With a solid beginning record of 4-3-3, the women’s soccer team is potentially at a crossroads in their season. The Raiders, despite a shaky start, are coming off two solid wins against American and Lehigh and thus have momentum heading into the tilt against Boston University this Wednesday and Bucknell during Homecoming Weekend.
The game against Lehigh resulted in a hard-fought victory for the Raiders. The match ended in a 3-2 nod to Colgate after an intense overtime period of play. When thinking about the momentum the Raiders have established over the past two games, it is important to understand the significance of this win over Lehigh. Until they faced-off against the Raiders, the Mountain Hawks were undefeated, having not let up a single goal the entire season.
First-year forward Abby Sotomayor, a Colchester, Connecticut native, led Colgate to victory with her two goals and offensive presence throughout the full 90 minutes. Sotomayor has been a huge offensive powerhouse for the Raiders all season, leading the team in goals. Her first goal came just past the 11th minute of play in the first half; the second came just shy of two minutes into the overtime period. In between those two goals, the Raiders, while remaining dominant in the Lehigh defensive zone (posted 20 shots vs. Lehigh’s eight), remained tied with the Mountain Hawks until the 86th minute when Lehigh took the lead.
Not wasting any time in regaining their footing, senior defender Emily Pullen was able to net Colgate’s second goal of the match, forcing the game into overtime. With their dominant offensive presence, the Raiders were able to outposess Lehigh throughout the entire game. Overtime was a one-sided affair, and it was only a matter of time before Colgate secured their victory.
Sotomayor shared her thoughts after this
decisive Raider victory.
“Every time we step out on the field we want to beat the next opponent and win in the Patriot League,” Sotomayor said. “We’re not focusing on the other team’s record, but it feels really good to get this result against a good Lehigh team.”
When asked about Lehigh’s late goal to take the lead, head coach Kathy Brown shared some interesting insight.
“Lehigh scoring in the 86th minute was such a momentum killer, but it says a lot about this team that they came right back,” Brown said. “If you have the kind of players that think of that as ‘game over,’ then the game is going to be over. If you have the kind of players that say ‘we’re going to keep battling and find a way,’ then you put yourself in a position to win the game. It’s a good sign to be able to battle back and get that done.”
This mentality is going to be absolutely crucial as the Raiders prepare for the remainder of the season, which is predominantly against Patriot League foes. Colgate’s ability to retaliate and remain resilient, even in the face of adversity, is something that could really impact the team’s outcome this season. It will be very interesting to see whether or not the Raiders are able to put that mentality into practice come Homecoming Weekend against Bucknell.
Their tilt against the 8-0-1 Bison will undoubtedly be a very tough game for the Raiders, but if they can beat Lehigh, they can beat any team in the Patriot League. That will be the mindset the Raiders need to have going into this upcoming match. The game is scheduled to start this Sunday at 1 p.m. on Beyer-Small ’76 Field.