Women’s Lacrosse Defense Sinks Navy

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Bob Cornell

The Navy went into Saturday’s contest holding a first place spot in the Patriot League standings and boasting an eight-game winning streak. Colgate was still seeking their first victory over the Shipmen since 2009. That all changed Saturday afternoon at Beyer-Small Field. Behind a career-high day for senior goalie Jennie Berglin and a relentless performance by the Raiders offense, the Colgate women’s lacrosse team defeated league-leading Navy 10-4 to pick up their third straight Patriot League victory. After a disappointing loss to Brown earlier in the week, the team bounced back in a big way and proved their potential as a Patriot League contender. The loss was Navy’s first in over five weeks and was also their first Patriot League loss this season. 

The game appeared as if it was going to be a close one as Colgate entered halftime leading only 3-1. Despite the low score after the first half, both teams registered ten shots each. Although Navy held a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal during the first half, they had difficulty getting anything past Berglin. The senior goalie for Colgate, who has been steady all season long and currently leads the Patriot League in save percentage, registered seven saves in the first half alone. Unfortunately for the Midshipmen, Berglin’s strong first-half performance was only the beginning of her

career-high day. 

Junior attacker Emily Peebles scored two minutes into the second half to get the Raiders back on the board and spark a five-goal run. Senior attacker and the team’s leading goal scorer, Megan Ark, scored two goals during the run to secure an 8-2 lead with 15 minutes left to play. First-year standout Haley O’Hanlon also contributed to the dominant surge by adding two assists. 

Navy responded to the run with two goals of their own but the Raiders took the momentum right back when Peebles scored with just three minutes left to play. Her second goal of the day was pivotal as it secured the dominant win and halted any last minute effort by the Midshipmen. 

While Colgate’s offense went on a scoring spree during the second half, it was the Raiders’ defense that sparked the momentum shift. Despite Navy recording 20 shots in the second period, they managed to only get three of those shots past Berglin and the defensive unit that surrounded her. The Raiders’ defense has been steady throughout the season and has been a challenge to some of the League’s top attacking players. 

“We really stuck to our game plan and gave Jennie weaker angle shots,” junior defender Kristen Norden said. “We really tried to focus on three aspects going into Saturday’s game against Navy: our overall communication, our team slide packages and winning as many 50/50 situations as possible.”

Berglin recorded double digit saves for the fourth time this season and the 14th time in her career. She beat her previous career-high of 13 saves by turning away the Midshipmen 14 times on Saturday and increasing her save percentage to .522 to lead the Patriot League. 

Head Coach Heather Young praised both Berglin and the defensive unit for their strong performance against a tough Navy attack. 

“We keep talking every game how solid Jennie is for us and the defense in front of her today did an amazing job giving her those low-angle shots,” Young said. “Jennie made being a goalkeeper look really easy today and I am extremely proud of her.”

Colgate will look to build off of the confidence they gained this weekend as they get back on the road and travel to Maryland to take on league-leading and reigning Patriot League champions Loyola Saturday at 12 p.m.