This past weekend, the Colgate field hockey team fell to the Bucknell Bison in overtime, 3-2. With this loss, the team finished the regular season with a 5-11 overall record and 2-3 in conference play, seeding them fourth in the upcoming Patriot League Tournament.
After a scoreless first half, Bucknell struck first, posting a goal 1:03 into the second frame. Sophomore mid-fielder Kendall Zaharris scored her first point of the season just over a minute later. Soon after, senior attack Laura Denenga secured Colgate’s first lead.
Five minutes later, however, the Bison leveled the score. The contest would not be decided until when, with four seconds left on the clock in the first overtime, Bucknell netted the winner.
“We fought really hard and were able to come back after getting scored against first,” Lalli said. “Even though we lost, we forced the game into overtime, so that at least is a testament to the effort we put into the entire game.”
Overall, the Raiders were outshot 38-8 and senior captain Kirsten Lalli had 20 saves against Bucknell.
“Every player on the field gave it her all,” Head Coach Cathy Foto said. “Right before the game started we had to make a last minute change for sophomore Brittany Schram, one of our starters who has been ill all week and just could not take the field. First-year Kelsey Jensen jumped right in to take her spot. Sophomore Anna Redcliffe also came off the bench to replace starter first-year Halle Biggar who sustained a serious hand injury during the first half. Anna added a key assist on a scoring play and that kept us in the game.”
“Kirsten Lalli had another huge game with 20 saves. Senior captain Alli Waugh, sophomore Adriana Libutti and sophomore Elaine Thurman were outstanding in the defensive end under intense pressure all game long. The mid-fielders and forwards were also fighting all game long to create scoring plays against an experienced Bucknell defense.”
This coming weekend, the team will hit the road to Washington, D.C. to face off against the host team, the American University Eagles, in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament.
“We are excited to be in the tournament,” Coach Foto said. “We were picked to finish last in the league this year and moving up to fourth after a difficult season last year is rewarding. Playing American at their place will be a challenge; almost all of their starters have Patriot League Tournament experience.”
“Most of our players will be playing in their first post-season game. But we are playing our best field hockey of the year right now and if we can have everyone healthy for the game we plan to challenge American for everything we can, including the Patriot League Tournament title.”
The Eagles went undefeated, 5-0, to clinch the first-place title in the Patriot League regular season. The Eagles are currently 15-3 overall.
“We have a few days to prepare, but will head to DC either Wednesday or Thursday to practice on their field before playing the game on Friday,” Lalli said. “We’ll revisit some of the things we worked on the first time we played them and hopefully will improve our overall execution.”
Friday’s competition is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m.