Women’s Lax Wins First Game of the Season

The women’s lacrosse team just wrapped up a busy week-and-a-half in which they had to face three tough opponents and some even tougher weather conditions. Colgate first faced Binghamton on last Friday in a game the Raiders lost 12-11 in cold and extremely difficult conditions.

“The field conditions were pretty bad,” Head Coach Heather Bliss said. “The girls definitely did as much as they could. The footing was really bad out there and it really affected our defense. We couldn’t play our aggressive defense and we had to just kind of sit back and let them come to us.”

Colgate still managed to race out to a 4-2 lead early in the contest and held a 8-5 advantage going into the half. Binghamton shifted the momentum quickly however. They scored the first three goals of the second half to tie it at 8-8 and three straight again over the final 10:32 of the game to put the Raiders away. Sophomore Brie Moran netted three goals for the second game in a row, and first-year Colleen Bubnack earned her first three points of her collegiate career, but it wasn’t enough to notch Colgate’s first win of the season.

“We talked a lot about this loss,” Bliss said. “We take each loss very seriously and we’re really just starting to get things going and understand what it takes to win at this level.”

The following Sunday, Colgate was back at it again, this time determined to play better and get that elusive first win. The Raiders hosted La Salle and wasted no time getting the lead, scoring three times in the first six minutes to go up 3-1 thanks to goals by junior Molly Carroll, senior Jessica Van der Meulen and sophomore Meghan Lawler. La Salle quickly came back to make it a 4-3 game, but a 4-1 run put the home team ahead for good. A late La Salle run following a junior Ashley Didio goal closed the gap to three goals, but the Raiders netted three of the last four goals to close the game out 14-9.

“The biggest thing for us was how the girls just came together,” Bliss said. “We weren’t a bunch of individuals running around. We put our energy and confidence together and it made a big difference.” Lawler finished the game with a career-high three goals and an assist. Also pacing the offense were senior tri-captain Lindsay Pittard (three goals), Van der Meulen (two goals) and Moran (two goals and an assist). On the defensive side of the ball, junior Nancy Clayton had an outstanding game, shadowing Binghamton’s best player and keeping her at bay the entire game.

“The team really rallied around Nancy,” Bliss said. “She played outstanding. The whole team saw that by marking their top player she was opening things up for the rest of the team to be successful.”

Junior goalkeeper Sara Drexel also had a solid game, and earned the win against La Salle, stopping 10 shots.

“It feels good to get that first win,” Coach Bliss said. “The girls finally realize all the hard work that is starting to pay off. We see what needs to be fixed and we are taking huge steps to be successful.”

Adding to the weekend’s success, junior Molly Carroll was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for her efforts against Binghamton and La Salle. Carroll has earned this award four times during

her career.

In the last game of their busy stretch, the Raiders again faced incredibly tough weather conditions and were defeated by Cornell, 16-7. National Player of the Year candidate Courtney Farrell was a little too much for Colgate to handle, as she paced the Big Red with three goals and three assists. Colgate got goals from seven different players, including first-years Kate Bergstrom and Lizzie Kusbit, who scored for the first time in their young collegiate careers. The Raiders never could get anything going and found themselves down 10-1 in the first half after senior Jessica Van der Meulen got Colgate on the board. The Raiders will look to bounce back next weekend when they visit Penn State on Sunday and hope to dig out of the 1-3 hole in which they currently find themselves.