Men’s Lacrosse Defeats No. 18 Bucknell in Eleventh Hour Victory to Take the Championship

Steve Urban

Junior Peter Baum scored with two seconds remaining to give the Colgate men’s lacrosse team a thrilling 11-10 victory against the Bucknell Bison last Friday night at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium in Lewisburg, Pa. The win was Colgate’s first against Bucknell in the last four games between the schools. More importantly, it gave the Raiders the Patriot League regular season crown and the right to host the Patriot League Tournament this weekend.

Baum got the final goal on a restart with eight seconds left. He took the ball from the sideline and was able to just get by his defender with his speed. He then cut a little upfield to get a better angle and shot it by Bucknell goalie Kyle Feeney on the near post.

“After I saw the ball go out of bounds, I went and picked it up with eight seconds left,” Baum said. “Obviously, I was just trying to get to the net and make a play. I felt like I had a bit of a speed advantageon my defenseman, so I just thought I’d try to get by him and take it from there. As I started to get closer to the goal, no one really slid to me, so I just got upfield a little to give myself more angle. I then snuck one in the near side of the net to the goalie’s off-stick hip.”

Baum again led the Raiders with four points, coming from three goals and an assist. First-year Ryan Walsh also had a strong game with a goal and two assists, and senior midfielder Jeff Ledwick recorded two goals of his own. Junior midfielder Robert Grabher continued his incredible dominance at the face-off x, winning 15 of 25 face-offs, including a 10 of 11 stretch in the second and third quarters that helped the Raiders get back into the game. His 105 groundballs are the most in the Patriot League this season.

Unlike most of the Raiders’ games this season, the offense came out sloppy to start the contest. It was the Bison that looked sharp on offense, as they jumped out to a 6-1 lead with just over a minute left in the first half. Ledwick then got on the board to cut the lead to 6-2 right before halftime. The Colgate goal ended a near 22-minute goalless drought, as Baum tallied the first ‘Gate goal midway through the first period.

The Raiders were very sloppy with the ball in the first half, turning the ball over 12 times.

“Halftime was definitely about just calming down and regrouping for us,” Baum said. “I think it helped that we did get a goal right before the half to make it 6-2, but we really just had to sit down and compose ourselves. We still had a positive outlook and knew that we could make a run there and get back into the game.”

That positive outlook carried over into the second half, as Colgate got six consecutive goals to put itself up 8-6 with just over two minutes gone by in the fourth quarter. Bucknell then quickly bounced backwith three goals during the next four minutes to regain the lead at 9-8.

The Raiders then bounced back with two goals of their own from Walsh and first-year attackman Matt Clarkson.

Bucknell refused to give up the fight and fired back to tie the game with just under two and a half minutesl eft at 10-10. Under presseure, Baum provided the heroic ending to the battle with the final net for Colgate on his 51st goal of the season.

Baum became the third Raider to tally over 50 goals in a season. The 68 recorded points to his name tie him for second most in a single season in Colgate history.

Sophomore Bobby Lawrence was able to limit Bucknell’s Billy Eisenreich to just two points. Eisenreich came in to the game the second leading scorer in the country behind Baum. Senior Jared Madison was also instrumental in the win. He had four saves from between the pipes for the Raiders.

The Raiders were a perfect 5-0 on the road in the regular season. The 11 wins give Coach Mike Murphy the most ever for a first-year coach at Colgate.

The Patriot League Tournament kicks off Friday at Andy Kerr Stadium. Colgate will take on Bucknell in the first game at 5 p.m.. Lehigh and Army play in the second game at 8 p.m.. Both games will be televised nationally on CBS Sports Network.

“I think playing the same team two weeks in a row will be very interesting, and something most guys have never done before,” Baum said. “The biggest thing will be to focus on limiting turnovers. I think our game plan worked very well when we executed it right. So we will look at the film, maybe tweak a few things here and there, but basically go in with a similar game plan and just try to execute for 60 minutes.”

Contact Steve Urban [email protected]