Men’s Soccer Starts Season with a Chip on Its Shoulder

Three games into the 2022 season, Colgate Men’s Soccer is off to a hot start with two hard-fought wins and a late equalizing tie. Following a disappointing season last year, the team is looking to remind people of the high levels it is capable of. 

“I’d say our team has a chip on our shoulder after last year’s season. Last year we had a lot of injuries, myself included,” junior forward Aidan Davock said. “Coming off a 0-18 season, we had a lot to prove and I think that chip on our shoulder and gaining kids back from injury has been a huge help thus far. We had a lot of doubters coming into the season and the way we have come together and have played so far, I think we have a good chance to make some noise in the Patriot League this fall.”

Colgate opened the season on Aug. 25 with a non-conference away matchup against No. 16 ranked Providence College, perhaps their hardest opponent on this year’s schedule. Nevertheless, the Raiders pushed to earn an exciting 3-2 win. After conceding to Providence from a set piece in the 20th minute, the Raiders quickly responded with a strike from senior forward Max Edelstein to tie the game. Forwards sophomore Timmy Donovan and senior Antonio Ducrot also added to the scoresheet for Colgate late in the second half to halt Providence’s effort. 

“Upsetting the previously No. 16 ranked Providence team was a big testament to the work our team has done to move forward following last year’s disappointing season,” Edelstein remarked about the team’s opener. “I think the beginning for this early season success really began in the spring semester and has continued into this year. As a senior, it has been really gratifying to be a part of changing the team’s culture towards one that has the potential to win multiple Patriot League Championships.”

Edelstein commented on the change in team culture from last year.

“I think myself and the other seniors really see this year as an opportunity to leave a massive impact on the program which has served as fantastic motivation for us to train over the summer and throughout the year. I think compared to last year we now really have an identity as a team that we can stick to and impose on other teams. We often summarize our identity as one built of grit and strengthened mentality which was displayed in our ability to come back in both games that we have trailed in,” Edelstein said.

Colgate’s second game of the season was against the Marist Red Foxes in front of a full-capacity crowd at Colgate’s Beyer-Small ’76 Field. Despite conceding an early goal, the Raiders continued to apply offensive pressure, leading with an impressive 13 shots and nine corner kicks. That perseverance paid off in the 88th minute, when Davock finally netted the goal the Raiders had been looking for. 

“In two games now we have started down 1-0 and have battled back. The late goal versus Marist reflected our hard work and was deserved after not giving up after going down. To get back on the scoring sheet has definitely been great after being out for almost a year and I’m just happy I can help the team,” Davock said.

Continuing the hot streak, Colgate showed up again with a win against Binghamton in their third game of the season. Sophomore goalkeeper Oliver Townsend debuted with two saves for an impressive clean sheet, and the defense as a whole stood strong to prevent Binghamton’s offensive efforts. The defensive efforts against Binghamton characterize the gritty mentality previously mentioned by Edelstein.

Certainly, the team is carrying positive momentum from their early results. First-year defender Liam Winograd already feels the buzz in the start to his collegiate career.

“I’m super excited with our start to the season. Some really good results and performances from the team. I think we are building and improving after every game, getting ready for the Patriot League and to make a run for the title,” Winograd said. “I’m proud of the effort the team has put in; we are one of the fittest and hard working teams I have ever been a part of […] I am super happy and grateful for the way the guys have treated me and helped me transition. Overall, I am super optimistic for our season and think we really have a shot to do something special. These first few games I think have shown that we [are] a really good team and [should] not […] be taken lightly.”

Men’s soccer will look to continue its strong play against Penn on Sunday, Sept. 11 at home. Sentiments within the team are surely different this year, with aspirations for a Patriot League Championship.