Last weekend, the Colgate men’s soccer team co-hosted the CU Classic with Cornell University with split success. On Friday, the Raiders suffered their first defeat of the season against Hofstra by a 1-0 score. Two days later, Colgate got back on track by defeating Long Island University 2-1 and avenging a loss from last year. Senior co-captain Steven Miller scored the first goal for the Raiders, while junior Shane Conlin scored his first goal of the season to give his team the victory.
“It felt great to finally score and with that, the game winner against LIU,” Conlin said. “I had been unlucky in the games leading up to LIU with hitting the post a bunch of times, so it felt great to finally be rewarded with a goal. The goal I scored today was not the prettiest of goals, but it was still a goal, so I will take it, and I will take any goal to help my team be successful.”
Colgate opened its participation in the CU Classic against a strong Hofstra side. The Raiders once again followed their plan almost to the letter, one of controlling ball possession and keeping opponents – in this case the Pride – as far away from their own end as possible. Colgate held the advantage in shots, yet the Raiders were unable to find the back of the net despite firing six shots. Only one of those, however, was on goal. Hofstra took a single shot and none on goal in the first half.
The beginning of the second frame spelled doom for Colgate. At the 51st minute of the game, the Pride took the lead with a header off the corner. The Raiders did everything they could to draw even except score, taking a total of eight shots in the second half, including four that were stopped by the goalkeeper. The Pride took a single shot on goal in the last 45 minutes of the contest, which resulted in the goal. That proved to be enough, as Hofstra ended Colgate’s unbeaten record.
“I think we played well against Hofstra, and there are a few things that I believe we could have done better,” Conlin said. “First, we did not finish our chances and at the collegiate level and against a solid opponent, if you don’t finish your chances, that will come back to haunt you. Also, I think we could have gotten more numbers forward and into the attack to put more pressure on their defense. I think we absolutely dominated the game in possession, but it would have been better to possess the ball more in their defensive half by having more players attack them.”
Two days later, ‘Gate looked to pick up the pieces against Long Island University, another strong rival that had previously defeated them last year, knocking it off a top-25 ranking. This time, however, fortune was on the Raiders’s side. Once again Colgate took the initiative, dominating ball possession and getting the ball deep in the Blackbirds’ end. The Raiders once again suffered from the inability to score, despite shooting eight times, four of which made it on net. The score remained 0-0 after the first 45 minutes.
The second frame of the contest was way more interesting, as each team found it in itself to seek the three points. Colgate took the initiative again, and it paid off when Miller finished off a cross from sophomore Barrett Metzger. Just two minutes later, Conlin added a second one, giving the Raiders a comfortable 2-0 lead. It proved to be fruitful, since LIU managed to score late in the game and cut the Raiders’s lead to one. Colgate outshot the Blackbirds 8-4 in the second frame, with seven of them being on net.
“I think we came out victorious against LIU because we played with more intensity and we had a much deeper bench then they did,” Conlin said. “We made about five substitutions with about 15 minutes left in the first half, and these substitutions gave more energy and offensive prowess to the game. They were getting tired and I believe these subs put more pressure on them and we created many chances towards the end of the 1st half but just came up unlucky. We are a very deep team with players who can easily sub into the game and keep the level of the game extremely high. This will definitely help us as we approach Patriot League play and the latter part of the season.”
This Saturday, the Raiders will travel to Washington D.C. to take on the American University Eagles in the inaugural match of conference play.
“Next weekend is huge for us because it marks our first Patriot League game,” Conlin said. It is very important that we get off to a good start in the Patriot League by winning next weekend at American. In order to be successful, I just think we have to keep playing the way we have been playing by controlling the possession and by moving the ball extremely fast. Also, it is important that we start finishing our opportunities and score more goals. Once we start burying our chances, we will start scoring many goals, which will make us an even more dangerous team.”
Saturday’s contest against American is slated to begin at noon.
Contact Jaime Heilbron at [email protected]