Women’s Soccer Loses Only Patriot League Game of Season

Tira Hastings

Last Saturday, the Colgate women’s soccer team faced American. The Eagles brought the Raiders to their first loss in the Patriot League season with a final score of 1-0.

The evening began with a celebration of the six seniors and the contributions they have made to the team over the years. They will enter the conference tournament one final time starting this weekend.

The game began with Colgate controlling most of the offensive play. They out-maneu­vered American by creating effective passing patterns. The Raiders searched for an open­ing in American’s defense as they pushed to be the first team on the scoreboard. However, as the half continued, the Eagles began their counterattack. They fired several shots at ju­nior goalkeeper and co-captain Ashley Walsh. Walsh was forced to stay on her toes as she was pelted with American’s shots. The Eagles almost succeeded in getting past Walsh when one of their shots came dangerously close, only nearly missing the crossbar.

Although the Raiders were forced to play the majority of the half in their de­fensive zone to protect their goal, in the final 10 minutes they were able to pick up the pace. Colgate brought the level of play back to where it was in the beginning of the half and had several scoring opportuni­ties. The closest came from first-year Chel­sea Roche. Roche kicked a long shot that hit the crossbar in the 39th minute of the game. Although there were several oppor­tunities for both teams, the half ended with an empty scoreboard.

The second half brought newfound energy to both teams. Hungry for a goal, American and Colgate both upped their intensity and the physicality of the game reached a new level. Colgate, again, be­gan the attack in the first few minutes of play. First-year forward Jenna Raepple had several chances but was unable to capital­ize. In the 61st minute, American finally found their opening. A long cross found a forward’s foot, and she volleyed it past Walsh. This gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead over the Raiders.

Realizing they would need a goal to tie things up, Colgate picked up its game. The speed of play increased dramatically and an already physical game became more aggres­sive. In the last 10 minutes of the game, the Raiders had numerous opportunities that did not quite make it. Junior forward Elise Amioka’s shot soared inches above the cross­bar. Junior forward Jillian Kinter had a great shot that was blocked by one of the Eagle’s defenders. Lastly, with only 1:22 left in the second half, junior Alyssa Manoogian sent a rocket into an open net after a flurry of ac­tivity in the box, but was blocked by another American defender. Unfortunately, this left the final score 1-0, giving Colgate its first Patriot League loss.

Although they lost to American, Col­gate still won the Regular Season Title for the Patriot League. Its fate was in the balance after the loss to American, but Colgate kept hold of their first-place ranking. The Raiders will enter into the Patriot League Tournament with the first seed.

“Now that we know we’re hosting the tournament,” junior Jillian Kinter said, “I think we all feel a little grateful. I know we’re going to work hard all week of practice and prepare for a team that is going to com­pete until the very end.”

Kinter was also named the 2011 Pa­triot League Offensive Player of the Year. Her teammate Jenna Raepple was awarded Rookie of the Year. Both were named to the All Patriot League First Team. Also notable, senior co-captain Maddie Malone and first-year Caroline Brawner were awarded second team selections.

The Raiders will host the Patriot League Tournament on Friday November 4 and Sun­day November 6. They will play their first game in the tournament semifinal against the fourth seed, Army, at Van Doren field on Fri­day at 5 p.m. The Championship will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Contact Tira Hastings at [email protected]