Raiders Improve to 5-1, Ranked No. 19 Nationally

The men’s lacrosse team kept the ball rolling with two wins in five days, edging Hobart at home on Tuesday, March 4 before beating Boston University on Saturday, March 8 in Colgate’s first-ever matchup against the new program. The Raiders now boast a 5-1 overall record and nabbed their second Patriot League win in Boston to improve to 2-1 in league play.

Tuesday’s matchup against in-state rival Hobart was a messy affair that found the home team trailing 4-1 at halftime. The Raiders responded with balanced scoring and tight defense to claw back, scoring the contest’s final five goals to make up for a turnover-ridden first half.

“We were lucky to come away with that win given how sloppy our play was in the first half,” senior midfielder Derek Katchis said. “There were points when it felt like we played defense for five or ten straight minutes.”

Colgate’s offensive resurgence was led by sophomore attackman Kevin Adams. A first-time contributor who is primarily responsible for distributing the ball to his more heralded linemates, senior Brendon McCann and junior Ryan Walsh, Adams emerged as the game’s unlikely hero. The sophomore scored off of a crafty feed from McCann to open Colgate’s second-half surge and added two more tallies at the start of the fourth quarter to tie the game.

“I think we’re all really excited for Kevin,” said senior captain Jimmy Ryan. “He’s fit in well thus far and is proving that he can be in the right place at the right time.”

With fewer than two minutes to play in regulation time, McCann took it upon himself to drive to the net, beating his defensemen from behind the goal and placing the game-winning shot in the near corner. Despite his impressive individual effort, McCann was quick to compliment his teammates when asked about the play.

“That one came off of quick ball movement. We stretched their defense out of position, so there was room for me to sneak up and get a look from a good scoring area,” McCann said.

Saturday’s contest against Boston University was not unlike the week’s first game for the Raiders, as the offense struggled to put the ball in the net in the first half. After two quarters and four extra-man opportunities, Colgate entered the locker room locked in a 2-2 tie.

“We’ve had ups and downs on both sides of the ball this year,” senior defensive midfielder Kevin Boyle said. “So, we understand that if the offense is having trouble breaking through then it is up to us to make up for it as best we can. I think we definitely answered the call in that respect.”

Colgate’s defense surrendered only five goals to the Terriers, all of which were scored by first-year attackman Ryan Johnston. Saturday’s stout defensive performance dropped the Raider’s average goals against figure to 5.5, good for second in the nation, behind Patriot League rival Army.

“We have a long way to go, but it’s good to see a relatively low number in the opponents column at the end of the day,” senior defensive leader and league standout Bobby Lawrence said. “We won’t pay too much attention to rankings like that right now. We expect to hold teams like Hobart and BU to five goals. We rate ourselves based on how we improve week-to-week.”

After allowing a goal early in the second half, Colgate surged back, receiving two goals from speedy junior midfielder Matt Clarkson and a man-up tally from McCann. Boston’s Johnston scored midway through the fourth to bring the Terriers within one, but Raider goals from Walsh and Adams ended any possibility of a

late-game comeback.

“We’re happy to get a win in our first game at Boston University, but we have to focus on fixing the little things and putting the ball in the net,” Walsh said. His nation-leading streak of consecutive games with a goal was capped at 35 after the big attackman went scoreless against Hobart for the first time since his second collegiate game. “The defense is playing really well, but they need us to do our

job better.”

The Raiders will look to revitalize their offense this Saturday when they take on in-state opponent Binghamton. Colgate scored 17 times when they last played the Bearcats away from home, a performance that Walsh and the rest of the Raiders’ ball-carriers hope to recreate this weekend. The game will be in Binghamton at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 15.