Women’s Lacrosse Team Beats Up On Bison

Women's Lacrosse Team Beats Up On Bison

Jeff Fein

The rain fell with biblical force over the weekend, flooding Taylor Lake and souring the mood of countless Colgate students. But the women’s lacrosse team, which faced off against the Bucknell Bison on Saturday, did not seem to mind.”We live in Hamilton, NY,” head coach Katrina Silva said. “We’ve played in it all – rain, sleet, snow. I bet if you asked anyone on the team, they probably wouldn’t even have noticed the weather.”After all, the Raiders had business to take care of. In the driving rain, Colgate made the most of its home-field advantage, shellacking Bucknell, 14-4, and effectively moving itself to the top of the Patriot League standings.Junior Katie McVeigh led the Raiders with four goals, while classmates Amanda Bradshaw and Kelly Winning each posted a hat trick for Colgate, which out-shot its opponent, 30-17, on the afternoon.McVeigh and Winning gave Colgate an early advantage with two quick goals in the first three minutes of the game. After Bucknell player Emily Burman pulled the Bison to within one with an unassisted goal, the Raider offense went on a five-goal tear to take a 7-1 lead into halftime.The offensive outburst was triggered by McVeigh’s free-position shot at the 16:37 mark. Bradshaw closed out the half with a free-position goal of her own with under two minutes to go. The Raiders would convert on 6-of-10 free-position opportunities on the day, a season-high.It was more of the same in the second half, as Colgate controlled the ball on the offensive end and picked apart the Bison defense. Sophomore Tara Casey started the Raiders off with the first of her two goals at the 23:36 mark. After senior Heidi Ross found a cutting Winning to give the Raiders a seven-goal advantage, Colgate rattled off three consecutive free-position shots, as Winning, McVeigh and Casey each found the net to put the game well out of reach.Bradshaw scored with 25 seconds remaining to ice the game.After outstanding performances on Saturday, McVeigh and Winning each have 41 points on the season to lead Colgate. According to Silva, the highest-scoring duo in the Patriot League does much more for the Raiders than just put the ball in the net. “They’re leaders on and off the field,” she said. “Not only do they score a lot of goals themselves, but they open the door for girls like Tara Casey, Amanda Bradshaw and [junior] Eden Haladay.”On the defensive side of the ball, junior goalie Sue Bielamowicz earned her second consecutive Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week award. The Pennington, NJ native stopped 10 shots and currently has the second highest save percentage in the league. But unlike last year, Bielamowicz has a backup this season. According to Silva, junior Chrissy Zaika’s time in the net has paid dividends for Bielamowicz.”It took a toll on Sue to have to face every single shot last year,” Silva said. “Chrissy has really helped the team in that Sue has a chance to take a break and come back [into the game] mentally focused.”Senior tri-captains Lauren Price and Heidi Ross help to anchor the Raider defense, with both players causing five Bucknell turnovers. “The two of them have been really fun to watch,” Silva said of Price and Ross. “Heidi had a great game on Saturday and Lauren’s been chasing every single ground ball. The turnovers they create have given the rest of the defense something to feed off of.”The Raiders (8-4 overall, 3-0 in Patriot League play) take on Lehigh tomorrow in Bethlehem, PA, looking to hang on to first place in the league. If the Raiders and the American Eagles both win this weekend, it will set up a huge game next Saturday when the Raiders travel to Washington, D.C to face the Eagles. But Silva maintains that the Raiders are not looking ahead. “If we can’t take care of Lehigh, American means nothing. It’s one step at a time, and it has to be that way.”