouldn’t win against Lafayette. The game against Bucknell is just as important as any other, if we do the same thing against them as we did against Lafayette hopefully their will be a similar outcome.”

The Raiders go to Bucknell on Saturday at 8 p.m. in their final Pat League game, as a win secures a third-place birth in the League Tournament.