Women’s Soccer Beat Lafayette for First Conference Win

The Colgate women’s soccer team has had a rough couple of weeks. On October 1, the ladies dropped their Patriot League Opener against Navy, getting shutout 2-0. Two days later, the Raiders fell to archrival Cornell by the same score. Last Friday, Colgate dropped a 3-1 decision to conference foe Lehigh but recovered to earn its first Patriot league victory, 2-1 over Lafayette in double overtime.All four games were played without sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Walsh, who is out for the season after suffering an injury in a scrimmage with the men’s club team.

Last Friday, the Raiders traveled to Bethlehem, PA to take on the Lehigh Mountainhawks. Colgate found itself in a hole from the beginning, as Lehigh scored two minutes into the game when Lena Cannon took a shot from outside the box, which hit the inside left post on its way in. Throughout the rest of the half, both teams traded scoring opportunities but were unable to capitalize on their chances. The Mountainhawks held a 1-0 lead after the first 45 minutes.

The second half of the game began with Lehigh controlling the play and maintaining ball possession, inching closer to the Raider goal every time. Eighteen minutes into the frame, the Mountainhawks increased their lead to 2-0 when Natalie Hojnacki found the top right corner of the goal protected by sophomore goalkeeper Alexis Longwell in her third straight start for Colgate.

The Raiders were able to cut their opponent’s lead in half when sophomore forward Alyssa Manoogian scored her third goal of the season 71 minutes in. Unfortunately, Hojnacki scored her second goal of the evening at the 84th minute to give her team a 3-1 victory over visiting Colgate. Longwell stopped seven of the 10 shots she faced.

“In order to come away with a win on Friday night we would have had to play much better team defense,” senior co-captain Calista Victor said. “We need to put pressure on the ball quickly and we can’t allow teams to get shots off so easily. Also, we need to start taking shots. If we don’t start shooting, we won’t score.”

Two days later, the Raiders traveled to Easton, PA to cap off the weekend against conference rival Lafayette in what was Raider first-year goaltender Emma Giegerich’s first collegiate start.

From the beginning of the game, the impression was made that it was going to be a long one. Both teams had good scoring chances in the first few minutes but were unable to take advantage of them. Colgate struck first blood 38 minutes into the half, when first-year forward Ashleigh Smith scored off assists by junior Madeline Malone and sophomore Elise Amioka. The Raider lead did not last long, however, as the Leopards tied the game with 59 seconds remaining in the first frame.

The second half of the game passed by with both squads enjoying chances that could have led either team to taking the lead and the victory if had they converted, but both were unable to get anything past the goalkeepers. Thus the game would have to be decided in overtime.

The first overtime went by without any goals, but Manoogian played the heroine by scoring her second goal of the weekend and helping Colgate snap a four-game losing streak and obtain its first Patriot League win of the season. Giegerich stopped four out of the five shots she faced, and her efforts garnered her Rookie of the Week honors.

“As a team, we did a better job preparing for the game,” Victor said. “Everyone was focused and ready to go. We were more organized and tenacious on defense. On offense, we attacked as a team and went to goal.”

The Raiders will take the field next Sunday when they travel to the nation’s capital to take on the American University Eagles.

“I think we need to continue to improve our team defense,” Victor said. “It is getting better but is not good enough. We need to put more pressure on the ball and we need to be stronger and more aggressive. On offense, our movement off the ball needs to be better and we have to continue to shoot.  Hopefully we will spend some time working on offensive corners. We have had so many but haven’t been able to capitalize on our opportunities.”

The contest will begin at noon.