The Colgate men’s lacrosse team obtained a crucial win last Friday night, knocking off the No. 16 Lafayette Leopards, 14-9, under the lights at Andy Kerr Stadium. With the win, the Raiders took control of their own destiny, setting up a huge showdown against Bucknell this Saturday in Lewisburg, PA. The victory was particularly rewarding for the
seniors, as it was their final home game.
“It was great to get a win for our seniors,” sophomore midfielder Chris Zielinski said. “But they made it clear at the beginning of the game that we wanted to win this game for the whole team, not just themselves.”
Zielinski led the Raiders with a career-high six points on three goals and three assists, and first-year midfielder Peter Baum continued his strong play in his first year of collegiate action with four goals, an outing that led to his being named Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the third time this season. With the four goals, Baum now has 26 points on the year, the most ever by a Colgate first-year.
Sophomore Pat Campbell also chipped in with four points on a pair of goals and assists.
Lafayette is currently having the best year in its program’s history, boasting one of the top-five offenses in the NCAA heading into the game. Their talent showed, as the Leopards were able to race to a 3-0 lead after the first period. The Leopards’ third goal came from junior defenseman Jon Marcek, which gave him his first career point and goal.
The Raiders, however, were able to respond with a three-goal run of their own to start the second period and level the game at three. Junior attackman Ben McCabe got the Raiders on the board with an unassisted goal at 12:14, and later Zielinski scored two goals within one minute to tie the game. Lafayette then regained the lead when sophomore midfielder Colin Serling tallied his second of the game off an assist from senior midfielder Brett Djaha.
Just as it looked like the Raiders would be trailing heading into the half, Lafayette was called for a penalty in the final minute, giving the Raiders a man-up opportunity. Colgate cashed in on the chance as senior midfielder Ian
Murphy fired a laser into the back of the net to level the game at four.
The third quarter continued the trend of both teams making big runs and momentum shifting throughout the game. Colgate scored four unanswered goals to start the period, giving them eight of the last nine goals in the game, and found themselves doubling up Lafayette, 8-4.
The Leopards responded with a run of their own, netting three goals to trim the Raider lead down to one heading into the last period.
Colgate then dominated the final period to preserve the win. The Raiders scored six goals as opposed to just two for Lafayette, keeping playoff hopes alive.
“Our defense didn’t second-guess our system,” Zielinski said, “We have extremely athletic defenders and they know that if they play together they can run with anyone.”
Sophomore goaltender Jared Madison posted another solid game, stopping 14 Lafayette shots, which was a career high and earned him Patriot League Goalie of the Week honors.
The Raiders again dominated at the face-off “X”, winning 19 of 27 draws, as well as nearly doubling up Lafayette in ground balls, 41-24.
Hopefully Colgate will be able to continue its hot play against the Bucknell Bison, as the winner of this game will make the Patriot League tournament, and the loser will go home.
“We’re giving everything we can at practice this week,” Zielinski said, “We don’t want to have any regrets or concerns going into the game.”
Saturday’s game is slated to begin at 1 p.m.