Men’s Lacrosse Falls In Overtime

The Colgate men’s lacrosse team was 1-2 in the Patriot League and 6-3 overall entering Saturday’s game against Lehigh, battling for the fourth and final spot in the league tournament. However, after a demoralizing overtime loss to the Mountain Hawks, it seems that the Raiders’ balloon is slowly deflating.

The Raiders went into the Saturday afternoon match-up against Lehigh with their helmets held high. The team had managed to string together three consecutive wins, including a 16-7 stomping of Holy Cross that gave the team its first Patriot League victory of the season. The Raiders seemed determined to make a run that would place them among the top four in the Patriot League and give them a spot in the year-end league tournament.

Both teams started the game out slowly. It took almost three minutes before the first tally was put on the board as Lehigh struck 2:44 into the first session. First-year attack Matt Lalli got Colgate in the books for the first time by taking a pass from junior Mark Nemith and beating Lehigh netminder Eric Spirko with 9:24 left to play. Spirko was solid for the remainder of the quarter, as he kept the Raiders out of the net while his team managed to take a 2-1 lead into the second.

Lehigh and Colgate made up for the lack of scoring in the first quarter by exploding for a combined eight goals in the second. After Lehigh had taken a two-goal lead, junior Brian Robinson fed senior Rob Hearne to cut the lead to one. Robinson and sophomore Rob Ryan also found the back of the net before halftime, but by that time the Mountain Hawks had beaten junior goaltender Andrew Jarolimek five times, taking a 7-4 lead into halftime.

The Raiders came out determined after the break, dominating the third quarter, but only outscoring Lehigh by one goal. Colgate out-shot the Mountain Hawks, 11-4, and managed to pick up four more groundballs, but still headed into the final quarter trailing, 9-7.

Robinson tallied his second and third goals of the game to start the fourth quarter and knot the game at nine. The tie did not last for long, however, as Lehigh scored 15 seconds later to take the lead once again. Lehigh kept the one-goal advantage for almost seven minutes before sophomore Brendan Hurley added his third goal of the game to tie up the contest with 3:41 left in regulation.

Over a minute later, senior captain Matt Saxon gave the Raiders the lead with his first tally of the season. Saxon’s first goal could not have come at a more opportune time, giving the Raiders a late lead.

“He has been a great leader for us this year,” head coach Jim Nagle said. “His shots just haven’t been dropping this year, but his goal on Saturday was a beautiful one.”

The Raiders seemed to be headed for a huge victory, but Lehigh’s Blake Best beat Jarolimek with 19 seconds left in the game to tie the contest at 11. The momentum shifted to the Mountain Hawks in overtime as Best proved superior and beat Jarolimek to win the game for the Mountain Hawks.

The defeat was disappointing in more than one way for the Raiders, who have almost slipped entirely out of the race for the Patriot League Tournament.

“Our guys were disappointed,” Nagle said. “We had the opportunity but threw it away. We could have won the game and should have gotten it done.”

After losing the pivotal game against the Mountain Hawks, the Raiders faced off against Canisius on Tuesday night in a game with no postseason implications. However, the game was important for the team’s psychological health, as the men desperately needed to bounce back with a strong showing.

Needing to come through, the Raiders succeeded in a big way. Colgate jumped out to an 8-3 lead going into halftime led by Robinson, Hurley, Ryan and Lalli. The Raiders continued their dominance in the second half as junior Rob Trasolini completed a hat trick and first-year midfielder Chris Mulholland added his first collegiate goal.

The Raiders won 19-of-23 face-offs, scored on three extra-man opportunities and out-shot the Griffs, 37-22. Jarolimek also finished with eight saves.

“It was definitely good to get back on track,” Nagle said. “We have secured a .500 record for the season but need to win the rest of our games to have a chance.”

The Raiders need to defeat Lafayette on Saturday and league-