Women’s Soccer Splits with Ivy League Opponents

Jaime Heilbron

The Colgate women’s soccer team’s road woes continued as they split a pair of games against Ivy League opponents Dartmouth and Brown that took place this past weekend at the Dartmouth Nike Classic Tournament.

On Friday evening the ladies collected their first victory of the season, defeating the hosts 1-0. Sophomore Alyssa Manoogian scored her first goal of the season to give her team the win and fellow sophomore goalkeeper Ashley Walsh collected her first shutout of the season, stopping four shots. Two days later the women faced the Brown Bears in their last game at the tournament, yet failed to get on the scoreboard as they fell 3-0 to their opponents. Walsh stopped four of seven shots she saw in the afternoon.

Friday’s match saw two teams in need take the field. The Raiders were winless in three games and desperately needed a victory to set them on the right track. Meanwhile, the Big Green was hosting their home opener, thus they were pressured as hosts to get the victory in the first game of the tournament they had put together. The beginning of the first half saw the typical mutual study between both teams. Colgate tried to take possession of the ball and implement its game while Dartmouth attempted to do the same. Both defenses stood strong in what was a tight game in the midfield until the Raiders were finally able to get through.

At the 44th minute, Manoogian scored on a counterattack through the midfield to give the visitors a 1-0 lead that would stand throughout the rest of the half.

In the second half, each team got on the field with a different mindset. The Big Green was in desperate need of a goal, while Colgate’s job was to protect the lead and wait for any mistakes by Dartmouth that could lead to a second and definitive goal. Neither team was able to penetrate its opponent’s defense therefore Manoogian’s strike stood as the decisive factor in the match.

“It took an entire team effort in our win against Dartmouth,” junior forward Danielle Wessler said. “For the first time this season we weren’t playing scared and played a complete 90-minute game, defending and attacking as a unit.”

Two days later, the Raiders closed their participation in the tournament by facing their second Ivy League rival of the weekend in the Brown Bears. Both teams were cautious at the start of the match, but it was Brown who took the initiative, scoring two minutes into the game when Erika Lum put a free kick on the top right corner of the goal protected by Walsh. In soccer, it is always tough when a team allows a goal in the early goings of a contest, but Colgate stood strong throughout the rest of the half, not allowing any more goals, yet failing to score or put a shot on the net, and the frame ended with the Bears holding a slim 1-0 lead.

The second half saw the Raiders playing with urgency, as they needed at least one goal to take a positive result from the match and an unblemished record in the Dartmouth Classic. Brown took advantage of Colgate’s desperation when Lum struck again at the 62nd minute, this time scoring from the right side after receiving a cross off a scramble in the left side of the goal. Nineteen minutes later the Bears sentenced the match putting another one in off a scramble in the left to make the final score 3-0 in Brown’s favor. “As a team, we were a bit out of sync and generally nothing seemed to click,” Wessler said. “We didn’t take care of the ball as well as we needed to, but Brown was more than beatable.”

The Raiders (1-4) will retake the field this coming weekend as they return to the friendly confines of Van Doren field in the Colgate Nike Classic. Colgate will face Seton Hall on Friday evening and St. Bonaventure on Sunday.

“We need to work on many things, from team defending to better first touches,” Wessler said. “Each practice we are improving and ready for our next week’s opponents. Everyone can expect two decent teams this Friday and Sunday. Fortunately, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before and we can handle it.”

Friday’s game is slated for a 7 p.m. start, while Sunday’s match will begin at 2:30 p.m.