The Colgate women’s soccer team finished up regular season play last Friday, October 29 with a 2-1 victory over the Lafayette Leopards. It took a come-from-behind effort to secure the four seed in this year’s Patriot League Tournament; this means the Raiders will be playing their first-round game on their home turf.
While the box score will show a two-sided control of the game for the Raiders, it hardly felt like that as they headed to halftime down 1-0. The Lafayette goal came off the foot of senior forward Melissa Lynskey in the 38th minute after a beautifully played through ball from her sophomore teammate and junior midfielder Rebekka Arnthorsdottir.
After the halftime intermission, the Colgate squad found a spark from senior forward Sarah Coy when she stepped up to a free kick after a Lafayette penalty in the 50th minute. Coy shaped the free kick around the Lafayette wall and was able to give it enough pace to just squeeze by the fingertips of Lafayette junior keeper Kelly O’Brien. The equalizing goal provided Colgate with a boost of momentum as they played most of the second half on the attack in Lafayette’s defensive zone.
The game was locked at 1-1 for most of the second half, but it was clear that Colgate was controlling the tempo of the game, as they generated the majority of scoring chances. Finally, in the 86th minute, the Raiders were able to convert on one of their many corner kick opportunities. Coy’s corner was settled by first-year midfielder Leah Lewis, who then assisted senior forward Ginny Whitman. Whitman’s late goal was the deciding factor, as Colgate was able to drain the rest of the clock out without a Lafayette threat.
Lewis compared this win to their previous win against Loyola and talked about what the team needs to do to carry on their recent success in the Patriot League Tournament.
“In both of these games we’ve played with a lot of heart and determination. So I think if we incorporate this type of mindset with getting back to playing Colgate soccer, which consists of short passes and combining, then we have a chance of performing well in the tournament. I think if we play our game and work our hardest on the field, no other team could beat us,” Lewis said.
Fellow first-year, and the team’s leading goal-scorer, forward Abby Sotomayor shares this mindset.
“Going into the tournament, we are well prepared and very excited to be at home. I think we are a little bit of an underdog coming into the playoffs, but I believe we have outperformed many of our opponents this season, even if the result was not in our favor. The team and I are very excited about getting out there and proving people wrong,” Sotomayor said.
Colgate heads into the Patriot League Tournament with the momentum of a three-game winning streak. They will take on Navy at Beyer-Small ‘76 Field Tuesday at 7 p.m. The winner of that quarter-final game will take on the regular-season champions and number one seed Bucknell or the number two seed Boston University. The winner of the Patriot League tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.