Women’s Lax Takes Down American

The Raider women’s lacrosse team went 1-1 in its two-game weekend road trip to Washington, D.C. And while the Raiders didn’t have the perfect weekend they had hoped for, but they won the game that mattered.

Colgate fell to George Washington in the second game of its D.C. double-header, but its 13-8 victory over American on Saturday put the team in position to clinch its second consecutive Patriot League regular season title when it hosts Holy Cross tomorrow at noon. In beating perennial contender American for the third consecutive time, the Raiders established themselves as the top dog in Patriot League women’s lacrosse.

“It was a big win for us,” head coach Katrina Silva said. “In as competitive a league as the Patriot League, every win is fun. Another one is even better.”

Junior Katie McVeigh and sophomore Tara Casey led the Raiders with five points apiece in the victory. Junior tri-captain Kelly Winning added three goals and an assist in the hotly contested rematch of last year’s Patriot League championship game.

Plagued by slow starts for most of the season, the Raiders came out energized on Saturday, scoring three of the first four goals. Casey found classmate Megan Janson less than five minutes into the contest to give Colgate an early lead. After an American score, Winning put in an unassisted goal at the 17:42 mark of the opening half to give the Raiders a lead that they would never relinquish.

The two Patriot League powerhouses traded goals until the final 90 seconds of the opening half, when Casey scored two goals in 40 seconds to give the Raiders an 8-5 advantage. American’s Sarah Milewski improbably cut into the Raider lead with a goal with one second left on the clock.

“American seems to do that every time we play them,” Silva said of the last-second goal. “It was a bummer, no doubt about it. It wasn’t a momentum swing, but we knew that our defense had to step up in the second half.”

Unassisted scores in the second half from McVeigh and Winning kept the Eagles at bay, but the game was still in question with 10 minutes to play and the Raiders holding a 10-8 advantage.

McVeigh quashed any thoughts of an American comeback, however, as she scored the last three goals of the game to slam the door on the Eagles. The first two scores came on assists from junior Eden Haladay and first-year Jess Van der Meulen, respectively. McVeigh scored the last one all by herself.

“You saw Katie at the end because you Tara at the beginning,” Silva said. “Other teams are starting to realize that you can’t just focus on Kelly and Katie. Tara had a great game, and when American started to guard her more closely, it opened things up for McVeigh.”

After the weekend in Washington, McVeigh is in second place in the league and tied for fourth place in the country with 46 goals.

With McVeigh, Casey and Winning leading the charge, Colgate dominated on the offensive end of the field, out-shooting American, 34-16.

The next day was a different story, as the George Washington Colonials were the ones scoring in big numbers. Raider junior goalkeeper Sue Bielamowicz doubled her save total from the previous day, but Colgate’s defense could not contain the Colonials. The home team scored five consecutive goals over a 15-minute span to catapult G.W. to victory.

The Colonials jumped out to a 4-1 lead by the 19:50 mark in the first half, and the Raiders were forced to play catch-up for the rest of the afternoon.

“We started out flat against George Washington aftera tough game the day before,” Silva said. “We didn’t have the same energy and enthusiasm as we did against American.”

McVeigh kept the Raiders within striking distance with a hat trick in the first half. Van der Meulen contributed two assists, including one to junior Heidi Ross to tie the game at five with 13:20 to play in the half.

George Washington began its five-goal run at the 8:01 mark in the first half on an unassisted goal from Laura Hostetler. The Colonials took a two-goal lead into halftime and continued to out-play the Raiders after intermission, scoring three more times before the Raiders could stop the bleeding.

Sophomore Carly Holden’s goal with 12:47 left to play would be the last of the game for either squad. G.W. clamped down on McVeigh and the rest of the Raider offense and came away with a 12-8 win.

“Every loss has consequence,” Silva said. “We’re a young program trying to establish ourselves, in and out of league competition. We need to go out there thinking that every game matters.”

The Raiders will play for their second consecutive Patriot League regular season title tomorrow against the Crusaders.

“We’re as prepared this week as last week,” Silva said. “The kids are excited for Holy Cross and they’re excited that the game means something. We want to get something good going as we get ready for the post-season.”