“Justin Time”: Seconi’s Big Goal Beats Crusaders

The Colgate men’s soccer team won two important games last week, keeping its Patriot League Tournament hopes alive with a win against Holy Cross at home. Before facing off with Holy Cross, the Raiders played what head coach Mike Doherty called a “sandwich game” against Oneonta, since it is between the squad’s two Patriot League games against Lehigh and Holy Cross. He hoped that the team would not let up after a big win against Lehigh at home a few days earlier. The Raiders showed no signs of letting up with a 3-1 victory against Oneonta, raising their overall record to 10-6. Senior tri-captain Jon Cook, who has been on a hot scoring streak as of late, got the Raiders on the board with his sixth goal of the year from sophomore Eli Meyers. The goal ties Cook for sixth on the all-time scoring list at Colgate. The second goal was scored by junior Bryant Meckley on a pass from senior Justin Seconi. The final goal by first-year Eric Anton, his first collegiate tally, was assisted by junior Sean O’Sullivan. Oneonta added a late goal to make it 3-1, but that made no difference as Colgate headed into its game against Holy Cross brimming with confidence. Doherty had many great things to say. “We responded well after playing a very hard game against Lehigh at home a few days earlier,” he said. “I felt we did a good job in all areas of the field and even though we had few chances, we did an excellent job of finishing them.” This win helped boost the team’s morale, but the only game the team had on its mind was its final home game against Holy Cross. Doherty stressed before the game how important a win would be if the team would have any chance of qualifying for the Patriot League Tournament. On the back of amazing performances by the team’s six seniors, the Raiders pulled off an amazing comeback and were able to win, 3-2 in overtime. After a sluggish start the Raiders got on the board when senior captain Reed Grimes scored his fourth goal of the season off a pass from Sean O’Sullivan. However, this lead was short lived as only ten seconds later Holy Cross tied the game at one a piece. Holy Cross would come away with a 2-1 lead at the end of the first half. “We had a slow start, but we did a good job of finishing our best chance,” Doherty said. “Holy Cross did a great job of taking advantage of our turnovers and we were lucky to only be down one at half. I just told the boys to first get the tie in the second half and then worry about beating them in overtime.” Doherty’s words proved true as the Raiders tied the game with under 25 minutes left on the back of an amazing shot by senior Peter Bourquin. Bourquin, who has been out most of the year with injury, played only five minutes in this game, but provided the equalizer for the Raiders. With the goal, the Raiders forced overtime and in the extra session, senior tri-captain Justin Seconi scored the game-winner off of assists by O’Sullivan and first-year Dan Belke to win the game for the Raiders. O’Sullivan’s two assists in the game gave him eight on the year, which broke the team’s single-season mark. The comeback was incredible and Raiders increased the team’s overall record to 11-6, but more importantly raised its Patriot League record to 3-3. With one game remaining for each team in the Patriot League season, the Raiders are only one point behind Lehigh for the final playoff spot.With the win, Doherty remains optimistic despite the team’s current status as a playoff outsider. “We had a great win at home where all of our six seniors stepped up and had their best games in their final career home game,” Doherty said. “We now have to set our sites on Army next week and we have to win. I feel we have been playing well and we definitely deserve to make the tournament. I just hope everything can work out for us in this last week.” In order to qualify for the tournament, the Raiders must not only win, but they will need some help. Either Bucknell must lose at Holy Cross or Lehigh must lose or tie at Navy. Colgate beat both Bucknell and Lehigh in the regular season, which gives it the tiebreaker if the teams were to finish tied. It is the final week of regular season play and the Raiders face another must-win game against Army. The team not only needs to take care if its own business, but it now must hope for some help from other Patriot League teams.