On a snow-covered Tyler’s Field, the Colgate women’s lacrosse team battled it out against the Vermont Catamounts but unfortunately walked away one goal short in overtime. The out-of-conference game marked the beginning of the Raiders’ 2015 season and it proved to be a nail-biter, as the contest remained a one-goal affair throughout the second half.
Colgate came out making a statement in the first half with four different players scoring one goal apiece to solidify the 4-1 lead over the Catamounts. The comfortable lead did not last long though, as Vermont scored four unanswered goals to make the margin 5-4 going into the second half. Vermont held a 7-3 advantage in draw controls in the first half, helping them gain momentum and pressure Colgate’s defense. The second half opened up a back-and-forth drama as both teams struggled to piece together back-to-back goals and gain any sort of significant lead. Junior midfielder Lauren Gorajek scored her second goal of the day to open up the second period and Preseason All-Patriot League selection, Megan Ark, followed shortly after to try and spark an offensive run for the Raiders. Despite the difficult conditions outside, Vermont did not back down and rallied to gain a 10-9 lead with only five minutes remaining in the game.
Sophomore attack Tyler Sherper gave the Raiders another life as her goal with three minutes remaining would eventually push the game into overtime and tie it up at 10 apiece. With time running out in the second half, Colgate almost put one away after an aggressive offensive attack but Vermont’s goalie came up with a crucial stop to send the game into overtime. Vermont opened up the overtime period with a quick score and would eventually take that momentum to seal the deal and walk away with 12-11 win.
Despite the tough loss to open the season, the game featured seven different goal scorers for Colgate, highlighting a balanced offense that will surely come to benefit them throughout the remainder of the season. Colgate’s defense looks to capitalize on their experience and veteran leadership in senior captain Jenna Frost and senior goalie Jennie Berglin, both of whom garnered a spot on the Preseason All-Patriot League Team. Junior defender Kristen Norden and senior captain Rachel Siciliano will also be key in the Raider backfield.
Siciliano is excited about the improvements the team has made since the off-season and believes that the game highlighted some of their major strengths.
“I think it gave us a great list of things we know we can do well and continue to improve upon, along with adjustments that need to be made and aspects we need to work on. Despite the loss, we started our play at a high level. I think it got us excited to keep working hard and we can only improve from here,” she said.
Two major aspects that the team will continue to focus on in upcoming practices are possession and communication. Winning draw controls will be important for the Raiders to control the tempo of the game and keep momentum on their side.
“Communication is one of our main goals all over the field. We are focused on making sure everyone is on the same page 100% of the time. Moving forward, the team is beginning to learn how we can work together to produce the best results,” Ark said.
The team also brought in a large incoming class, as 13 new freshmen joined the squad and look to make immediate contributions this season. Despite being a young team, Berglin
expressed excitement about their potential.
“The younger players will only continue to get better throughout the season as they gain more experience and become more comfortable. The game versus Vermont really showed how much talent and depth our team has this year,” she said.
After making it to the first round of the Patriot League Tournament last season, the team hopes to continue their success and make another run at a Patriot League Championship. Colgate hopes to get their first win of the season as they take on the Siena Saints on February 21 at 2 p.m.