The Colgate men’s soccer team kicked off their season and the home opener for the brand new Beyer-Small ’76 field in spectacular fashion on Friday, winning a nail-biter against Saint Mary’s College of California in double overtime. Sophomore forward Ethan Kutler notched his third career goal for the Raiders, converting a penalty kick in the eighth minute of the second overtime. A beautiful chip through ball into the box from first-year midfielder Jared Stroud let Kutler to draw the penalty as his legs were swept out by a defender.
The maximum capacity crowd, coming in full force to inaugurate the new stadium, erupted once Kutler netted his penalty kick in the bottom left corner, and he proceeded to run a victory lap while the whole team chased him down.
“It made a difference that we were a lot fitter than the other team,” Kutler said on what elevated the Raiders to victory. This top level of fitness was something senior captain Tanner Schilling noted when I spoke to him about the incoming team during preseason.
While the Raiders were unable to break through during regulation, they had ample opportunity during regular time to strike. Sophomore goalie Ricky Brown credited many of these opportunities to first-year midfielder Troy Moo Penn’s play around Saint
After the team’s big victory, the team fell in a heartbreaker 2-1 on Sunday to Niagara University. Niagara forward Callum Willmott scored first with a fantastic strike in the 35th minute that energized the Purple Eagles who until then had been losing the possession battle by a significant margin. The Raiders rallied around Schilling and Kutler chipped an equalizer past the Niagara goalkeeper in large part due to sophomore forward Zach Pagani’s precision pass. The buildup was almost identical to Kutler’s opportunity just two days prior with Pagani playing the part of Stroud this time. The Raiders kept knocking on the door and Stroud had a great chance to net a go-ahead goal from inside the box, but unfortunately could not convert with his left foot.
During overtime, a rare give away in the backfield led to an opportunity for the Purple Eagles. While they did not convert on that chance, a mere 30 seconds later, Willmott struck for a devastating overtime winner that left the Raiders stunned.
After the game, Pagani assured the Raiders would come back strong. “While the locker room was certainly somber after the game, we feel as though we could take positives from this loss into next week’s game and for the rest of the season,” Pagani noted.
The Raiders head to the University of Albany this weekend for a September 5th matchup in hopes of rebounding from the devastating loss they suffered Sunday against the Purple Eagles .