Men’s Soccer Shuts Down New England Rivals

 

 

Evan Xenopoulos

After a tough mid-week loss to Cornell, the men’s soccer team looked to bounce back at home with two matches against New Hampshire and Vermont. Head Coach Erik Ronning stressed how difficult both matches would be, but he knew that his team would be prepared both mentally and physically.

Last Saturday, the Raiders played in front of a large turnout at Van Doren Field against New Hampshire. The match started off relatively slowly, as neither team wanted to take any chances. However, both teams had their fair share of corner kicks and shots. The first-half ended in a scoreless tie. Colgate and Vermont were cautious again in the second half, as no one wanted to make a mistake that would lead to a goal. After two uneventful overtime periods, the match mercifully ended as a double goose egg. Junior goalie David Cappuccio stood strong and made a career-high eight saves.

The match was not the Raiders’ best effort, but Colgate still continued its unbeaten streak at home to four, dating back to last season.

Unlike the game against New Hampshire, the Raiders were able to set the tone against Vermont on Tuesday evening by scoring a goal in the first-half. Senior Mike Parshley took the ball down the left side and sent in a dangerous ball that fell onto the head of an unlikely scorer. First-year Adam Costello, seeing his first significant amount of playing time, was able to head the ball into the back of the net in the 35th minute. With a 1-0 lead in hand, the Raiders defense went to work and shut down the Catamount offense for the rest of the match. Even though Vermont took a total of 18 shots and had four corner kick chances, the Raiders defense, led by senior captain Dan Belke and Cappuccio, never broke. The win improved the Raiders record to 4-3-1 and put the Raiders home-record at an impressive 3-0-1.

Senior captain Dan Belke was very encouraged with the last two home matches.

“The last two games and the last game in particular against Vermont, really showed the team’s ability to bounce back after a tough loss last week,” Belke said. “It was a great win heading into the Patriot League schedule this weekend away at Holy Cross, and it should give us a much needed boost of confidence in regaining our top form.”

Belke also believes Colgate’s depth will make it difficult for opponents to judge the Raiders since any player can make a big play at any moment in time.

The Raiders have their first Patriot League match against Holy Cross next Saturday in Worcester. Colgate has a great chance to grab its first win on the road in the Patriot League opener, as it defeated the Crusaders 6-2 in last season’s match-up.