On Saturday, February 18, the Colgate women’s lacrosse team started their season out strong with a 14-11 home win over the University of Vermont Catamounts. This was a big one for the Raiders, as this was their first season opener win against the Catamounts since 2013. The win left the Raiders 1-0, while it put the Catamounts at 0-3 for the season.
Senior attack Isabel Kreitler set the tone for the game early on, scoring her first goal just 1:13 into the game. The Catamounts then took the lead 4-1 with 17:08 left in the half, but this was not the last they would see of Kreitler and the rest of the Raiders. Kreitler fired out two more goals, with junior midfielder Haley O’Hanlon assisting one of them.
With another goal recorded from the Catamounts, they maintained a 5-3 lead with 7:19 left in the half. This lead did not last for long, as the Raiders went on to score two more goals before halftime. Kreitler accounted for one of these, and 36.1 seconds prior to the halftime whistle, first-year midfielder Alissa Masini netted the other. These rapid goals tied the game up at 5-5 for halftime.
The Raiders came out of the halftime break on fire, with O’Hanlon and junior midfielder Natalie Washuta both netting goals within the first three minutes of the third quarter. After the Catamounts responded with a goal, the Raiders answered back. Within less than a minute of each other, junior attack Kristen Brigagliano and O’Hanlon each had unassisted goals, putting the score at 9-6. The Catamounts had two quick goals, but the Raiders still held a 9-8 lead with 15:23 left in the third quarter.
Masini provided first-year midfielder Payton Gabriel with an assist, thus putting the Raiders up by two. The Catamounts scored one more before the Raiders began to pull away. Kreitler came out with her fifth and last goal of the game, and O’Hanlon proceeded to score two back-to-back goals, thus putting the score at 13-9. O’Hanlon also won six draw controls, which was the game-high on Saturday. Kreitler and O’Hanlon, both preseason All-Patriot League selections, had an outstanding combination of nine goals total.
Although the Catamounts scored two more goals towards the end of the second half, Brigagliano solidified the Raiders’ win with her second goal of the game. The Raiders ended the season opener with a 14-11 win.
“It always feels really good. Vermont’s gotten our number the three out of four years so it’s really good for us to come out hard, get some of those first game jitters out of the way in the first 20 minutes and really settle into our offense at the end of the first half, then really explode in the second half,” Head Coach Heather Young said.
The Raiders have two home games coming up next week, both at Beyer-Small ’76 field. The first game is against Binghamton University on Wednesday, February 22, at 5 p.m. Game two of next week is Saturday, February 25 against Siena, with a start time of 1 p.m. Both games can be viewed live on the Colgate athletics website. The Raiders hope to continue their winning streak.