After coming off a tough loss last week, the Raiders knew they had to regain their focus before playing the University of Connecticut, a nationally ranked team. Although the Raiders did not come away victorious, they fought hard and showed toughness.
The Huskies took the first three shots of the game. In the 12th minute the Raiders fired four shots and two corner kicks in as they tested the Huskies’ senior goalkeeper Emily Armstrong. The Raiders were almost able to take the lead when first-year forward Abby Sotomayor played a ball to senior forward Sarah Coy who was able to slide the ball in the goal behind the UConn goalie Emily Armstrong, until Coy was eventually called offside. The Huskies took back possession and as first year goalie Kelly Chiavaro went to save a shot, it bounced off her hands and was sent into the back of the net by senior forward Rachel Hill, putting the Huskies ahead of the Raiders 1-0.
In the second half Chiavaro came up big with two important saves for Colgate. Coy was again close to putting the Raiders on the board when she had a breakaway that was deflected by goalkeeper Armstrong’s feet in the 54th minute. Senior forward Stephanie Ribeiro scored in the 81st minute, ending the game with a Huskie victory of 2-0.
Despite not being able to walk away victorious, senior defender Emily Pullen believes that this was one of her team’s best games so far.
“We switched our formation to a 4-4-2 which really allowed us to move the ball through the middle of the field more,” Pullen said. “We attacked with pace and urgency which helped us really be a threat to the other team.”
Last Saturday, September 17, the Raiders faced their first Patriot League opponent of the season, which senior forward Sophi Lederer remarked on.
“This game had more weight than any other game we have played so far. In the league, every team is playing for that one bid spot into the NCAA tournament,” Lederer said. “There is definitely a different feel and energy to Patriot League games so far this season.”
Fortunately, the Raiders were able to use the weight of this game to motivate them as they battled to a 1-0 win over American.
Within the first three minutes of the game both Lederer and Coy fired shots on goal. This was followed by a shot attempt from the Eagles, their only shot of the half. Although the Raiders maintained possession for the first half and took shots, they weren’t able to convert any as the game went into halftime scoreless.
Sotomayor put the Raiders on the board in the 66th minute with the go-ahead goal on a shot that sailed over the head of the American goalie. Coy took two more shots that were saved and the Eagles took their only two shots of the second half in the 81st and 85th minutes.
“We were hoping for a bigger goal differential to make a bigger statement to the league, [but] we are happy to have started league play with a win. And, it is even more impressive since it was a game after a long travel day the day before,” Lederer said. “We got the job done and are looking forward to continuing this win streak in the league going into Lehigh next week
This Saturday the Raiders will host Patriot League foe Lehigh University at home, where the team hopes to secure their second straight victory against a league opponent. A strong performance against Lehigh would be influential for the team’s postseason positioning in November with regards to seeding.