On Sunday, November 12, the Colgate men’s soccer team brought home the Patriot League championship title, making them the league champions for the second consecutive year. The Raiders were not predicted to make the tournament until they upset number 1-ranked Boston University 4-0 in the Raiders’ last season game. Seeded number six, the men’s soccer team continued to make upsets throughout the tournament, beating number one seeded Loyola on Friday, November 10 and number five seeded Holy Cross to claim the title on Sunday, November 12.
The Raiders faced the Greyhounds in the Semifinals of the Patriot League tournament on Friday, November 10. After a hard-fought, 98-minute battle, the Raiders secured a 3-2 win in overtime. Loyola took a 2-0 lead in the first 70 minutes, before junior forward Steven DeLeo scored to bring the score to 2-1. Sophomore defender Christian Clarke tied the game up at 2-2 in the 87th minute, sending the game into overtime. DeLeo scored in the 98th minute to secure the 3-2 victory. Senior midfielder Jared Stroud assisted on both the game-tying and game-winning goals. Sophomore keeper Jacob Harris also had an impressive showing, with six saves to help the Raiders advance to the finals. DeLeo commented on the teamwork behind the game-winning goal.
“Jared and I made eye contact and we both saw it. It was a perfect pass and we saw it the whole way,” DeLeo said.
The Raiders finished the game with a 15-14 shot advantage, outshooting the Greyhounds 13-9 in the final two periods. This game was a repeat of last year’s semifinal matchup, when the Raiders defeated the Greyhounds 3-1.
“Our guys will never, ever quit. That’s just a trademark of this program and speaks to the great character our guys have. We’ve given ourselves a chance to play for a championship,” head coach Erik Ronning said.
The Raiders worked hard to prepare for the championship and pulled off a second straight Patriot League title. The Colgate men’s soccer team earned a 1-0 win over Holy Cross to claim the championship game.
The Raiders had a corner kick 30 seconds into the game, but the Crusader defense was able to protect its net. The Raiders continued to push forward, firing three shots in a four minute span, with Stroud’s shot ricocheting off the post. Harris faced three shots and two corner kicks in the final six minutes of the opening half, but was able to keep the Crusaders scoreless.
In the 67th minute, Stroud sent a corner kick into the box. Junior midfielder Oliver Harris found the ball and scored. The Raiders were able to maintain this 1-0 lead through the end of the game. Harris made a key save in the 77th minute and the defense took care of the rest.
Harris, DeLeo, Stroud and junior defender Aram Ouligian were named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team and Stroud was crowned MVP of the tournament before the Raiders travelled home from Baltimore with yet another championship trophy.
“We’ve had such an up and down season and we knew in the later half of it that we had to win every game to make it to the tournament. We just kept fighting in every game no matter what the score or what position we were in. That same mindset helped us in the championship game to pull out the win against Holy Cross,” senior midfielder Chase Pagani said.
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