Hurley Leads Men’s Lax Over Bucknell

Hurley Leads Men's Lax Over Bucknell

Dan Belke

Saturday afternoon’s men’s Lacrosse game on Tyler’s Field marked the end of the home careers of one of the most successful classes in Men’s Lacrosse history. The senior class of Devin Clifford, John Dunn, Chris Eck, Simon Flynn, Jeff Hiller, Colin Hulme, Brendan Hurley and Andy Summersgill, who have helped the team to unprecedented success and laid a solid foundation for the future of the program. They were not to be denied a final home victory, as they ended their careers on Tyler’s Field with a masterful win over Bucknell.

The Bison, ranked as high as 12th in the national lacrosse polls, came to Tyler’s Field with hopes of earning a number two seed in the Patriot League Tournament and gaining momentum prior to their predetermined clash with Colgate in the Patriot League tournament.

On a picturesque day that was divinely suited for some old fashion laxin’, a superior Colgate squad outplayed Bucknell in a 9-7 thriller. The victory aided Colgate’s climb up the national polls, with the team now ranked in the top-20 in all four national lacrosse polls. The team is currently ranked 14th by the LaxNews National Rankings.

At the start of the match, both sides seemed to have some early nerves, as no team was able to find the net initially. However, once the scoring began, it rarely halted throughout the first half. First-year Ian “Maverick” Murphy registered the first of his two goals to break the deadlock with 7:17 left on the clock off an assist from veteran junior laxer Jon “Mantis” Freeberg. Brendan “Bagger Vance” Hurley showed the rare ability to make the opposing team his caddy, as he added to the Colgate lead by notching a score 24 seconds later. Bucknell wasted no time in responding, scoring two goals over the next minute to equalize the match. But it was ‘Gate who came out on top, after the first quarter with Kevin “El Ni?o” Colleluori providing a sublime finish off a masterful assist from the always dependable Brandon “RR Phantom” Corp, to gain a 3-2 advantage.

The second quarter brought new life to the resilient Raider side, as they managed to compile a 7-4 lead going into halftime off some brilliantly executed displays of courage, tenacity, and unbridled passion for the game of lacrosse. Once the second half began, the Colgate defense stepped into high gear by stifling all of the Bucknell’s offensive attempts. The ‘Gate defense, led by seniors Colin “Big Whiskey” Hulme and John Dunn, allowed only one goal in the third quarter, which made the score 7-5. Hurley then took it upon himself to maintain Colgate’s lead, burying a blast past Bucknell’s keeper and creating an 8-5 cushion heading into the fourth quarter. The fourth stanza turned into a defensive showdown, with Bucknell only managing to sneak two scores past Colgate in 15 minutes. Hurley once again ensured victory for Colgate and despair for Bucknell in the fourth, ripping a casual laser of a goal into an empty Bison net, ending the game 9-7. “Sometimes you just gotta’ grip it and rip it,” Hurley remarked of his integral performance. “I view lax as much more than a sport; to me it’s a way of life.”

Senior Preseason All-American selection Chris “Gordon Gecko” Eck also had a stellar game, registering 15 of 20 face-off wins on the match. This ensured Colgate a majority of possession and scoring opportunities. With its game in top form, Colgate will be a very difficult team to beat come tournament time. Hurley scored a game-high four goals, a display that earned him Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week honors from the league office. First year Ian “Maverick” Murphy added two scores, while Corp, sophomore Kevin Colleluori, and sophomore Nick “The Extinguisher” Monastero each added one each. First-year goalie Timmy “Ghost Rider” Harrington had a solid performance in net, making 10 key saves in the victory, including some remarkable close range stops. His performance earned him Patriot League Goalie of the Week Honors. Sophomore defensive midfielder Will Planer was the third Colgate player to earn Patriot League recognition, as he was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for gathering six groundballs and helped to shut down the Bucknell offense.

The Raiders outshot Bucknell 31-28 and outground balled the Bison 36-23 in the game. The win improves Colgate’s record to 9-4 on the season and 5-1 in the Patriot League. Colgate faces Bucknell once again on Friday at 7 p.m. at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, with the winner advancing to the Finals.