Field Hockey Keeps Momentum Going

Amid unpleasant playing conditions of intermittent heavy rain and crisp pre-winter weather, the Raider field hockey team overwhelmed yet another opponent, this time defeating Lehigh, 4-0. Besides notching another victory, the win enabled the Raiders to clinch a spot in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament for the first time since the 1998 season. Refreshed and relaxed from their win Tuesday night against Albany, the Raiders gave Lehigh everything it could expect. Every offensive player had at least one shot, with senior tri-captain Kath Shelley primarily responsible for every goal the Raiders scored. Shelley got the Raiders on the board in the 19th minute after receiving a perfect pass from senior Nancy Miller. When the Raiders were awarded a penalty shot, senior Sally Mazzocchi did not disappoint, enabling the Raiders to take a 2-0 lead. While the scoring was occurring, the Raider defense – led by junior Jenn Weisholz, first-year Heather Greene and senior Kelly McKallagat – allowed Lehigh to attain only one penalty corner and also required sophomore goalie Jacque DeMarco to make only two saves. The scoring continued when junior Sarah McCarthy scored her sixth goal of the season from off of assist from Shelley. The senior tri-captain closed out the scoring in the 68th minute with her second goal and fifth point of the game, off of a rebound of a Nancy Miller shot. The Raiders kept pace with American in the Patriot League while Lehigh remained winless in league play and dropped to 7-8 overall. Despite a huge roster, Colgate did not allow any Lehigh player to make an impact. According to Miller, this was a result of the team’s “will to win the game, which comes from hard work and pushing the pace by everyone on the team. When we are focused on our goals, we come out stronger than our opponents.” Colgate outshot Lehigh, 28-12, and with all the offense, DeMarco only had to stop six shots for her fourth shutout of the season. With the plethora of offense, the Raiders hope to have enough left in the tank Sunday when they play non-league opponent Providence at noon.Every game is a battle – whether it is psychological, physical or emotional, it eventually takes its toll. After having the momentum for so long, the Raiders finally ran out of steam against Providence, losing 4-3 in overtime. The loss was only the Raiders’ second in 12 games, but more importantly it halted the team’s three-game winning streak. The difference in the game was the Friars’ effectiveness on penalty corners, starting in 24th minute when Melissa McGow set up teammate Amy Phillips for a goal that gave Providence a 1-0 lead. Colgate responded by initiating a scoring drive that culminated in senior tri-captain Ashley Schneider’s 13th goal of the season, assisted by senior Natalie Heller. With the game tied at one, Providence did not wait long to retake the advantage, with Lauren Sickel scoring three minutes later. Unlike Colgate’s most recent opponents, Providence kept with the Raiders goal-for-goal and took a lead into halftime. That lead, however, quickly dissipated in the second half, as the Raiders made the most of their few penalty corners. McCarthy continued to show her recent offensive prowess scoring her seventh goal of the season to tie the game at two. Senior tri-captains Courtney Collins and Shelley assisted on the goal and Shelley’s being a new single season record.The Raiders held the upper hand until the 68th minute, when Providence’s Melissa McGow unleashed a wild shot that beat DeMarco. Unable to muster anything in the remaining moments, the teams headed into overtime. With only six players on each side, the Raiders seemed fatigued and exhausted, and it showed as Providence’s Melissa McGow scored the game-winning goal off of a penalty corner one minute into overtime. Looking at the statistics of the game, one would speculate that Providence won by a landslide; however, the Raiders hung in but in the end ran out of gas. Providence exploited the Raider defense by totaling 33 shots and 11 more penalty corners than the Raiders. It was a tough loss for Colgate, especially since the team was counting on riding its momentum into tomorrow’s first-place clash with American. The Raiders welcome top-ranked Eagles on Tyler’s Field at 11 a.m. for a match-up that could be a preview of the Patriot League Championship game.”The fact that they are a top-10 team brings additional focus,” when asked about the intriguing match-up Coach Cathy Foto said. “Therefore, there will be a possibility we might change our offensive formations but we will, nevertheless, maintain our aggressive nature on defense that has carried us all season long.”Where there is a will, there is a way and the Raiders will no doubt regroup a game plan for their upcoming divisional foes.