The Colgate women’s soccer team bagged two wins this week. The team travelled to St. Bonaventure for a game on Friday, which it won 2-1. The Raiders’s most recent game was played at home last Sunday against Canisius and it ended with a final score of 3-2. These two wins ended the Raiders’s non-conference play.
The game against St. Bonaventure started slowly with both teams taking a moment to generate offensive play. However, it was the Bonnies who led the charge creating a close call in the 11th minute when they were awarded two corner kicks. They were unable to capitalize on these two opportunities, but continued their offensive attack. Colgate also saw a few opportunities at the goal but was unable to put one in the back of the net.
St. Bonaventure made its mark at 37:44 by taking advantage of a loose ball in the box. Soon after the tally they scored again, but the goal was called off because of a foul on the play. These two plays lit a fire under the Raiders, and they came back trying to even the score. Their efforts were rewarded at 43:38 when first-year forward Jenna Raepple got a pass on a breakaway from senior co-captain Danielle Wessler. Raepple’s goal tied up the game going into halftime.
The second half began with St. Bonaventure on the attack. It put constant pressure on the Raiders’s defense. It wasn’t until well into the half that Colgate started to push back with some offensive plays of their own. At the 61st minute, the Raiders had a few close calls but couldn’t take the lead. Finally at 77:09, Raepple sent a sharp through ball to junior forward Jillian Kinter. Kinter was able to knock it into the bottom left corner allowing Colgate to take the lead going into the last few minutes of the game. Although St. Bonaventure fought back aggressively, it was not able to come through with a final goal to take the game into overtime.
“It really came down to hard work and determination to just get the ball in the back of the net any way we could,” Kinter said. “I think this team has a great mentality. We have so many people who can score goals and create opportunities that we’re able to feel confident whether we’re down a goal or not.”
The Raiders came out hard on Sunday afternoon against the Canisius Griffins. Only 56 seconds into the game, Colgate earned a penalty kick when junior midfielder Elise Amioka sent a cross ball that hit the hand of one of the Canisius defenders. This provided a great opportunity for senior midfielder and co-captain Maddie Malone. She took the penalty kick, which deflected off the goalkeeper to start the game off with a 1-0 lead for the Raiders.
Colgate continued its offensive attack and was rewarded for its persistence. At 22:09, Malone took another free kick at the top of the box. She quickly passed it off to first-year forward Caroline Brawner who was open on the left side and shot the ball to give Colgate a 2-0 lead.
The Raiders continued to hold possession, passing around Canisius’s defense. They had several more opportunities, almost putting another goal away, but it was called off on a foul. Canisius responded to this pressure at 33:38 when Brianna Smith took a header off a cross by a teammate. It ricocheted off the crossbar but Smith was able to slip the rebound past Walsh. The first half ended with Colgate in a good position, ahead 2-1.
Although Colgate came out just as aggressively in the second half, it was the Griffins who were able to capitalize early in the period. Smith again picked up the rebound when a shot hit the crossbar and she was able to tap it into the goal, creating a tied game. The Raiders picked up their game with the threat of Canisius taking the lead.
Canisius created numerous other scoring opportunities but were unable to find the back of the net. The Griffins weren’t letting go of the possibility of taking the lead and had a near goal on an open net that was heroically blocked by junior defender Sarah Henderson.
Feeling the pressure, Colgate again stepped up its game. At 76:17, the Raiders’s continuous efforts paid off when a series of passes between Malone and Raepple connected to find Kinter. Kinter knocked in the final goal to regain the lead for Colgate. The Griffins fought for a final goal to tie the game but were unsuccessful. This left the Raiders with a record of 8-4 going into league play and riding a three-win streak.
“It was great to get these three last wins before league play,” Kinter said. “I’m confident we can carry this momentum through the week, into Saturday.”
The Raiders will open league play next week when they host Bucknell at home on Saturday, October 1 at 4:00 p.m. on Van Doren Field. They will then travel to Army on Friday, October 7 at 7:00 p.m.
Contact Tira Hastings at [email protected]