In the first week of the season, women’s soccer confirmed the expectations that it will fight for a spot in the top-three of the Patriot League. The opening match at Albany ended with an outstanding 3-0 win while the game at Siena, which was a seesaw battle throughout, went in favor of the Saints, 2-1.
Although an away match isn’t the best way to start a campaign, the Raiders actually had a terrific performance at Albany. More so, the match featured a number of first-years getting into the game and performing well with their teammates. First-year Beth Clifford scored the first goal of her collegiate career in the 29th minute when she took advantage of a well-placed corner kick by sophomore Jillian Arnault. The beginning of the second-half was marked by a marvelous goal by junior Josie Johnson, who finished a well-played two-on-one opportunity in the 51st minute. Eighteen minutes later, Johnson scored again and subsequently crushed all hopes of Albany getting at least a tie out of the game. Although goalkeepers did not have much work to do, seniors Carly Sousa and her substitute and classmate Brittany Pearsall did great jobs, the former making six saves before being replaced in the 83rd minute.
Head Coach Kathy Brawn was rather pleased with the team’s performance.
“It was a good way to start the season,” she said. “The players adjusted well.”
The second match was another story. Although the Raiders were already trailing 2-0 in the 56th minute, the Saints took just four more shots overall, 12-8, and were even on corner kicks. Amy Loughridge (23rd minute) and Chelsea Maguire (56th minute) scored for Siena, but senior Franny Iacuzzi countered one of the Saint scores by converting a free kick in the 66th minute. Iacuzzi, who had played a major role in the previous victory, had a great opportunity to score just minutes later but was denied by Siena goalie Patti Carroll.
Brawn seemed a bit disappointed at the outcome but remained positive.
“We needed to execute some things better and we did some things well,” she said. “We need to work hard.”
Colgate’s next two matches are both away games against tough opponents. The first is at Fairfield, who won their first two games this season. The fourth match of the season will be against Sacred Heart, who played a close game at Bucknell but lost 1-0 to the Bison.
“I expect good matches. Fairfield had a good start. However, we have this terrific combination of outstanding talent, great team chemistry and fantastic effort,” Brawn concluded.
The match at Fairfield is on Friday. However, what all the Colgate fans are waiting for is the first home game for the season against Iona on September 13, which will be televised on Fox Soccer Channel. Everybody’s expectations, including Brawn’s, are that the attendance record will be broken.