HAMILTON, N.Y. (3/17/12) – The No. 17 Colgate men’s lacrosse team added a fifth win to its streak on Saturday afternoon when it handed No. 13 Fairfield its first loss of the season 12-6 at Andy Kerr Stadium.
The win gives the team a 4-3 lead in the all-time series against the Stags and marks Colgate’s (7-1, 1-0 PL) best start since 1993, when the team went 8-1 in its opening nine games.
Junior Peter Baum led the Raiders with six points from four goals and two assists while senior co-captain Jeff Ledwick and freshman Ryan Walsh had three points apiece from two goals and one assist each. Sophomore Brendon McCann also added two goals while juniors Matt Baker and James Queeney recorded one tally each.
Defensively, the team had a strong performance from sophomore Bobby Lawrence who had a game-high six groundballs and three caused turnovers while junior Robert Grabher and senior co-captain Kevin Gordon had five groundballs each. Gordon also added one caused turnover in the game while Grabher went 10-for 20 at the faceoff X.
Colgate came out to yet another explosive start in the opening quarter, taking an early 3-0 lead that it never relinquished. The team’s first goal came from Baker just 1:58 into play, when he picked up a pass from Baum and then fired it into the back of the net to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead. Less than two minutes later, McCann added a tally with help from sophomore Jimmy Ryan to increase their lead to two goals. Colgate then played some strong defense over the next three minutes to limit the Stags to only three shots before scoring its third goal courtesy of Baum with an assist from Ledwick to put the score at 3-0 at the 8:14 mark. After a Fairfield (7-1) timeout following the Raiders’ third goal, the Stags were able to ignite their offense, hitting the pipe and then eventually finding their first goal at the 6:06 mark. This short burst of offense was not enough to shake Colgate, which then went on to find a pair of unassisted goals from Ledwick and Walsh at the 5:29 and 3:43 marks to increase their team’s lead to 5-1 going into the second period.
Fairfield took the reigns at the beginning of the second period, scoring an early second goal at the 12:36 mark to reduce the scoring margin to three goals. Both teams continued to battle it out on the field as they went back and forth forcing each other to make turnovers while attempting to find the quarter’s second goal. After more than eight minutes without a goal from either team, the Raiders broke the dry spell at the 4:03 mark when Baum scored his second goal with an assist from Walsh. The Stags responded with a goal less than 60 seconds later to then put the score at 6-3 going into half time. Colgate held a 23-13 shooting advantage after the first 30 minutes of play.
The third period was much liked the second with neither team finding a goal for most of the quarter. However, after a long battle in which the Raiders held a 14-5 advantage in shots and collected 11 groundballs to Fairfield’s four, Colgate was eventually able to find two late tallies from Baum and Walsh in the finals two minutes of the quarter to increase the Raiders’ lead to 8-3 going into the final 15 minutes of play. Senior John Donnally assisted on Walsh’s goal.
The final period was the most competitive of the four. The Stags opened scoring 1:09 into the quarter with an unassisted goal to reduce the scoring margin to four goals. Minutes later, Colgate then answered back with back-to-back goals in the eighth minute first from McCann, and then from Queeney who wound up and then fired the ball into the top of the net to score his first collegiate goal as a junior defenseman. With the score at 10-4, Fairfield then went on a run in an attempt to make a late comeback with a pair of goals in the seventh minute to put the game within four. However, the Raiders proved to be the stronger team, scoring two more goals first on an empty net at the 3:46 mark from Baum, and then with 38 seconds left with a tally from Ledwick with an assist by Baum to eventually secure the 12-6 win.
Senior goalie Jared Madison had an incredible performance in net for Colgate with 11 saves, four groundballs and one caused turnover while Charlie Cipriano had 11 saves for the Stags.
The Raiders outhustled Fairfield with a 45-24 advantage in groundballs but split the faceoff wins with both teams earning 11 apiece. Neither team could score on the three extra-man opportunities that were awarded in the game, two of which were for Colgate.
The Raiders will return to action next weekend when they host Navy in their second Patriot League game of the season on Saturday, Mar. 24 at 2 p.m.