Women’s Soccer Falls Just Short Of Glory

Larry Schweitzer

The season ended on Sunday evening for the women’s soccer team as the the Navy Midshipmen capsized the Raiders, who ended up just one win away from being crowned Patriot League Champions. On Friday night, Colgate upset the regular season champs and tournament host Bucknell, 2-1, to advance to the championship game, but they could not hold off the nationally ranked Midshipmen in the finals.

Against Bucknell the Raiders scored two first half goals and junior goaltender Carly Sousa held the Bison to just one to propel the Raiders into the championship game. Just one-third of the way through the first half, first-year Jillian Arneault notched a goal from a mess in front of the net to give the Raiders an early lead. Fifteen minutes later junior Franny Iacuzzi netted the second goal of the contest on a rebound from her own shot, which had struck the crossbar. Her goal would prove to be the game winner.

The Raiders closed the first half with the 2-0 lead after a strong offensive performance, taking nine shots in the first 45 minutes compared to Bucknell’s one. The Bison did not rescind, however, fighting their way back into the game. With just under ten minutes remaining in regulation, the Bison beat Sousa and the defense to bring the score back within one goal, but Colgate held the top seed scoreless for the last nine minutes of play to preserve the victory. It was the second straight year that the fourth seed upset the host school in the Patriot League playoffs, as Bucknell, the lowest seed in last year’s tournament, upset higher seeds twice last year en route to being crowned champions.

On Sunday, the Raiders faced the stronger-than-the-Titanic and nationally-ranked Navy Midshipmen, who dropped to the second seed after being surprised by Bucknell in the last game of the regular season. Early in the season Navy trounced the Raiders 4-0 in Hamilton and Colgate was looking for revenge. Unfortunately, the Midshipmen once again came out on top, but this match was much closer.

Navy scored in the seventh minute of play on a header off of a free kick. The early goal would provide the only scoring in the entire contest, as the last 83 minutes of play ticked without either team reaching the back of the net. The Raiders out-shot Navy 8-6, but they could not muster a goal for the second straight game against a Midshipmen defense that allowed only five goals on the season.