Women’s Soccer Stays Alive

Larry Schweitzer

The women’s soccer team continued its up-and-down season on a much needed high note, clinching a Patriot League playoff berth by winning its last game of the regular season at American. The win capped a decisive three-game winning streak. On Saturday, the Raiders found themselves in Washington D.C., one point outside the League playoffs with one more game to be played. Anything short of a victory would have ended Colgate’s season abruptly, and all American had to do to hold onto its playoff spot was fight the Raiders to a tie.

Senior Kelly Niland scored twice in the game to make sure that the matchup with American was not her last game in a Colgate uniform. She opened the scoring early, less than ten minutes into play, with an assist from Jaime Dennison. After almost 80 minutes of scoreless play Niland beat Eagles goaltender Alison Doyle for a second time on a penalty kick. The Raiders were awarded the kick after junior Franny Iacuzzi was fouled in the box. Time expired shortly after the penalty kick, giving junior goalie Carly Sousa her second shutout of the year and propelling the Raiders into the post season.

Due to Bucknell’s surprise victory over nationally-ranked Navy on Sunday the Bison will host the Patriot League tournament, which starts on Friday night for the Raiders. Colgate will face the host school, which was last year’s champion. The Raiders hope to emulate Bucknell’s playoff run last year, when the Bison entered as the fourth seed and unexpectedly won the Patriot League championship.

The Raiders’ regular season was a rollercoaster of highs and lows, with strings of strong games followed by losing streaks. The team opened the season with four straight wins and won six of the first seven games, with its lone loss to William and Mary, who finished its season just outside of the national top ten. Even though the Raiders had an 8-3 record before playing a Patriot League opponent, they hit a low in league play, losing three of their first four games. The disappointing start to Patriot League play forced the Raiders to win their last three games in order to make the tournament, but they hope a more consistent and promising future awaits them.