Heroux’s Goal Gives Raiders First PL Victory

JP Letourneau

Last Saturday, Colgate took revenge upon the former Patriot League champs, the Lafayette Leopards, a team that only a season ago ended the Raiders’ season. The Raiders, now 2-7, delivered Lafayette its first loss of the season, moving to 1-0 in conference play.

It was a very even first half, with plenty of scoring opportunities for both teams. Lafayette earned the game’s first scoring chance in the 10th minute when a bouncing ball in front of the Colgate net was redirected toward the goal. First-year goalie Ricky Brown was forced to make a brilliant save to keep the game scoreless.

The following 10 minutes saw three Raider scoring opportunities. The first came when first-year midfielder Ethan Kutler found his way past the Lafayette defenders and fired a shot on goal. The shot was saved by Lafayette goalie

Nathan McDonald.

Just a few minutes later, junior forward Tanner Schilling delivered a low cross into the box from the right side of the field. First-year forward Zach Pagani looked to make a play on the ball but failed to get a solid shot off as McDonald made the initial save and then quickly covered the rebound.

The third opportunity came when Schilling passed a ball to senior captain Nicky Arpey, who then redirected the ball on goal. The ball went softly into the side net, narrowly missing the post.

In the final moments before halftime, the Leopards had another solid scoring chance. Lafayette’s forward Jeff McLaughlin touched the ball to forward Greg Biggiano, who found himself with a one-on-one opportunity against a Colgate defender in the open field. Biggiano quickly sent a ball in to the Raider box, but the ball was cleared away before any damage could be done.

After a well-played first half by both teams, they went into halftime scoreless, hoping to break the tie as the second half opened.

The Raiders first goal came in the 55th minute when junior Evan Heroux scored on a corner kick from Kutler. The rookie midfielder fired a ball high over the box when junior Frankie Bergonzi deflected the ball off his own head towards the head of Heroux, who was then able to put the ball in the back of the net for the score.

In an attempt to find the equalizing goal, the Leopards increased their offensive pressure on the Raider defense. The Leopards’ best opportunity came on a set piece. The ball was launched from midfield and then found its way to the Raider box where Leopard first-year Andrew Gonzalez one-timed the ball towards the goal. As the ball was flying towards the goal, Heroux made a terrific play to block the ball and clear it out of the zone.

Shortly after that chance on goal,  Brown was forced to make another stellar save when Lafayette’s senior forward Peter Adubato fired a clean shot on goal.

In the final minutes of the game, Lafayette made a last ditch effort to try to find the game-tying goal. The final opportunity came on a corner kick when Adubato managed to redirect the ball off his head, but the ball rolled just wide of the net.

“We knew today was the start of our second season and everything we did leading up to this was preparation and the guys performed extremely well,” head coach Erik Ronning said. “We will enjoy this one and then get back to work on Monday.”

Heroux was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week due to his brilliant play this weekend. After making three saves and collecting his first career shutou, Brown was named an honorable mention. He has started seven of Colgate’s nine games this season and has made 24

total saves.

The Raiders’ next game will be on Van Doren Field against Loyola this Saturday at 7 p.m.

Contact JP Letourneau at [email protected]