HAMILTON, N.Y. (3/24/12) – Despite coming back from a five-goal deficit twice in the game, tying the score twice in the final quarter, and holding a 42-27 shooting advantage, the No. 12/13 Colgate men’s lacrosse team could not push past Navy, which was able to secure the 12-11 win in the final four seconds of the penalty-free game.
The Raiders were led by junior Peter Baum and freshman Ryan Walsh who had three points apiece. Baum tallied three goals while Walsh recorded two goals and an assist. Senior John Donnally scored two goals in the game while senior co-captain Jeff Ledwick, sophomore Brendon McCann and juniors Robert Grabher and Matt Baker all added one goal each. Grabher also had two assists in the game while also winning an impressive 19-of-27 faceoffs and collecting a game-high 11 groundballs.
Like in eight of its nine games this season, Colgate (7-2, 1-1 PL) came out scoring the first goal of the game, finding an unassisted tally from Ledwick to take a 1-0 lead just 2:23 into play. However, this time around the early lead would prove to be the Raiders’ only lead of the game. Navy (5-3, 3-1 PL) was then able to regain its composure and build its attack, which resulted in three straight goals at the 10:17, 9:34 and 26-second marks to take a 3-1 lead at the end of the first 15 minutes of play.
The Mids carried their scoring momentum into the second quarter, tallying back-to-back goals in the first six minutes to increase their lead to four goals. Determined to ignite their offense like in previous games, the Raiders went on the attack and found their second goal when Baum picked up a pass from Grabher, who had won the faceoff, and fired it into the back of the net to put the score at 5-2 at the 9.22 mark. Navy then found its rhythm once again with a goal 25 seconds later, and then again with 1:15 left, to increase the scoring margin to five goals. However, a late goal from Walsh with 36 seconds left in the half was able to reduce the score to 7-3 going into half time.
The tables turned in the third quarter, with Colgate outscoring the Mids 6-3 in the 15-minute period. Walsh struck first for the Raiders with a goal just 1:33 into play. He was followed by Donnally who added a second tally 10 seconds later to put the game within two with the score at 7-5. Feeling the pressure, Navy responded with a trio of goals that had the Mids holding a five-goal advantage once again with 9:13 left in the quarter. What came next was an incredible come back from Colgate that was spearheaded by Grabher winning a series of faceoffs, to reduce the scoring margin to one goal going into the final period. McCann started the four-goal run off a pass from Walsh at the 8:44 mark. Donnally then scored the next goal 10 seconds later with an assist from Grabher to put the score at 10-7. Baum and Baker added the final two goals of the run at the 6:45 and 4:20 marks to reduce the score to 10-9 going into the final 15 minutes of play. Freshman Matt Clarkson had an assist in Baum’s goal.
The fourth quarter was the most exciting of them all. Colgate jumped onto the scoreboard first with Grabher tallying the equalizer after winning the faceoff and picking up the groundball, to tie the game at 10-10 just seven seconds into the period. Both teams continued to battle it out on the field over the next seven minutes as the Raiders looked to claim the lead for the first time since they scored the opening goal. However, it was Navy that was able to reclaim an 11-10 lead with 7:15 left in the game. Colgate then found an equalizer once again from Baum at the 2:38 mark but despite all its hard work, the Mids were able to find the game-winner with 3.4 seconds left on the clock to win the game 12-11.
Senior goalie Jared Madison had three saves in the game while RJ Wickham made 12 stops for Navy. Colgate outhustled the Mids 29-24 in groundballs, had two less turnovers, and won 19 of its 27 faceoffs courtesy of Grabher. Neither team had an extra-man opportunity as no penalties were called in the game.
Colgate will return to action next weekend when it takes on Patriot League foe Army on Saturday, March 31 at 12 p.m. in West Point, N.Y.