The Colgate women’s lacrosse team has had a rollercoaster season thus far. Following back-to-back victories to open the season, the Raiders fell to rival Cornell in a game that was much closer than the 15-8 final score. That loss was followed by a 19-3 blowout loss at Penn State, the 10th ranked team in the nation. As Spring Break commenced, California came to Hamilton and handed Colgate its third consecutive loss, 12-10. Hoping a change of climate would bring an end to their losing streak, the Raiders headed south to West Palm Beach, FL, where they took on two very talented squads, Yale and George Washington.
Led by Senior Katie McVeigh and junior Megan Janson, the Raiders looked poised to put an end to their losing ways against the Bulldogs. Both McVeigh, who scored two goals and added an assist, and Janson, who recorded three assists and tallied three goals, did their best, but it was not enough to propel the Raiders to victory. After taking a 9-7 lead with just over five minutes remaining, Colgate was forced to hang on just to force overtime. After tying the game at 10, Yale’s Lauren Taylor, who scored five goals in the game, fired a shot off the post just before the end of regulation.
In the six-minute extra session, the evenly-matched teams traded goals to make it 11-11, but Yale scored the game’s final two goals for a 13-11 victory. The heartbreaking loss was even harder to handle given that it was the fourth consecutive defeat for the Raiders. Fortunately, the team came back strong in the second game of its Florida tour.
In its first nationally televised game of the year, Colgate faced off against George Washington. The Colonials, riding high after a 9-8 victory over American, looked to complete a Florida sweep against another Patriot League team. This time around, however, GW was much less successful.
After a dominant first half, the Raiders entered halftime doubling up the Colonials, 10-5. The team’s great play carried over in the second half, as the losing streak came to an end with a 14-8 victory.
Janson continued her great play, leading the Raiders once again with a hat trick and an assist. Senior co-captain Kelly Winning was equally impressive, adding two goals and two assists.
“The GW game marked the height of my happiness with the team thus far this season,” senior co-captain Heidi Ross said. “We played together the entire game, worked as a team, and supported each other enthusiastically. Until that game, there have been many glimpses of the team we aspire to be, but that night gave us the confidence that we can play consistently at a high level.”
With the losing streak finally replaced with an all-important “W”, the Raiders headed back to the frozen tundra of Tyler’s Field. In their Patriot League opener, they faced Villanova.
After falling behind, 2-1, Colgate completely took the game over, going on an 11-0 run to capture its first league game of the year. Leading the way once again was McVeigh, who tallied two goals and three assists. Winning also added two goals and two assists to continue her impressive play.
The most impressive performer, however, was senior goalkeeper Sue Bielamowicz, who captured her 39th career victory, breaking the Colgate record for career wins by a goalkeeper. “Sue came up big in goal in the GW and Villanova games,” Ross said.
After the back-to-back victories, the Raiders are back at .500 for the year with a 4-4 overall record, including a 1-0 mark in the Patriot League. Colgate continues its quest for Patriot League glory with a trip to Easton, PA tomorrow for a showdown with Lafayette.