Women’s Lax Dominates Upstate New York Rivals

Jaime Heilbron

Last week was a busy one for the Colgate women’s lacrosse team. On Saturday afternoon, the Raiders hosted and defeated an upstart Marist University squad by a score of 14-11 after a furious comeback effort in the second half. Three days later, Colgate traveled to Vestal, NY and soundly blitzed the floundering Binghamton University Bearcats 15-8. Midfielder senior Meghan Lawler was the major contributor in the two games, scoring three goals and adding four assists on Saturday, while inverting the number on Tuesday to four goals and three assists. Raiders attack sophomore Courtney Miller and goaltender sophomore Christina Roa were chosen Patriot League Player and Goaltender of the Week for their efforts on Saturday. Miller tallied five goals and one assist and added two more assists on Tuesday. Meanwhile, Roa stopped 13 shots on Saturday while stopping another 12 on Tuesday.

On Saturday, Colgate came out determined to get back on the winning track. That determination was proven when the Raiders jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the first half. Midfielder first-year Quincey Spagnoletti scored the first goal at the 4:03 mark and Miller added another one for her 17th of the season a little over a minute later. Twelve seconds after Colgate’s second goal, Marist cut its opponent’s lead to one. A little past the 15-minute mark of the half, midfielder junior Colleen Bubnack scored twice, one unassisted, and the other off a free position shot to give the Raiders a three-goal lead at 4-1. Miller added her second goal of the afternoon at 20:38 off an assist by attack sophomore Katie Sullivan to give her team a 5-1 lead. From that moment on, the last few minutes of the session belonged entirely to the Red Foxes. Marist scored three unanswered goals in a span of two minutes to cut the Colgate lead to one. The Raiders added another with 21 seconds left before the Red Foxes responded with eight seconds left and Colgate held a fragile 6-5 lead at halftime.

The second stanza of the contest saw a lot of intensity and drive coming from both teams, but it was Marist who played smarter in its first 15 minutes. The Red Foxes continued riding the momentum brought forth by the surge displayed towards the end of the previous half, scoring three times in a row to take their first lead of the match at 8-6. The teams proceeded to trade tallies over the next few minutes until Marist seemed to pull away at 11-8 halfway through the midpoint of the half, momentarily giving the Raiders little to hope for.

“We fell behind early in the second half due to our inability to maintain possession of the ball,” head coach Heather Young said. “We were not winning any 50/50 balls and kept giving Marist chances to score on the offensive end.”

The last 15 minutes of the second half saw a completely different Colgate squad come out to play. This Raider team took the Red Foxes by storm, scoring six unanswered goals en route to a 14-11 victory. The first goal of the rally came at the 16:22 mark when sophomore midfielder Greer Goebels scored her fourth goal of the year, assisted by Lawler.

26 seconds later Goebels scored again off an assist by Lawler to put Colgate within one goal. A few minutes later, at 19:14, Miller scored to tie the game. A little over a minute later, it was Lawler slotted her second goal of the afternoon, thus retaking the lead for the Raiders. With a little under two minutes left Colgate added two insurance goals to secure the victory. Sophomore goaltender Christina Roa stopped 13 shots in the winning effort.

“We told the team that we needed to beat Marist off the line and win the draw,” Young said. “Once we were winning the draw our attack did a nice job of pushing the fast break and setting up our offense to get those much-needed goals.”

This past Tuesday the Raiders came out determined to increase their win streak to two games and one could tell by the way they came out on the field. Three minutes and four seconds into the game, Lawler put Colgate on top, scoring off an assist by Miller. Just 40 seconds later, the Raiders quickly added to their lead. Less than a minute after that, Bubnack scored her first of the game to increase the advantage to 3-0. Five minutes later, another goal made the score 4-0. Lawler scored once again at 10:43 off an assist by Bubnack and the two combined for another one 12 seconds later. Several minutes passed until the Raiders added to their already large lead. At the 18:16 mark, Sullivan scored her first of the game, assisted by Goebels. 24 seconds later, she scored her second one, this time off an assist by Lawler. The Bearcats rapidly got on the board late in the half with two goals and Colgate added another one in its waning seconds to make the score 9-2 after one session.

The second frame of the game was much more entertaining, as both teams scored plenty of times. The Raiders added three unanswered goals in its opening minutes to make it a 12-2 game, but Binghamton rapidly got on the board again. From then on, the two squads traded goals, barring a period in which the Bearcats scored two in a row, until the game was 15-6. Late in the half, Binghamton added two more to make the final score look more respectable than it could have been at 15-8.

Colgate will now prepare to host the Navy Midshipwomen in a rematch of last year’s Patriot League Championship game won by the Raiders. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.