Defenseless Raiders Unable to Notch Victories

During Saturday’s game against Lafayette, sophomore Brendan Hurley’s goal gave the Colgate men’s lacrosse team a 7-6 lead with 2:35 left in the game. However, in the waning seconds, the game – and the season – slipped away as the Raiders fell victim to another Patriot League foe.

The Raiders came into Saturday’s match-up needing a victory over the Leopards, who were 0-4 in the league and 1-10 overall. A victory, along with a win over Bucknell in the season finale, would be the only chance for the Raiders to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in the Patriot League Tournament. Lafayette’s start, however, showed that the game would not be a pushover for the 7-4 Raiders.

The Leopards came out with their guns blazing in the first as they fired 13 shots on junior goaltender Andrew Jarolimek but only scored four times. Lafayette started the scoring off 3:30 into the period as Jon Paulson netted his 14th goal of the season. After another Leopard goal, Paulson struck again with 31 seconds left in the quarter to give Lafayette a 3-0 lead heading into the second session.

The Raiders fought back in the second with a trio of goals. Junior midfielder Reid Diamond netted his fifth goal of the year off of a pass from first-year Joshua Back. First-year attack Matt Lalli added two goals of his own, getting passes from sophomore Andy Summersgill and junior Brian Robinson to tie the game at three. A Lafayette goal with one-minute left in the half sent the game into halftime with the Leopards leading, 4-3.

The Raiders regained the lead in the third quarter after out-shooting Lafayette, 6-4, and winning all four face-offs. Diamond added his second goal of the game with an unassisted tally at the 7:00 mark of the quarter. After a Leopard goal, senior tri-captain Matt Saxon found Hurley for his 23rd of the season.

The Leopards regained the lead just over two minutes into the final quarter after beating Jarolimek with the man advantage. After goals from sophomore Rob Ryan and Hurley, the Raiders had the lead with 2:35 left in the game. Lafayette, who out-shot Colgate 8-5 in the period, found the net twice with less than 90 seconds left, taking the game from the Raiders and earning its first Patriot League victory of the year.

The Raiders took on North Carolina at home on Wednesday in a game that was televised nationally on College Sports Television and locally on Time Warner Cable.

The Tar Heels, who play in the ACC against nationally dominant schools such as Duke and Virginia, came out strong to start the game. Although UNC out-shot the home team, 10-3, in the opening quarter, the Raiders jumped out to 1-0 lead after a goal from junior midfielder Mark Nemith nearly four minutes into the game. However, after the opening goal, the Tar Heels showed their strength and dominated the Raiders until halftime. UNC strung together seven consecutive goals out shot the Raiders, 26-6, to take a 7-1 lead at the half.

The Raiders, receiving rare national exposure, refused to roll over and die. After almost nine minutes of scoreless play, Lalli netted a pretty goal at the 6:10 mark to pump some life into Colgate. Hurley added his first of the game with less than three minutes to go, cutting the deficit to four. Junior Rob Trasolini added an unassisted goal with 1:36 left to make the game 7-4. After Lalli put in his second goal of the game with only 17 seconds left in the quarter, it seemed that the momentum had shifted to the Colgate sideline. However, with three seconds left in the quarter, the Tar Heels stormed down the field and fired the ball past Jarolimek, taking the wind out of the Raider’s sails.

The last-second goal seemed to rejuvenate UNC, as the team scored four consecutive goals to start the fourth quarter. By the time the Raiders scored their first goal of the quarter with 11 seconds left, the game was already out of hand. The flashy Tar Heels had their way with the Raiders, 12-6.

One bright spot in the game for the Raiders was sophomore Chris Eck, who set the single-season record for face-off attempts, bringing his total on the year to 240. Eck needs six more wins in the final game to break the single-season record for face-off wins.

Eck and the 7-6 Raiders face off tomorrow against Bucknell, who is third in the Patriot League with a 4-1 record. The 3:00 p.m. game will be the last at Tyler’s Field for the four Raider seniors, who will try to lead their team to a final hurrah in 2005.