The men’s lacrosse team has gained a little more respect since it was picked to finish second to last in the Patriot League. In the most recent national lacrosse polls, the Raiders have been ranked as high as 18th in the nation following their upset of fourth-ranked Navy, 6-3, capping a perfect three-game home stand.
In its contest against the Midshipmen, Colgate overcame a shooting barrage in the third quarter and a 3-2 deficit in the final period by posting four unanswered goals. Three of the tallies went into the net over a quick two-minute span in the final five minutes of the game. Senior Robert Trasolini led the comeback midway through the first quarter with a goal that was assisted by junior Rob Ryan. Afterwards, the Raiders, paced by senior goalkeeper Andrew Jarolimek, held the highly ranked Midshipmen scoreless during the opening period. Eventually, Navy’s Bill Looney scored successive goals in the beginning of the second quarter to give the Midshipmen a one-goal lead. With a minute remaining until intermission, Raider first-year Brandon Corp scored a decisive goal to tie the game.
Navy unleashed a shooting barrage during the latter half of the third quarter, amassing 15 shots in the period – more than the previous two quarters combined. Despite the quantity of shots, the Raiders played solid team defense and Jarolimek made four saves in net to held Navy to only one goal, Looney’s third of the game. The Midshipmen went into the last quarter holding a 3-2 lead and looked to continue their offensive onslaught; however, the Raiders had other ideas.
Sophomore Matt Lalli scored his lone goal of the game in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game at three. The game remained tied until there were five minutes left; then, Colgate opened up its offense against the seemingly helpless Navy defensemen. With a fantastic head-fake and dish, Corp assisted senior Brian Robinson on what turned out to be the game-winning goal. The tally was the start of a blink-and-you-miss-it goal streak, in which Trasolini scored for the second time and first-year Nick Monastero scored, all in a total of two minutes of play. The scores gave the Raiders a 6-3 lead, which turned out to be the final score.
“I was not surprised [by beating Navy]; anyone can beat anyone on any given day,” head coach Jim Nagle said. “Our game-plan was not to make crazy adjustments and just to execute what we do well. Great team defense was the key.”
With the win, Colgate’s record stands at 5-1 overall, with the sole loss coming against the University of Denver, the 11th-ranked team in the nation. The Pioneers dominated the game, handing Colgate a 14-5 loss.
“Denver is a very good team,” Nagle said. “We learned a lot about ourselves when we played them.”
Following the loss in Denver, the Raiders came home for a three-game home stand, hosting Canisius, St. Joseph’s and then Navy. Colgate swept the home stand, winning the three games by a combined score of 34-20, posting 14 goals apiece in each of the first two games.
In the 14-8 victory over Canisius, Robinson led all scorers with four goals, while Lalli and junior Brendan Hurley each had four points in the game. Against St. Joseph’s, the game was tied at eight going into the fourth quarter, until Colgate erupted for six goals to the Hawks’ one to win the game, 14-9. Trasolini led all scorers with four goals of his own, and Hurley and Lalli each added two apiece. As a result of these successes, Corp was named Patriot League Rookie of the Week and junior defenseman Colin Hulme was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for his staunch defense against Navy.
Colgate’s national ranking marks the first time that the squad has reached the top-20 in men’s lacrosse in any nation-wide poll. The Raiders are 18th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches’ Poll and 20th in the LaxPower Forum Poll.
The Raiders will travel to West Point to face off against Army tomorrow, where they hope to continue their winning streak and carry the momentum over from the upset of Navy.
“Army is physical and the mentally toughest team we play and it will be a battle,” Nagle said. “I am not worried about any let down [from the intensity of the Navy game]; it’s Army!”