Men’s Lax Puts the Ax to the Heart

Andy McPartland

Lacrosse and February: they go together like lamb and tuna fish. However, in the midst of the brutal upstate New York winter, the Colgate men’s lacrosse team seems to be melting the snow away after winning its second consecutive game. “It was like 52 different days of weather out there,” head coach Jim Nagle said about Saturday’s contest against Sacred Heart. “It was crazy out there, but scheduling a game in February is always an uncertainty.” On a shivering Saturday afternoon on which the thermometer read 27 degrees, the Raiders came out a little chilly. The Pioneers got on the board first, beating junior goaltender Andrew Jarolimek with 8:11 left in the opening quarter. The Raiders, who defeated Sacred Heart, 10-7, last season, got behind by two goals after a Pioneer attacker got another shot past Jarolimek just two minutes later. The Raiders were able to battle back, as sophomore attack Brendan Hurley made it a 2-1 game with an unassisted goal with just under five minutes to play in the opening quarter. With only a minute left, junior midfielder Robert Trasolini found classmate Brian Robinson for a score, tying the game at two.The Raiders fell behind in the second quarter after giving up three goals and headed into halftime down, 5-2. After allowing another goal to start the third quarter, the Raiders found themselves down by four goals, their largest deficit of this young season. Nevertheless, the Raiders again found a way to get back in the game thanks to Trasolini. The New Hyde Park, NY native tallied a goal at the 11:30 mark to cut the lead to three heading into the final quarter. Trasolini picked up where he left off in the fourth frame, netting an unassisted goal on a man-up opportunity with 14 minutes left to play. Just one minute later, junior midfielder Mark Nemith found Trasolini again to make it a 6-5 contest. After Sacred Heart netted its seventh goal of the game with 8:32 to play, the combination of sophomore Rob Ryan and first-year Matt Lalli brought Colgate back into the game. With 4:49 left to play, Lalli found Ryan for a score, Ryan’s second of the season. Still down by one goal, the Raiders turned to the dynamic combo again to tie the contest. With 63 seconds to play, Lalli found Ryan again for the goal, knotting the game at seven. Jarolimek and the Raider defense held strong for the final minute, sending the game into overtime. Colgate, who recorded a victory in its lone overtime game last season, completed the comeback in the extra session. Junior midfielder Reid Diamond took a Lalli pass and found the back of the net with two minutes left, giving the Raiders their second victory of the season. The team is 2-0 for the first time since 1993. “I think we made a good comeback,” Nagle said. “We didn’t play our best game, but mustered enough goals to get the W.”Jarolimek kept the Raiders in the game with his strong play in net, making nine saves, including one in overtime. Hurley and Trasolini combined for 12 shots on goal, while Lalli shone once again, assisting on the last three goals of the game. Lalli, who tallied a hat-trick and one assist in the season-opening victory over Villanova, already has three goals and four assists in his first two collegiate games. Not surprisingly, the 6’3” midfielder was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for his exceptional play. Tomorrow the Raiders face off against Vermont in Burlington, VT. It will be the season-opener for the Catamounts, who were picked to finish fifth in the America East preseason poll. “We think they will be really good,” Nagle said. “We have some injuries on the defensive end, but I am confident our guys can play through it.”With a three-game winning streak on the line, the Raiders will likely lean on their young talent to lead them to victory tomorrow.