Men’s Lacrosse Bests Bucknell Bison 15-10

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Men's lacrosse gets first win of the season after losses to Lehigh and Marist.

Lauren Hyland

This past weekend the Colgate men’s lacrosse team traveled to Bucknell University for their third game of the season and their first Patriot League matchup.  Despite the shaky start to their season with two losses to Marist and Binghamton, the Raiders came out firing on all cylinders. The Raiders have won seven of the eight matchups against Bucknell since Mike Murphy became head coach in 2012, which gave them a great deal of

confidence, despite the slow start to the season.

Sophomore attack Sam Cleveland, who had a strong rookie season, picked up just where he left off last spring by bringing his A-game in an effort to help the Raiders procure their first win. After the Bison gained an early lead by scoring two goals, Cleveland scored Colgate’s first two goals to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:20 remaining in the first quarter. With that momentum, junior attack Chase Wittich, senior midfielder Peter Donato, and first-year midfielder Griffin Brown scored, propelling the Raiders to a 5-2 lead by the end of the first period. Bucknell then rallied with three straight goals to open the second quarter, tying the score 5-5. Undeterred, the Raiders utilized the remaining 3:41 of the second period to score a combined three goals from junior attack Anthony Abbadessa and first-year attack Nicky Petkevich. The Raiders went into halftime with a lead of 8-5.

The Raiders came out of half time on fire. After Bucknell tied the game at 5-5, Colgate put together a 9-1 run through the first portion of the fourth quarter, moving the score to 14-6.  Early in the fourth, Brown scored his seventh goal of the season. Sophomore midfielder Matt Donovan then carried that energy and found the net for his second career goal and first of the 2017 season.

Bucknell made a final push late in the fourth quarter, scoring four more goals, but was still unable to catch up to the Raiders. The game concluded with a score of 15-10, and the Raider’s emerging victorious to improve their record to 1-2, while Bucknell’s record moved to 2-2.

“We played much better than we did the previous two games, our offense is starting to come together and we hope we can beat our rival Lehigh after their loss to Holy Cross yesterday,” Cleveland said.

Notable performances came from Cleveland and Wittich, both of whom registered their first hat tricks of the season, bringing Wittich his third career trio and Cleveland his second. Additionally, junior faceoff Collin Orr won 15 of 24 face-offs for Colgate, which was a crucial component of Saturday’s win. With such consistent performances in Saturday’s tilt, the Raiders could prove to be quite a dominant force in the Patriot League this season. If the Bucknell game proved anything, it’s that the Raiders have shaken off their winter, off-season legs and have adjusted to the competitive Division One play that is required to be successful this season.

The Raiders return on Saturday, March 4 to host Lehigh University. The game will be their second Patriot League competition of the season, and will get underway at 1 p.m. Coming out strong against these Patriot League foes early on in the season is absolutely imperative for later-season success and returning to the NCAA tournament.