Cornell Nearly Doubles Up Women’s Lax

Chas Kurtz

The Colgate women’s lacrosse team opened the season in impressive fashion with consecutive victories, before a tough loss to Cornell dealt the team its first loss of the new season. Nevertheless, the two-time defending Patriot League champions look poised to carry their recent success into the 2006 campaign.

The season began back on February 18 with a road contest at Stony Brook. The Raiders began the season in style, scoring four unanswered goals to start the game. That lead, however, was short-lived, as the Seahawks answered right back, tying the game at four at the beginning of the second half. After trading a pair of goals, the Raiders finally broke away, taking an 8-5 lead. Stony Brook failed to quit, scoring the final two goals of the game, but the Raiders held on in dramatic fashion, capturing the season-opener, 8-7.

In their home opener last Saturday, the Raiders hosted La Salle University on Tyler’s Field. Following the drama against Stony Brook in their season opener, this game proved to be a much easier contest. Senior Katie McVeigh continued her scoring dominance, totaling four goals to lead the women to an 18-6 victory.

Also impressive on the offensive end for the Raiders was senior co-captain Kelly Winning, who tallied a hat trick. First-year Molly Carroll, sophomore Jess Vander Meulen and junior Tara Casey all added two goals apiece.

The victory was the seventh consecutive home-opening victory for Colgate under head coach Katrina Silva.

“Saturday was such a great win because it was an entire team effort,” Winning said. “It was a series of good plays that contributed to our win.”

On Wednesday, the Raiders hosted Cornell, ranked 18th in the nation, in one of their biggest games of the young season. Confident following their back-to-back victories to begin the season, the Raiders came out strong, trading goals with the Big Red and went into halftime deadlocked in a 7-7 tie.

Unfortunately, things did not go quite as well for Colgate in the second half. After scoring the first goal of the half to take an 8-7 lead, the Raiders gave up eight consecutive scores, ultimately losing the game, 15-8.

Leading the way for Colgate once again was McVeigh, who netted two goals in the defeat. With her performance, she claimed sole possession of second place on Colgate’s career points list with 208. Winning also added a goal and two assists, while Casey contributed a goal and an assist.

Despite the tough defeat, the Raiders look like a force to be reckoned with this season. With the success of the team in recent years coupled with the influx of talented first-years, the women’s lacrosse team is undoubtedly the cream of the Patriot League crop.

“If we remain poised and confident, we will beat any team we face this year,” Winning said. “It’s when we get inside our own heads that we begin to lose games, and we learned that last year. I think everyone is ready to start beating some of those teams.”

The women travel to Happy Valley for their next game, a contest against Penn State on Sunday.