WORCESTER, Mass. (3/10/12) – The Colgate men’s lacrosse team was able to battle its way past Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon, improving its winning streak to three games after securing its first Patriot League win of the season over the Crusaders, 13-9.
The Raiders were led by reigning Patriot League Rookie of the Week, Ryan Walsh, who had five points from four goals and one assist. This was his second hat trick of the season. He was followed by PL Offensive Player of the Week, junior Peter Baum, who also had five points from three goals and two assists. Behind them were sophomore Brendon McCann and junior Matt Baker who had three points apiece. McCann had two goals and one assist while Baker had one goal and two helpers. Also adding tallies in the game were sophomore Justin Kirchner, senior co-captain Jeff Ledwick and senior John Donnally.
Leading the way defensively were sophomore Bobby Lawrence and senior co-captain Kevin Gordon who had five and four groundballs respectively, as well as one caused turnover apiece.
Like clockwork, Colgate (5-1) jumped out to an early lead in the first period with junior Robert Grabher winning the opening faceoff and Walsh scoring an unassisted goal just 1:10 into play to give his team a 1-0 lead. Determined to turn things around, Holy Cross then went on the attack, taking its first shot of the game but was denied by senior goalie Jared Madison. This did not faze the Raiders, who then extended their lead to two goals at the 11:29 mark with a second goal from Walsh. Like before, the Crusaders found their offensive rhythm, hitting the post less than 30 second later but could not find the back of the net. Their perseverance, however, was eventually able to earn them their opening goal of the game minutes later to put the score at 2-1 with just 8:30 left in the period. Just over a minute later, Holy Cross found a second tally to tie the game at 2-2, but it did not last long with Colgate finding a third goal from McCann at the 5:58 mark to reclaim its early lead. Kirchner then added the team’s fourth goal with an assist from Baum to increase the Raiders’ lead to 4-2 at the end of the first 15 minutes of play.
Things turned around in the second period with the Crusaders finding the opening tally at the 12:31 mark to reduce the scoring margin to just one goal. Feeling the pressure Colgate then transitioned into attack, firing several shots but could not find its first goal of the period. Holy Cross then struck again at the 10:12 mark to tie the game for the second time at 4-4. Colgate then called a time out after winning the faceoff to slow down the Crusaders’ scoring momentum, which worked. After a second timeout for the Raiders with 22 seconds left in the half, they were then able to take the lead with nine seconds left from a goal by McCann with help from Walsh to put the score at 5-4 at half time.
The teams continued to battle it out in the third period, this time with Colgate getting on the scoreboard first with Baum’s first goal of the game just 59 seconds into play. The Raiders held the two-goal lead until the 11:39 mark when Holy Cross found its fifth goal to put the score back to within one at 6-5. For the next five minutes both teams picked up the tempo as they fired shots on each other’s net. However, it was the Crusaders that were able to find success after a slashing penalty on Colgate to tie the game at 6-6 at the 6:18 mark with a man-up tally. Less than two minutes later, Walsh stepped up for the Raiders once again with help from McCann, scoring his third goal of the game to give his team a 7-6 lead. A second late tally from Baum with 37 seconds left after an assist from Baker to increase Colgate’s lead to two goals going into the final period.
In the final quarter, an early penalty on Holy Cross allowed the Raiders to score their first man-up goal at the 13:17 mark from Ledwick to put the score at 9-6. Baum had an assist on the goal. Colgate continued its scoring momentum with a 10th tally from Baker with an assist from freshman Matt Clarkson with 10:11 left in the game. Feeling the scoring drought, the Crusaders then answered back with a pair of goals at the 8:50 and 7:06 marks to reduce the score to 10-8. Ten seconds after Holy Cross’ eighth goal, the Raiders won the faceoff and found a goal from Donnally, who picked up the groundball, ran down the field and then fired it into the back of the net to score his first goal of the season. Walsh then added his fourth goal of the game at the 6:06 mark to give Colgate a 12-8 lead in the closing minutes of the game. The Crusaders were not done yet, attempting to make a late come back with a ninth goal at the 4:01 mark, however it was not enough to topple Colgate, which eventually found a goal from Baum with an assist by Baker in the final 30 seconds, to secure the 13-9 win.
Senior goalie Jared Madison had eight saves for the Raiders while Kenny O’Connor had 12 stops for Holy Cross. Colgate, which held a 43-30 shooting advantage, went 1-for-6 on its extra man opportunities while holding the Crusaders to one goal in their three opportunities.
The Raiders will resume play on Tuesday (Mar. 13) afternoon when they travel to Binghamton for a matchup at 3 p.m. in Vestal, N.Y.