Men’s Soccer Ends Season In Tie

Evangelos Xenopoulos '08

Even with a four-game unbeaten streak to finish off its season, the men’s soccer team was unable to qualify for the Patriot League Tournament after an unfortunate set of events this past weekend.

Entering the final week of play, the Raiders were only one point back of Lehigh and three points behind Bucknell for the final playoff spot. In order to qualify, Raiders not only needed to defeat Army, but they also needed either Lehigh to lose or tie or Bucknell to lose.

Before the team’s game against Army, the squad learned that Lehigh had defeated Navy, meaning that the lone hope for Colgate rested on Bucknell losing. Even though the Bucknell game had ended in a tie before the Raiders took the field, head coach Mike Doherty did not indicate to the players the result.

The Raiders traveled to West Point and played 89 minutes and 56 seconds, but completed their season with a 2-2 finish at Army. The team was up 2-1 at the half after first-year Eric Anton scored his second and third goals of the season. Anton finished the season very strong with a total of three goals and two assists. Look out for Anton, as he will be one of the Raiders’ key players in upcoming years.

The team, however, could not hold on to its lead and Army tied the game at two as time expired. The two teams played two scoreless overtime periods to earn a point each, but at that point Colgate realized its hopes of reaching the Patriot League Tournament had been dashed. “This game pretty much shows how our season has gone all year,” Anton said.

Anton was alluding to the fact that the men had been very unlucky this season. The team finished with an impressive 11-6-1 record and a 3-3-1 record in the Patriot League, but still could not qualify for the Patriot League Tournament. Worse, four of the Raiders’ six losses this season have been by a margin of one goal, three of them Patriot League matches.

Doherty stressed all season how the team played well, but luck was not on the side of the Raiders this season. They played inspired soccer in the last three weeks of the season to contend for a playoff spot, but that was not meant to be.

The Raiders still have some talented players left for next year. The key players returning are junior Sean O’Sullivan, sophomores Eli Meyers and Charlie Lambropoulos, and first-years Anton and Dan Belke. Four of these five key players started consistently throughout the season they will be important to the program next season and beyond.

The team, however, will lose six seniors, each of whom gave everything they had this season. Whether it was Peter Bourquin playing with an injury and scoring a goal against Holy Cross or tri-captain Reed Grimes playing all ends of the field to keep his team in a game, these seniors played with their hearts and souls. The soccer program as well as Raider fans will truly miss Bourquin, Grimes, Jon Cook, Justin Seconi, Kevin Meehan and Travis Rains.

The team competed in every game and played well, but in many games the ball just did not bounce the way the team wanted it to.

Coach Doherty really hoped that the team could make the Tournament, especially with how well the team played all year, and it is a shame that that did not happen. Nonetheless, the team finished a great season at 11-6-1 and has a solid core of players coming back for next year. It was a great year, and we hope to see the Raiders back on Van Doren Field competing for a playoff berth again next season.