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

Men’s Lacrosse Takes Down Another Top-Five Opponent

Colgate Athletics / Mary Grygier

Opening their season on Feb. 3 with a statement win against No. 4 ranked opponent Penn State, the Colgate University men’s lacrosse team has continued to carry this momentum, moving in and out of the nation’s top 20 rankings. The Raiders began their competition season — which runs from February to May — by traveling to face multiple ranked opponents before honing in on Patriot League play, which began on March 2. Already showing a massive turnaround from the 2023 season, the team hopes to continue to excel in the league, currently competing for the chance to host the Patriot League Tournament on their home turf in Hamilton, N.Y. 

The team has continued to surprise its opponents throughout the season, cultivating different strengths this year that have helped contribute to its continued success compared to prior seasons. The Raiders shocked the country with their initial win against Penn State, a team coming off of a Final Four appearance in the 2023 season. This trend has continued, with Colgate picking up wins against opponents such as University at Albany and Hobart College

Sophomore Hunter Drouin spoke on how it felt to win against Penn State, discussing the expectations for the team going into the game and how they worked together to walk away with the win.

“There were a lot of people watching the game and no one else but us expected it to be close,” Drouin said. “We won with seconds remaining, and it was something I’ll never forget.”

This year, the Colgate men’s lacrosse schedule is notably more challenging than previous years, as they are facing numerous ranked opponents and formidable teams. However, they have impressively risen to the occasion and consistently delivered strong performances.

Sophomore Johnny Hartzell elaborated on how the team’s schedule and mentality this year has improved and led to their continued success.

“This year, we have a great competitive schedule, which has helped to keep us focused on adapting and continuing to work hard,” Hartzell said. 

Looking beyond the schedule, necessary changes both on and off the field have helped with Colgate’s transformation this season. Team chemistry and adjustments to the style of gameplay have worked to make many of the players feel as though they are on a new team this year.

Junior Ben Trumble emphasized the changes made to help the team remain aggressive on the field.

“A key strength has been our team’s style of fast-paced play. It not only puts ourselves in position to win games, but [also to] capitalize on teams early and not look back,” Trumble said. “Our players have the skill sets needed and the coaching staff has put us in a position to utilize our full potential.

The Raiders also added new talent to their roster, who, with their competitiveness and commitment, have been instrumental in the team’s achievements. Both Trumble and Drouin highlighted the importance of these new teammates, who have helped make positive changes on the field, specifically pointing out first-years Liam Connor and Jack Carribine as players who have stepped into important roles.

“Midfielder Liam Connor scored the game winner against No. 4 ranked Penn State and has continued to produce ever since,” Trumble said. “Jack Carrabine has been making plays all over the field and has a knack for picking up ground-balls.”

Drouin echoed Trumble’s comments on the new additions to the team, also highlighting first-year Kyle Rummel’s contributions.

“We have been very appreciative of the buy-in and commitment from the younger guys,” Drouin said.

With the addition of 14 first-years to the 2024 roster, the entire team has worked to cultivate an amazing team culture that has helped to contribute to the team’s performance on the field. The team’s chemistry has aided in communication and trust, which players view as key to their success.

Drouin elaborated on this closeness and its importance to the team’s gameplay.

“I believe that we have one of the closest teams in the country. Being best friends with your teammates allows us to communicate in unique ways. We all have well-established relationships with each other,” Drouin said.

With changes to the style of gameplay and a team that is more tight-knit than ever, the Raiders are excited to head into the end of their season before the start of the Patriot League tournament. Coming off of another win against a ranked opponent, beating West Point on April 6, Colgate hopes to continue to dominate in upcoming matches against College of the Holy Cross, Lehigh University and Boston University.

Despite the excitement of continuously breaking into the top 20 ranks throughout this season, the players hope to tune out the noise and focus on taking it one game at a time. The team continues to feel optimistic about their ability to improve in practice in order to end their season positively before entering the tournament, and the players hope that their success rolls into the off-season, which begins on April 30.

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