Home Sweet Home For Women’s Lacrosse

Home Sweet Home For Women's Lacrosse

Jeff Fein

The women’s lacrosse team spent Spring Break in the California sun, catching rays at the beach when it wasn’t playing on the field. But California is not Cancun when you have four games against big-time competition in the span of a week. Colgate routed Oregon and Saint Mary’s in the first two games of its four-game West Coast swing, but fell in consecutive contests to Stanford and California-Berkeley to finish it 2-2. Back in the comfortable cold of Hamilton yesterday, the Raiders put a stop to their only losing streak of the year, beating Stony Brook, 14-7, at Tyler’s Field.Colgate scored early and often, rebounding from uncharacteristically mediocre offensive performances against Stanford and Cal. The Raiders scored five goals faster than Stony Brook could say “these girls are good,” going up 5-0 at the 16:42 mark in the first half on junior Katie McVeigh’s 24th goal of the season. Eight different Raiders scored in the first half, as Colgate took a 10-1 lead into halftime. The Raiders poured it on by passing. Four of their first-half goals came off assists dished out by four different players. The trend continued in the second half, when junior Kelly Winning found sophomore sensation Megan Janson for Colgate’s first goal of the half in response to three quick scores rattled off by Stony Brook. Winning had two assists on the day, increasing her team-leading assist total to 12 for the season. Janson, meanwhile, recorded her second hat trick in three games, giving her 16 scores on the year. Stony Brook pulled to within four on a free position shot with 8:20 left in the game, but two goals by sophomore Tara Casey and one more from McVeigh put the game away for the Raiders.In goal, junior Sue Bielamowicz stopped four shots, helping to anchor a defense that forced 21 Seawolf turnovers and was never really tested. Even seldom-used junior Chrissy Zaika saw some time in net as time wound down.Senior Lauren Price picked up five groundballs and caused three of the Seawolf turnovers, while Casey – arguably Colgate’s most complete player – had four groundballs and won four draws.Sophomores ruled the day for the Raiders. Along with the stellar performances of Janson and Casey, Michelle Callen scored two goals, both of which came in the final three mintues of the first half. Callen’s second goal was assisted by first-year Jess Van der Muelen, a former teammate of hers at Liverpool (NY) high school.Colgate not only out-shot Stony Brook, 40-16, but out-hustled them too, scooping up 32 groundballs to the Seawolves’ 15.But Stony Brook was little more than a warm-up for tomorrow, when the Raiders take on Lafayette in the Patriot League opener at noon on Tyler’s Field.Colgate will look to take a first step towards defending its 2004 Patriot League Championship when they face the Leopards. The Raiders, who have been narrowly picked over American to do just that in the preseason poll, will host a Lafayette team that has yet to find the win column this year.Colgate has beaten Lafayette in each of their last three meetings, most recently by a score of 12-7 last year behind a dominating six-goal performance by McVeigh. The Raiders, 6-3 on the season, begin their title defense with high hopes, but with a traditional “one game at a time” outlook.”We don’t want to take anything for granted or look ahead,” Callen said. “We can’t look past Lafayette or underestimate them. We won the league last year, but it’s a fresh start for every team.”Colgate takes on Cornell this Wednesday before beginning a streak of three consecutive league games against rivals Bucknell, Lehigh and American.According to Callen, the team is confident and determined going into league competition: “It’s going to be tough competition for the rest of the season, “but we’re ready for it.”