Women’s Lax Continues To Surge

You don’t hear much about the women’s lacrosse team around the Colgate campus. It might be because of its lopsided schedule, which has the Raiders playing 12 games on the road as opposed to six at home this season. It also migh be because of the sport itself, which has the tendency to confuse first-time fans.

The lack of love aside, Raider women’s lacrosse has quietly become one of the most dominant of all Colgate teams, ripping up the Patriot League in 2005.

With a 17-10 win over Lehigh on Saturday, the Raiders improved to 4-0 in league play and set up a huge game this weekend against American University. After a sluggish opening 15 minutes against Lehigh, the defending Patriot League champions turned their play up a few notches, scoring in bunches on their way to the blowout win.

Colgate was led by junior standouts Kelly Winning and Katie McVeigh. The two combined for seven goals and four assists, leading a second-half surge that kept Colgate’s 12-game winning streak in league competition safe.

The Raiders fell behind quickly in the first half, allowing seven goals, including four consecutive scores over a 10-minute stretch.

“We just weren’t playing like we know we can play,” head coach Katrina Silva said of the team’s slow start. “The defense wasn’t playing well and the offense wasn’t clicking like it should be.”

After Lehigh took a 7-3 lead with 8:02 to play in the first half, Silva took a timeout that turned the game around.

“I just told them that we needed to elevate our play,” she said. “We couldn’t start thinking about American until we took care of business here.”

The Raiders responded, scoring four consecutive goals to end the half. Winning and McVeigh started the run with unassisted scores. After sophomore Kate Metevia found the net on a free position shot, McVeigh tied the game at seven with another goal heading into halftime.

Colgate lit up the scoreboard in the second half, as eight different Raiders scored eight of the first nine goals of the half against helpless Lehigh goalie Kyle Begina. The barrage of scoring from so many different sources showed that the Raiders are more than a two-woman team.

“The only combination better than Katie and Kelly,” Silva said, “is Katie, Kelly, Tara [Casey, a sophomore], Eden [Haladay, a junior], [sophomore] Meg Janson and all the rest. Katie and Kelly open things up for us, but we’re at our best when we’re working the ball around and getting everyone involved in the offense.”

Casey’s goal at the 6:36 mark gave the Raiders an insurmountable 15-8 lead. McVeigh and first-year Jess Van der Meulen finished off the Mountain Hawks with goals in the final two minutes to give the Raiders the 17-10 win.

The Raiders’ domination in the second half involved every facet of the game. Colgate out-shot the Mountain Hawks, 23-6, and had a 16-9 advantage in ground balls.

“Once we woke up, we played our game and really took it to them,” Silva said.

In goal for the Raiders, junior Sue Bielamowicz had six saves. Junior Heidi Ross picked up six ground balls to lead the defense.

“The defense was not as effective as they had been in previous weeks,” Silva said, “but we’re happy to come away with the win. The defense should be back to old form for the American game.”

The matchup with the Eagles will be the two teams’ first meeting since the Raiders won a double-overtime thriller on a goal by Becky Ortolano ’04 in last year’s Patriot League championship game. Colgate, who has already clinched a berth in the post-season Patriot League tournament, will face American tomorrow at noon. Let the domination continue.