The Colgate men’s lacrosse team won its second Patriot League contest on Saturday, March 26, edging out league rival Navy 5-4 in Annapolis in front of a crowd of 1,834. Each of the last three games between the Raiders and the Midshipmen has been decided by a single goal, with Colgate coming out on top in two of the contests. The gritty victory was key for the Raiders, who improve to 2-0 in league play and 6-3 overall as they enter their third Patriot League match at home against Army this Saturday, April 2.
Despite the fact that the Navy offense had not been held under eight goals yet this season – scoring over ten goals in five of their game – the Raider defense was able to limit the Midshipmen offense to only four goals, two of which came within the first five minutes of play and the last of which snuck through with only two seconds left in the game.
Senior captain Greg Perkins attributed the strong defensive effort to the unit’s ability to put forth a complete game, saying “I would have to say that [Saturday] was the first time that our defense has demonstrated the true ability that we possess on that end of the field. We have strung together a good half, and a couple good quarters in previous games, but this was really the first game where we executed for the entire 60 minutes.”
The hometown Mids scored the first two goals of Saturday’s contest, but Colgate midfielder Jimmy Ryan snuck an unassisted tally past Navy net minder R.J. Wickham with 47 seconds left in the first quarter to bring the Raiders within one. Colgate capitalized on this momentum in the second quarter; senior Jim Carroll found sophomore Peter Baum at the start of the period to even the score at two apiece. The game remained tied for the next nine minutes, until Baum assisted senior Dave Tucciarone, giving the Raiders a 3-2 lead. Navy countered four minutes later, tying the game once again, but Baum responded with his second of the game – and number 25 of the season – off a feed from senior captain Rob Bosco to recapture the one-goal lead. Baum’s 25 goals currently rank as the most in Division I competition (along with Drexel attackman Scott Perri’s 25).
Sophomore James Queeney assisted senior Ben McCabe for the lone goal of the third, and although Navy notched the sole tally of the fourth, the Raider defense was able to hold tight and seal the win. Colgate goalie junior Jared Madison was outstanding in net, stopping eight shots and letting in only four. The contest was not close in score alone: Colgate successfully converted 19 of 21 clear attempts to Navy’s 19 of 22 attempts; the Mids scooped 30 groundballs to the Raiders’ 28; Colgate won seven of the 13 faceoff draws, all of which came from senior Jim Carroll. Navy had only five more shots than the visiting Raiders.
Such a hard-earned victory should be an ideal stepping stone for the Raiders as they head into their next game against the eighth-ranked Army Black Knights and attackman Jeremy Boltus, who leads the nation in points along with Cornell’s Rob Pannell.
Perkins stressed, however, that while the team faces an important game and strong opponent, they ultimately need to focus, improve each day, and execute the game plan that has worked all season: “Looking forward to this weekend, and Army, we are again going to put the primary focus on ourselves and executing our system, both offensively and defensively. Army is a talented team this year and at this point in the season, every team is continuing to get better, so we must do the same.”
Saturday’s match-up should prove to be a great contest. The Raiders will play next at 1:00 p.m. at Andy Kerr Stadium on April 2.