Men’s Lacrosse Maintains National Ranking

Brendan Gibney

The Colgate men’s lacrosse team has remained in the 16th spot in both the Na­tional Media and Coaches’ Polls after its 11-10 road victory over league foe Lafay­ette last Saturday, April 16, a victory that marked its fifth win in a row and ninth in the last 10 games. Head Coach Jim Nagle admitted that lengthy travel, coupled with persistent and poor weather conditions, made the road win even more noteworthy.

“I thought it was a great win consider­ing the circumstances,” Coach Nagle said. “It was a long day. We traveled the day of the game to save money. We had three different lightning delays and came away with a big league win close to midnight.”

Senior co-captain Andrew Mould led the Raiders with four goals, and junior Jeff Ledwick and sophomore Peter Baum each contributed two. Seniors Ben McCabe, Jim Carroll and co-captain Rob Bosco rounded out Colgate’s tallies with one each. Carroll was also standout at the face-off circle in the game, winning 14 draws for the Raiders. Colgate came out strong early in the game, going up 3-1 in the first quarter, but the Leopards stormed back in the second with four goals and took the lead heading into the half. The teams traded goals in the third, notching three each. The Raiders managed to take con­trol in the fourth, however, scoring four to the Leopards’ two. The teams were tied with just four minutes to go, but a tally from Mould with just 3:47 remaining gave Colgate a lead that it would never relinquish.

Tough defense late in the game allowed the Raiders to maintain possession and hold on for the victory. The ability to es­tablish possession and keep control of the ball has been an asset for Colgate all season and was on display in Saturday’s victory over Lafayette. The team won 15 of the 25 draws, largely thanks to Carroll’s per­formance, scooped 26 groundballs to the Leopards’ 23 and converted an impressive 14 of 16 attempted clears.

The team’s win streak will carry it into arguably its most important contest of the season so far, a home match against No. 12 Bucknell for the right to host the 2011 Patriot League Tournament as the top seed. Both the Raiders and the Bison are undefeated in league play.

The two teams match-up well statisti­cally. Colgate’s Peter Baum sits at third in Patriot League scoring with 41 points, followed immediately by Bucknell’s top scorer, Ryan Klipstein who has 40 of his own. Additionally, the Bison rank third in Patriot League team offense, averaging 9.8 goals a game while the Raiders oc­cupy the fourth spot, averaging 9.6 goals per contest.

Defensively, Bucknell sits atop the Pa­triot League standings, allowing just 7.3 goals a game while Colgate sits just two spots below, letting 7.8 sneak through per game. Moreover, Bucknell keeper Kyle Feeney (.544 save %, 106 saves) and Col­gate’s own junior Jared Madison (.537 save %, 108 saves) sit neck-and-neck in Pa­triot League goaltending, at the third and fourth spots, respectively.

The game between the Raiders and the Bison will serve as Colgate’s Senior Night and take place on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The winner of the match will host the Patriot League Tournament, which runs from April 29 through May 1, and the champion will secure a spot in the NCAA Division 1 Tournament. Colgate will also have one final out-of-conference game against a strong team in No. 6/7 Maryland on Saturday May 7 in College Park, Md. at noon.