Field Hockey Gets Back In The Patriot League Hunt

The game against the Lafayette Leopards could not have come at a better moment for the Raider field hockey team. Entering Saturday’s match, the Leopards had a sub-.500 record and had lost six of their last seven games. Colgate took advantage of every edge it possessed against Lafayette en route to an impressive 3-0 victory. Senior tri-captain Ashley Schneider increased to her team-high point total to 23 by scoring two goals, giving her 10 on the season. In addition, sophomore goalie Jacque DeMarco stopped 13 shots to record her third shutout of the season. The first half was evenly balanced, with each team receiving its share of scoring opportunities. The Leopards had the advantage by attaining six more penalty corners than the Raiders; nevertheless, Colgate’s defense stepped up to the challenge and both teams settled for a scoreless tie at halftime. That is where the storylines diverged, as the Raiders were able to initiate a smooth offensive flow in the second half. Senior Natalie Heller got Colgate on the board by scoring her fourth goal of the season in the 40th minute. With the defense holding its ground, the offense took over as Schneider scored her two goals, six minutes apart, to open up the floodgates and give the Raiders plenty of insurance. First-year Lauren Remkus and junior Sarah McCarthy assisted on Schneider’s respective goals. The Raiders eighth victory of the season allowed them to take sole possession of second place in the Patriot League and improved their road record to an imposing 4-1. Whether on the road or at home, there are many crucial factors to the team’s success. “A combination of urgency, teamwork and really making each other feel that everyone’s role is important in achieving our goals [is crucial],” Heller said. “The experience of the upperclassmen has sparked this team’s urgency, knowing that we have the skills and knowledge to have the best season of our careers. Everyone staying healthy will also be important along with continuing to play each game like it’s our last. Our success will continue only if we show that we have something to prove to the league, to our school and to ourselves every time we step on the turf.” It seems that everyone is on the same page, since head coach Cathy Foto also agrees, noting that “more of the consistent competitive feeling that cannot necessarily be measured” will lead to more victories. It didn’t take long for another Raider victory to hit the books.On a brisk, chilly Tuesday evening in which the temperature was in the low 40s, the Raiders made their opponents feel welcome by turning up the heat in the second half to defeat Albany in a closely contested match, 3-2. Schneider continued her offensive rampage by scoring two more goals and McCarthy contributed with three assists. This was the first of a four-game homestand for the Raiders and the win was their ninth in their last 10 games. During the first half, it was evident that both teams were severely hindered by the cold autumn weather; however, that did not deter Albany from taking a 1-0 lead courtesy of Tina Bryson. Her shot just managed to pass by the stick of DeMarco, who had not allowed a goal in her last 70 minutes of goaltending. The Raider offense, meanwhile, seemed uncharacteristically flat, although credit must be given to Albany’s defense, which was pressuring every opportunity the Raiders initiated. The offense managed to attain nine penalty corners and had 15 shots, but had nothing to show for it heading into the half. Something must have occurred during halftime to give the Raiders the spark they needed, because the second half was a completely different story. Schneider finally got the Raiders on the board in the 46th minute, her 11th goal of the season. Six minutes later, McCarthy helped set up classmate Dana Shaner, allowing Shaner to score her first goal of the season. With the lead, the Raider defense held up until the 67th minute, when Albany came back to tie the game at two thanks to another goal by Bryson. With the game tied, it came down to which team had the greater desire to win and persevere, and it was the Raiders who answered the call. Rather appropriately, McCarthy initiated another scoring drive that ended with Schneider scoring the game-winning goal with two minutes left in the game. From start to finish, this game was too close to call and was not decided until the waning moments. The Raiders rebounded from an unproductive first half to display their tenacious and resilient personality. According the Foto, the turning point of the game occurred at halftime. “We regrouped and played like the team we are capable of being and realized the consistent tendencies of Albany,” she said.Regardless of the deficit and the conditions at hand, no game is out of hand for the Raiders. Colgate now has significant momentum heading tomorrow’s game against Lehigh, a critical Patriot League match up. The opening face-off is set for 1 p.m. on Tyler’s Field.