The Colgate Men’s Soccer team hosted Boston University on Friday, November 2, on Beyer-Small ’76 field. Prior to the game, the team honored their 12 seniors: Ryan Bellevance, Steven DeLeo, Matthew Glick, Oliver Harris, Freddy Jonsson, Neeraj Mahey, Tim Oberg, Uyi Omorogbe, Aram Ouligian, Abdel Sanogo, Ben Snider and Dugan Zier.
In the spirit of the honorary senior game, the win was cemented by a senior-to-senior goal! Five minutes into the second half of play, senior forward Steven DeLeo received a pass from fellow senior midfielder Oliver Harris, which he then turned into a shot on goal which snuck past Boston University goalkeeper Mike Bernardi. The well-fought game featured 11 out of 12 of Colgate’s seniors, including that of senior goalkeeper Neeraj Mahey, who registered his first career start and appearance. Colgate head coach Erik Ronning spoke highly of the seniors and their final in-season performance.
“Every one of them represented Colgate on the field tonight and they did a fabulous job. They set the tempo for the game and we never looked back.” Ronning said.
The 1-0 game did not come easily to the Raiders, whose third shutout of the season came courtesy of the efforts of junior goalkeeper, Jacob Harris.
“It was great to get a result against a solid BU team who was tight on our tails in the league standings. More importantly than that, it was the perfect ending to the regular season for our seniors who have been so important to our success over the last few years. We’re hoping it gives us some momentum going into [the] quarterfinal [game],” Harris said.
Their season could be far from over if they match the post-season play of their two previous seasons, consisting of two Patriot League Championships and two NCAA tournament appearances. In 2016 they were eliminated in the first round of the tournament versus UCLA, last year, they advanced to the third round, claiming victories against UMass-Amherst in the first round and Michigan (#13) in the second round, before falling to Louisville (#4) in the third round. Their in- league post-season play begins Tuesday, November 6th, against their quarterfinal matchup – American University.
Heading into the game, Colgate has a 5-2-2 Patriot League record, and a 9-4-5 overall, and will be facing a 4-8-5 American team. Coach Ronning is looking forward to what is to come for his team.
“It’s always a positive going into the postseason to have a solid goalkeeper and a quality defensive effort. With that, you give yourself a chance to move on in every post-season game,” Ronning said.
In their regular season game on October 6 against American, the two teams ended in a double over-time 0-0 tie.
The Raiders will be hosting the game here in Hamilton on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. on Beyer-Small ’76 field. The remainder of Patriot League post-season play will be held at Loyola University’s in Baltimore, Maryland, who clinched the first seed in the conference.
The team is excited about the chance to defend their title.
“It was great to get a comprehensive team win over BU and send our senior class out with a good result. It was a pretty emotional game but the seniors led by example and Steven got a really important goal right after halftime. We’ve got another important game Tuesday against American and we’re excited for another challenge,” junior Kentaro Morrison said.
The Raiders currently stand at 59th in the men’s soccer RPI rankings, one of the primary statistics that determine tournament selection. With only 48 teams making the tournament, without a victory in the Patriot League tournament, they are on the outside looking in.
Contact Isabel Van Wie at [email protected]