The Colgate women’s hockey team remained undefeated as the Raiders beat Syracuse 3-2 Friday and tied the Orange 2-2 on Saturday, improving their record to 5-0-1.
The number five ranked Raiders traveled to Syracuse on Friday to open the two-game series. Syracuse came out firing early and often, netting two goals in the first four minutes of the first period. The early lead proved not to be insurmountable though, as junior defender Lauren Wildfang was able cut the Orange’s lead to one with a late-period power play goal, her first of the season.
After an uneventful second period, sophomore forward Bailey Larson scored a crucial short-handed goal to tie the game at 2-2 heading into the third.
Like the second period, the third did not feature much scoring action. Both teams were locked in and looking for that one goal to put them up. Finally, with 4:28 left to play, sophomore forward Jessie Eldridge netted the game-winner, tying her for the team lead in goals.
After the game, coach Greg Fargo commented on the Raiders perseverance throughout the game, while also talking about the importance of starting better in the future.
“We did a lot of good things as the game wore on and made a couple of plays that were the difference. Syracuse is a tough and physical team, and they outplayed us early in that game tonight,” Fargo said.
Both teams headed down to Hamilton to play the second game of the series in the Class of 1965 Arena. Syracuse was able to jump out to another lead early in the first period. The Raiders responded with a Lauren Wildfang goal halfway through the period, her second of the season.
The 1-1 tie extended through the scoreless second period and over into the third until Syracuse took the lead with 6:30 to play. The Raiders again found themselves in a hole, until Syracuse took an important penalty with 1:01 to play. As a result, the Raiders pulled sophomore goalie Julia Vandyk and had a 6-on-4 power play. With just 25.4 seconds remaining, junior captain and forward Annika Zalewski redirected a shot from Eldridge, knotting the score at 2-2.
Neither team scored during the overtime period, but Zalewski’s late-regulation heroics were enough to keep the Raiders’ undefeated season alive.
After the game, coach Fargo and some players discussed the team’s recent success in close games due to their hard work.
“We’ve been working really hard as a unit, and it showed this weekend, which was nice to see, starting the season off on the right foot,” Eldridge said.
“We showed a lot of resilience again. We’re finding ways to stay alive, and that’s a good sign,” Fargo said.
With the win and tie, Colgate capped off its best start in program history at 5-0-1. The Raiders will look to stay undefeated as they open ECAC play with back-to-back road games at Union and RPI next weekend.