Although the wintery conditions and frigid temperatures posed a challenge for both teams on Saturday afternoon, Colgate did not let the harsh elements stop them from picking up their first win of the season. For the second straight week the Raiders showcased their balanced offense, but this time they walked away with a 12-6 victory over the visiting Siena Saints.
The team came out making a statement by scoring the first six goals of the contest. The goals were scored by five different players and created a comfortable lead for the Raiders that would last them for the rest of the game. During the scoring spree, sophomore attack player Isabel Kreitler picked up her first points of the season by scoring back-to-back goals. Kreitler was not the only player to score two goals on the day, as junior midfielder Lauren Gorajek and freshman Haley O’Hanlon and Natalie Washuta tallied two goals each as well.
The offense was not the only thing clicking for the Raiders in their first win of the season. Senior goalie Jennie Berglin also contributed to the fast start, turning away the first seven shots that were fired at her and finishing the game with 12 saves. Seniors Rachel Siciliano and Jenna Frost, as well as junior Kiley Donovan, pressured the Saints attack and played tough defense to force several turnovers. After a hard week of practice, head coach Heather Young was excited about her team’s performance and overall improvement.
“Offensively we wanted to make sure we were controlling possession and making it count. We took a lot of shots in this game, which was more than we had in Vermont, and it obviously paid off because we got more goals out of it too,” she said.
In last week’s overtime loss against Vermont, the Raiders struggled at times to successfully transfer the ball out of the midfield. Junior defender Kiley Donovan believed that it was the team’s mistakes from last week’s loss that fueled them to improve and come out focused against Siena.
“We knew we had an entire week to work on the things we needed to improve on and put our mistakes behind us,” Donovan said. “As soon as the first whistle went off, we did everything the coaching staff told us all week in practice.”
After the win, the Raiders travel to the Big Apple to take on out-of-conference opponent Columbia this Sunday. The team hopes to take the momentum from this past weekend and extend their win-streak as they head into the bulk of their season.
“Offensively we want to continue to make sure that we are controlling the ball and pace of the game,” Young said. “The draw is going to be critical for us and will be a huge point of emphasis this week in practice.”
Although Columbia is the focus heading into the weekend, the team is only two weeks away from their first Patriot League match-up. The Raiders hope to avenge last season’s loss against Holy Cross in the Patriot League Quarterfinals when they take on the Crusaders on March 7th in Hamilton.
Not only will the team be focusing on getting their first Patriot League win, but they will also be hoping for some warmer weather. Due to the freezing weather conditions, the team has not yet been able to play a game on Beyer-Small ‘76 Field, a brand new facility built this past summer. A Patriot League win and some warmer weather would be a great way to kick off the team’s tough schedule set to begin in March.