Raiders Fall to PL Champs

Raiders Fall to PL Champs

Larry Schweitzer

Even losing to the best (or the former best) still won’t console the Colgate women’s soccer squad, who opened its Patriot League schedule with a loss to last year’s champions Bucknell. The loss, the third of the year, came on the heels of a strong game over Cornell and dropped the record to 8-3 overall.

On Wednesday night the Cornell Big Red came into Van Doren Field and were smothered by Colgate’s two leading scorers, junior Franny Iacuzzi and first-year Jillian Arnault. Cornell scored the first goal of the game on a contested breakaway just ten minutes in to open an unexpected 1-0 lead on Colgate’s turf. It was the third time in as many home games that the Raiders had given up the first goal of the game.

Despite the early deficit, and just like each of the previous three home games, Colgate came roaring back and came out with the victory. On Wednesday, Arnault answered the call first and tied the game up 20 minutes later with an arching shot over the defense and goalie. Senior Megan Bergman and first year Liz Polido each received an assist on the goal.

Midway through the second half Iacuzzi put the Raiders up with what would be the game-winning goal after shooting the ball out of a crowd in front of the net. The goal was Iacuzzi’s fourth tally of the season. Junior Brittany Pearsall started in net and played the entire game for her fourth victory, stopping two shots in the process.

After the home win the Raiders traveled to Pennsylvania to start Patriot League play against last year’s Patriot League champs Bucknell. Bucknell scored first, beating junior Carly Sousa on a shot from a corner kick just under 30 minutes into the game. There was no more scoring for 40 minutes of play before Arnault reached the back of the net, combining with Iacuzzi in a jumble in front goal. The score gave the first year five points on the week, with two goals and an assist.

Colgate outshot the Bison in the second half 5-2, but were unable to take the lead and just before the end of regulation Bucknell was awarded a free kick when senior Kellen Kroll was given a yellow card just outside the box. The kick beat both the defenders and Sousa to give Bucknell the decisive 2-1 lead with about five minutes of play remaining.

Colgate couldn’t re-tie the game, and came away with a loss in their first Patriot League game. The silver lining on the week was that Arnault’s strong offensive week got her the honor of Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week.

The Raiders play away twice this weekend. Friday night, they travel to Lehigh to face the Mountain Hawks, and Sunday they stay in Pennsylvania to play Lafayette. The match at Lehigh should be another tough affair, since the 5-5 Hawks won their first Patriot League game and were picked to finish first in the League, despite their current .500 record.