The women’s soccer team recently played two excellent home matches, defeating Lafayette, 4-0 and Lehigh, 1-0. The wins put fourth-place Colgate in a great position to make the Patriot League Tournament entering this weekend’s match at Navy.
Last Friday’s match started in the most favorable way possible. In the fifth minute, junior Josie Johnson put in a perfect header after a nice cross by senior Franny Iacuzzi. Colgate remained in control after the goal and it was only a matter of time before the next score came. In the 29th minute, sophomore Christine Walker put another goal in the net. The momentum continued when Iacuzzi scored after a Johnson pass a minute-and-half later. The first half ended with the Raiders leading 3-0.
The second half started in the same fashion as Colgate kept pushing forward and was close to scoring on several occasions. Lafayette took its first shot of the game in the 57th minute, but senior goalkeeper Brittany Pearsall took care of the attempt. The match became less intense after that Pearsall save, but the Raiders scored one last goal in the 87th minute when first-year Callie Brazil converted off a corner kick.
Head Coach Kathy Brawn was more than satisfied with the team’s performance.
“We had to win,” Brawn said. “We did a really nice job finishing the opportunities that we created.”
Last Sunday’s match was a completely different story, as Colgate met a more highly motivated and experienced team in Lehigh on Senior Day. The match began with the Raiders in control. Colgate created many opportunities for itself and outshot their opponents. Iacuzzi was unstoppable on the left wing, while Johnson always kept at least three defenders with herself in the center. Lehigh goalie Julie Kafka stopped a few dangerous shots, but she had no answer for Iacuzzi in the 24th minute. Johnson set up the goal by faking a shot just outside the box before passing to Iacuzzi down the wing. The BRINE Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week took care of business and Colgate took the lead, 1-0. With the score, Iacuzzi is now the leader in the Colgate history books for most goals scored by a women’s soccer player with 46, surpassing Nicole D’Orazio ’97. Lehigh had its shot in the 34th minute when Melissa Montalvo went deep down Colgate’s right side and shot the ball at the post behind senior goalkeeper Carly Sousa. The ball ricocheted to the legs of Lehigh’s Liz Carlos, but she didn’t take advantage of the situation and the fans took a collective sigh of relief.
The second half was mainly a midfield battle, with each team taking five shots. However, only one of the shots was on goal. Colgate had a late chance to double the score, but a couple of Lehigh defenders got in the way of the ball. The match would end with Colgate on top.
“The game had a different feeling [in the second half],” Brawn said. “The level of intensity was higher. I was pleased with the effort we put into it.”
Colgate’s last match of the regular season is at fifth-place Navy on Saturday. The formula is simple: A Raider victory means that Colgate is in the tournament. Brawn is optimistic about this match.
“Navy is certainly challenging, but everybody knows what we’re trying to do,” she concluded.