The Colgate women’s soccer team’s exciting season came to a close last Friday. Colgate was defeated by Army in the semifinal Patriot League Tournament game 2-0 at Van Doren field.
Watching the game, it seemed clear that Colgate was the more offensively aggressive team by far. It came out attacking at the start of the first half and forced Army onto the defensive. However, a pair of offsides calls slowed them down. Army found an opening early in the first half at 5:26, when a chipped ball flew over the head of junior goalkeeper and co-captain Ashley Walsh to land in the upper right corner. Army took the lead, but the Raiders kept fighting.
The Black Knights’s lead amped up Colgate’s physicality, and the game became more aggressive on both sides. The pace of the game increased visibly as the Raiders fought to keep up. In the eighth minute, Colgate found its first real chance off a corner kick. Senior co-captain Maddie Malone served the ball from the corner into the box. It bounced back to junior Elise Amioka who fired the ball at the net, but it was blocked by a defender.
The offensive advantage then jumped back to Army. It controlled the ball and had several opportunities, but Colgate was able to maintain the score of 1-0 until it regained control of the ball in the last 20 minutes of the half. The Raiders took command of the field and settled into a steady rhythm. They had numerous close opportunities but were unable to capitalize, leaving the final score at the end of the half 1-0 in Army’s favor.
The second half started with Colgate attacking Army’s net looking for a goal to tie the game up. The Raiders used their speed and creative passing patterns to try to break down Army’s defense but they remained solid. The Black Knights countered with an attack of their own to relieve some of the defensive pressure they had been facing. They almost managed a second goal when a pass in the box created a shooting opportunity on Colgate’s open net. However, junior Sarah Henderson blocked the shot with her body.
Realizing that its offensive approach thus far hadn’t been working, Colgate started attacking from the wings. The Raiders capitalized on the speed of their outside midfielders like junior Jillian Kinter. They found their closest attempt with less than four minutes on the clock when a cross from Kinter found the head of senior co-captain Danielle Wessler.
However, the ball went inches wide of the right post keeping Army in the lead. Army countered this attack with a second goal at 89:42 to win the game 2-0.
Although they lost in the semifinals, the Raiders are proud of how far they made it and the efforts they expended.
“Despite losing in the semifinals, we had a successful season with a winning record, first place finish in the league and an opportunity to host the tournament,” Wessler said. “I could not have asked for much more from the team.”
And as far as their attitude leaving the field, Wessler said, “Personally, I know I left everything I had out on that field and I believe my teammates did, too. It would have been nice to put a couple of opportunities away, but everyone worked their hearts out and you can’t ask for anything other then that.”
Although they weren’t able to clinch the Championship Title, the Colgate women’s soccer team left it all on the field.
On Sunday, Army continued on to play Navy for the Patriot League Tournament title. The Black Knights conquered Navy in a shutout of 2-0 to secure the win and the 2011 Patriot League Women’s Soccer title.
Contact Tira Hastings at [email protected]