Women’s Soccer Holds On Against Lehigh

Matthew Washuta

With its spot secure in the upcoming Patriot League conference tournament, the Colgate Raiders women’s soccer team looked to continue its momentum against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks. The Mountain Hawks were looking to secure a spot in the tournament this weekend, which made the match all the more challenging for the Raiders. The Raiders continued their offensive strength and held off Lehigh’s strong offensive strategy, leaving the pitch with a 1-0 win. Colgate attempted to take advantage of some scoring opportunities early in the first half as Lehigh struggled to get its footing. As the offenses of both teams looked to find some consistency in their possessions, the defenses held strong and provided the confidence needed to earn new scoring opportunities.

About 30 minutes into the first half, Lehigh found a tremendous scoring opportunity as junior midfielder Danielle Salans took control of the possession and found sophomore midfielder Katie Centeno near the box. Centeno then averted all of the Colgate defenders, finding senior forward Murphee Greeley in the box. Greeley seemed to have a huge chance of scoring but before she could attempt a shot the team was called offside, thereby averting what could have been a likely disaster for the Raiders early in the game. The Raiders responded adeptly to Lehigh’s dangerous scoring opportunity as Colgate junior captain Emily Manoogian, a midfielder, took advantage of a free kick, sending it towards the goal. Other Raiders were ready to take advantage of any potential rebound or loose ball but Lehigh goalkeeper junior Ashley Blanks caught the ball mid-air, preventing the Raiders from grabbing a quick lead. 

Colgate responded with another strong scoring opportunity late in the first half. Colgate first-year forward Sophie Lederer secured possession and searched for a solid opportunity for a shot. She kept control of the possession with senior captain and midfielder Klara Jenkins. Jenkins then took control of the possession and found junior captain and forward Caroline Brawner at the goal. Brawner took control of the ball and quickly fired a shot towards the goal but it swiped the crossbar instead.     

The first half finished with a 0-0 tally as the half was marked by the back and forth barrage of scoring opportunities. Both teams’ defenses held strong, however, and kept each other from gaining a much-needed advantage. The second half continued the back and forth barrage of scoring opportunities as both teams aggressively pursued the elusive lead over the other. Brawner found another solid opportunity to give the Raiders a much-needed lead. It all started when Colgate senior captain and midfielder Kelsey Hough secured possession and made a strong pass to sophomore forward Catherine Williams who expertly passed it through traffic to Brawner in the box. Brawner then fired it towards the goal but Lehigh’s Blanks was there to collect it, ultimately keeping the game tied at 0-0 apiece. Brawner continued to find scoring opportunities throughout and her aggressive play in the box led to some strong chances for Colgate as Lehigh’s frustrations became more evident. The Raiders earned a couple solid free kicks as Brawner was fouled twice near the box. The latter of the two free kicks ultimately proved to be decisive for the Raiders. Sophomore forward Jenna Panepinto took advantage of the second free kick and fired it towards the goal. Lehigh’s Blanks was unable to get to it as it sailed to the back of the net, giving the Raiders a much-needed 1-0 lead.

Lehigh desperately tried to storm back from the late-game deficit but Colgate’s first year goalkeeper Brenna Mason warded off its late onslaught, allowing the Raiders to finish with a 1-0 win. The win gives Colgate a comfortable cushion in the conference standings as the Raiders are now in third place. The Raiders return to Van Doren field for a match against American University Saturday, November 2 at 7pm.

Contact Matthew Washuta at [email protected]