The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Men’s Soccer Fired up Heading Into Patriot League Semifinals

Mary Grygier / Colgate Athletics

For the Colgate University men’s soccer team, the 2023 season has been a steady continuation of last year’s results, and they have given themselves a chance to play in the Patriot League tournament semifinals against Boston University (BU) on Nov. 7. They started the season off well, with two wins in their first three games over Siena College and Binghamton University, before falling to 2-2 with a loss to a very solid University of Vermont team.

Led by their very reliable defense, they have been competitive in nearly every game this season, with no loss coming by more than two goals. Perhaps the biggest win of the season came this past Saturday, Nov. 4, as they faced Navy with a spot in the Patriot League semifinals on the line. Last season, the team lost in the Patriot League quarterfinals, so this match represented a chance at redemption and an opportunity to improve on last year’s finish. Stakes were high, as just the week prior, the Raiders fell to Navy with a 0-1 loss on Saturday, Oct. 28, requiring them to defeat Holy Cross on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in order to secure their spot in the Tournament. Colgate took a first-half lead in the game against Holy Cross, when junior midfielder Alejandro Coury netted the only goal of the game. The Raiders were fired up as they returned to the home pitch on Nov. 4 to host Navy again. With the end of their season on the line, the Raiders worked a 2-0 win with two goals from senior forward Aidan Davock in order to move onto the semifinals.

Sophomore forward Colin Hughes was proud of the team’s ability to maintain a lead throughout most of the game.

“We started the game off very well and got an early goal, and were able to absorb the pressure that Navy applied after we gained the lead,” Hughes said.

Entering the season, team morale was much higher relative to last preseason, when they were coming off a year where they scored just four goals. The team took a massive step forward last year, making it all the way to the Patriot League quarterfinals. As this season progressed and the team’s core matured, they have used those past experiences to fuel them. Overall, they have a record of seven wins, nine losses and two draws, placing them fourth overall in the Patriot League. Additionally, they finished with four wins, three losses and two draws in conference play. 

Outside of team achievements, several players have received individual acknowledgments for their performances this season. Senior forward Aidan Davock was named to the All-Patriot League first team, while Coury and sophomore defender Liam Winograd were named to the third team. Davock led the team in goals this season with five while finishing second in assists with two. 

When asked about the big win Saturday — the Raiders’ first playoff win since 2018 — sophomore midfielder Drew Stephens explained that the Raiders were happy to get revenge.

“It was a great team performance. Playing them a week prior and losing 1-0, we were super excited to host them again,” Stephens said. “Defensively we were super solid and some great goals from [Davock] got us the two-to-zero lead.”

Looking forward to the semifinal against BU, first-year midfielder Jack Beerling stated that overall, the team is buzzing with anticipation.

“We all know that we’re one game away from our season being over and none of us want that,” Beerling said. “BU is going to be a tough opponent; however, we have full confidence that we can go there and get a result. With the game being a semifinal just adds that drive and motivation which may be needed to get us over the line. This is the furthest stage that this group of players have gotten to in the Patriot League playoffs and there’s a strong sense of belief that we aren’t done yet.”

Another key point to the team’s recent successes is the fact that a lot of players have gotten healthier after dealing with injuries early in the season. This has allowed to players to come together on the field more frequently and work on their chemistry.

“When our team started to get healthier and closer with one another, everything started to click,” Stephens said. 

Overall, the team has had a very successful season thus far, but they are hoping that it will not be over just yet. A win against BU on Tuesday, Nov. 7, will position the team to play for the Patriot League championship, which would be an incredible achievement — and the team’s first appearance since its three-peat from 2016 to 2018. The future, and the present, are certainly bright for Colgate men’s soccer.

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