Victory at Andy Kerr Stadium

Steve Urban

The 19th ranked Raiders started off their 2012 campaign by knocking off the Bryant Bulldogs 10-8 last Saturday at Andy Kerr Stadium. The game was close throughout, and while Colgate never trailed, their largest lead was only three goals. Bryant always was able to increase the of­fensive aggressiveness to keep the game close, battling back from a three-goal deficit twice.

“Bryant continued to battle throughout the game,” junior defensemen James Queeney said. “I think we were able to do a great job of keeping our composure when they went on some runs. A lot of the older guys are used to playing in closer games over the years, and I think that helped us remain calm and focused on what we needed to do.”

The win marks the first victory in the Mike Murphy era of Colgate lacrosse, as the coach made his debut in the game as well.

“It was a great feeling to be part of Coach Murphy’s first win as our head coach,” Queeney said. “The team was excited about having Coach Murphy and his staff join the team this year. He’s a great coach, and hopefully we can help him rack up a lot more wins over the course of this season.”

Junior Peter Baum left off right where his 2011 campaign ended, tallying five points for the Raiders on four goals and one assist. Baum was often able to take advantage of one-on-one matchups to victimize the Bryant defense. Six other Raiders chipped in on the offensive ef­fort, with senior attackman and co-captain Jeff Ledwick having three points on a pair of goals while dishing out two assists. Senior attackman Colby Wilson had a goal and an assist, and fel­low attackman junior Michael Thomas had two points on a pair of helpers. First-years Matt Clarkson and Ryan Walsh and junior Matt Baker each added goals of their own. For Clark­son and Walsh, the goals were their first goals in a Raider uniform.

Senior goalie Jared Madison recorded nine saves on the afternoon to lead the defensive effort. Additionally, Queeney earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for his role in the contest.

“We did a good job as a defensive unit as a whole throughout the game in pressuring their attackmen,” Queeney explained. “I think the pressure we created really disrupted their offense and forced them out of their comfort zone by dictating the tempo.”

Colgate had a strong first period to their sea­son, shutting out Bryant while tallying two goals of their own. After losing the first face-off of the game, the Raiders transitioned over to offense. Ledwick provided the first goal of the contest, dodging past his defender and whistling a shot by Bryant goalie Jameson Love. The Raiders got their second goal of the game just over a minute later when Wilson assisted Clarkson, increasing the Raider lead to two goals. Colgate looked as if they were poised to blow the game open, as they kept the pressure up on the Bryant net. However, Love was able to keep the Bulldogs in the game, stopping six Raider shots to keep the deficit at only two goals when the first period came to an end.

The second quarter started right where the first one ended, as Peter Baum recorded his first goal of the season to increase the Raider lead to 3-0. However, Bryant then came back with a three-goal run of their own. The Bulldogs first goal came on a man-up opportunity, and the next two came within 32 seconds of each other just a couple min­utes later to see the game tied midway through the second quarter. The teams would go back and forth for the rest of the half, with Colgate getting another goal from Baum and one from Baker to jump back in front by two. However, Bryant was able to cut the lead to one with a goal in the last two minutes of the half.

The Raiders came out hot in the second half, netting two goals within the first two minutes of the period. Wilson tallied the second of the two goals on a man-up opportunity, and the Raiders lead stood at 7-4. Colgate took advantage of Bry­ant penalties on the afternoon, scoring twice on three opportunities. The end of the third period mirrored the end of the second with the two teams trading goals. Bryant then took advantage of a man-up opportunity to cut the lead to 8-6.

The game could have gone either way in the fourth quarter depending on which team was able to have an offensive surge. Bryant carried their mo­mentum over from their late tally in the third and got two more quick goals to tie up the game at 8-8 just over two minutes into the final period. How­ever, the Raider defense clamped down for the rest of the game. The intensity and pace of the game picked up, but the Raider defense was able to stay strong. Walsh tallied what proved to be the game-winner with a little less than nine minutes left. Led­wick then scored another about 90 seconds later to give the Raiders a two-goal cushion. No goals were scored in the latter half of the fourth, and the game ended with a 10-8 Raider victory.

The Raiders will look to run their record to 2-0 this Saturday when they take on the Vermont Catamounts at 12 p.m. The Raiders will try and avenge their 9-4 loss to Vermont last year.

“We’re hungry for revenge,” Queeney said, “It definitely has added some extra fuel in our preparation.” The game will be played at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Contact Steve Urban at [email protected]