Men’s Soccer Splits Weekend Contests

Mitch Waxman

The Colgate men’s soccer team experienced both joy and agony this weekend, winning their first league game but also dropping their first game of the season overall. Both games resulted in a score of 1-0, and both were extremely hard-fought contests.

The Patriot League game against Lehigh Friday night was an intense affair from the start.

“Obviously being the first Patriot League game both teams came out with a little extra fire, wanting to get off to a good start,” junior forward Matt Schuber said.

As can be expected, the game started off a bit slow, with both teams giving up the ball only to receive it seconds later. The first real scare of the game came when Colgate junior Steve Miller chipped a ball (for you FIFA players, the LB-B ball) over the goalkeeper’s head, only to see it hit the crossbar as a relieved Lehigh goalkeeper crashed into the netting. After this near score the Raiders could have become discouraged, but success found them moments later,

courtesy of Schuber.

“[Sophomore Mike] Garzi took the corner kick and sent a good ball into the box. Lehigh completely forgot to mark me so I was wide open, and had more than enough time to volley it over the goalie’s head,” Schuber said. “The first goal was a big confidence boost for us considering we haven’t seen the fruits of our labor pay off. Getting off to a good start was key for us.”

Colgate would keep this lead into halftime and through the majority of the second half. Just when things seemed to be moving towards a 1-0 Raider win, however, Lehigh had its best chance of scoring in the game. With only seconds left on the clock, a long throw was made to one of Lehigh’s forwards inside the box, only to have the forward shoot over the top of the crossbar.

“It was great to see the ball go over the net as time expired, and know that we got off to the start we were looking for in this Patriot League season,” Schuber said.

Colgate entered their next tilt on Sunday at Long Island, with all the confidence in the world. They had yet to drop a contest all season, and Long Island (LIU) was one of the weaker opponents on the schedule. However, the Blackbirds proved tough for the Raiders to handle.

The first half of the contest featured Colgate controlling the tempo, peppering the LIU side with twice as many shots as the Blackbirds could manage. Following a recurring theme throughout the season, Colgate failed to score before halftime.

Colgate came out a bit slow to start the second half and paid for it almost immediately. In the 51st minute, the Blackbirds tickled the back of Colgate’s net after an unfortunate mistake led to a wide-open shot for an unmarked Long Island forward. Junior goaltender Chris Miller had no chance, and Colgate found itself trailing.

After the goal, Colgate was the more dangerous team, and generated a number of solid chances to score, but they would be unable to find that evening tally.

“We did a great job of getting the ball forward, but just could not connect on that last pass that would have equalized the game for us,” Schuber said. “Overall, we didn’t play horribly, but it was unfortunate we could not come out of there with a win.”

Colgate returns to Van Doren this weekend, with a 4 p.m. Saturday clash against Holy Cross. Although they lost to Long Island, they still remain undefeated in the Patriot League.