Coming off of a huge upset victory the previous weekend, Colgate matched up against Lehigh University in a Patriot League showdown aired on CBS Sports Network.
Similar to last weekend versus Loyola, the Raiders offense came out fast in the first quarter. Although the defense allowed two goals within the first five minutes of play, senior midfielder Matt Reyes-Guerra-Dunn opened the scoring for Colgate off of a feed from first-year attackman Anthony Abbadessa. Senior captain Ryan Walsh added an unassisted goal just three minutes later, while sophomore midfielder Peter Donato did the same with less than four minutes remaining in the first quarter. Reyes-Guerra-Dunn ended the quarter with his second tally of the game.
Leading 4-3 midway through the second quarter, Colgate offense continued its aggressive and relentless style of play. Walsh recorded another goal via a pass from first-year attacker Chase Wittich. With three minutes remaining before halftime, junior attackman Tyler Rigo notched his eighth goal of the season, while Donato added another goal, increasing the lead to 7-3.
Colgate was not done yet for the half, as Abbadessa scored his first goal of the contest. With only ten seconds remaining in the quarter, sophomore defender Strecker Backe won a crucial face-off. Abbadessa scooped the groundball and drove down the field to find Wittich in front of the net for an easy goal. This capped a 9-1 scoring run and a 9-3 lead at halftime for Colgate. Despite a strong showing in the first half, the Raiders let Lehigh back into the game. Colgate was unable to record a goal in the third quarter and gave up two goals to Lehigh.
Fortunately Colgate led 9-5 going into the fourth quarter. The Lehigh offense scored three quick goals within the first five minutes of the quarter, capping a five-goal run for the Mountain Hawks and trimming the score to 9-8. However, Abbadessa stepped up yet again for the Raiders as he registered his second goal of the contest with 8:30 left in regulation. Abbadessa was not finished, however, done as he connected with a pass on the doorstep to junior midfielder Cameron Williams.
Colgate’s extra man offense converted a goal from senior midfielder Matt Clarkson with under a minute to play. The Raiders held on and won by a score of 12-8.
Abbadessa led the way for Colgate, recording five points on the day. When asked about the game, Abbadessa said, “It’s exciting to contribute like that, but I’ve got to give it to the guys around me. They’re always getting into the right spots and helping me out with assists.”
Sixteen different Raiders scooped at least one ground ball against Lehigh, while sophomore goalie Brandon Burke had ten saves in net. First-year midfielder Colin Orr won four face-offs in addition to three face-off victories from Backe and sophomore midfielder Peter Marcheto.
“It was a great first half. We need to play the start of the second half that way…Possession was a factor. The face-offs really started to go their way in the third quarter, so we didn’t have the ball much. We’ve got to be better there and in the clearing game. We gave them a couple of opportunities when we had the ball by turning it back over. They capitalized on those second chances. [Overall] however, the offense played really well when we had the ball,” head coach Mike Murphy said after the game.
This Saturday the team will travel to Worcester, Massachusetts to take on Holy Cross. After the win against Lehigh, the Raiders now hold a 6-4 record and are tied for second in the Patriot League standings.