Men’s Soccer Drops First Patriot League Game Bested by American University on the Road, 3-0

Jaime Heilbron

Last Saturday, the Colgate men’s soccer team traveled to Washington, D.C. to open Patriot League play against the American University Eagles. The game did not go as the Raiders had hoped. Colgate fell 3-0 to the hosts. Junior goalkeeper Grant Reed and senior goalkeeper Chris Miller each protected the Raiders’s net for a half.

“We got away from what made us success­ful earlier in the year,” senior co-captain Mike Reese said. “The Patriot League is an entirely new level of play and if everyone is not on the same page then you will get exposed. That’s what happened on Saturday, and luckily we have a full week of practice to fix it and get ready for Lehigh.”

Just like it had been in the previous con­tests, Colgate took the initiative to start the match. The Raiders enjoyed the first clear scoring opportunity just 33 seconds into the game, but the Eagle goalkeeper was able to stop it. That close call gave American the confidence they needed to get on the board just 12 minutes later off a header after a corner kick.

Colgate did its best to equalize the game, but found itself unable to create much offense. It was the Eagles instead who scored off a pen­alty kick at the 22nd minute to increase their lead to 2-0. The Raiders fought hard through­out the rest of the half to get on the score­board, but American frustrated each and every single one of their attempts.

Colgate came out fired up to start the second half. ‘Gate was determined to get momentum back on its side, and the Raiders certainly did everything they could to accomplish that. Colgate, how­ever, was unable to put the ball past the Eagles’s goalkeeper. Despite controlling play throughout the half and outshoot­ing American by a 4-1 margin, the Raid­ers found themselves victims to another tally by the host. This time off a blast from 25 yards out, the Eagles found themselves leading by a dominating yet deceiving score of 3-0. Colgate kept try­ing until the end, but the opponent’s lead became too much to overcome and thus the Raiders dropped their second contest of the year and the first one in conference play.

“We prepare for every Patriot League game to the best of our ability,” Reese said. “Losing on Saturday is not any reason to panic. There is a lot of soccer left to be played this year. We just have to get back to basics this week and retool in order to regain what made us successful earlier in the year.”

This upcoming Saturday, Colgate will re­turn to the friendly confines of Van Doren Field to take on Lehigh in another Patriot League contest.

“Lehigh is a very good soccer team, one of the best we will play this year,” Reese said. “They are strong defensively and have some speed up top. We will have to be on top of our game on both sides of the ball. Being stronger defensively and being more dangerous by moving the ball quickly will help us win next weekend.”

Saturday’s contest is set to begin at 4 p.m.

Contact Jaime Heilbron at [email protected].