Lafayette spotted Colgate a two goal lead in the opening 18 minutes before launching an offense of their own in a wild first period, where Colgate pulled all the stops out playing with abandon. In the early going, the Leopards conceded the first 50 yards before engaging an aggressive Colgate team determined to take down their Patriot League rival. Conversely, Lafayette needed this game to have a run at the playoffs and a chance to have a successful league record.
With only 5:46 run off the clock, Colgate’s Meghan Minturn received an assist from Kali Williams and Nicole Salmone during their only corner of the game. Despite going down to block the shot Minturn was able to lift the ball over the Lafayette goalie, Sarah Park, to take a 1-0 lead. The Colgate defense continued to harass Lafayette, keeping control and turning the Lafayette offense back. The Lafayette coaching staff finally called a time out at 12:15 to make some adjustments. Aided by more aggressive defensive play and interceptions, the Leopards were able to get off several shots by Kristin Taylor who had returned to the field after an injury to her thumb which had sidelined her for the last several games. Molly McAndrew also took a shot which hit the post to the disappointment of Lafayette fans.
It was shortly after the post miss by McAndrew, that Colgate reorganized and Nora Mulroy assisted by Salmone found the cage at 17:52 making it 2-0 Colgate. Lafayette continued to play and found several shots, until at 21:53 Sam DiMaio got the tap in assisted by Taylor and McAndrew after a turnover. It was a one goal game again as Lafayette began to have success of their own using a press and were able to get turnovers enabling an offensive surge.
Colgate’s Minturn had a hit post of her own at 22:02, as the back and forth action continued. At 23:46 Molly McAndrew received a long pass from Audrey Sawer, and found herself one on one with the Colgate goalie. Using a very flat angle she found the net making it 2-2 with a beautiful backhand. However, four minutes later Colgate’s Salamone found her first goal of the season, with the Lafayette goalie out of position as she took advantage of the rebound. Colgate 3-2. Less than two minutes later senior attacker Liza Welch used her reverse stick shot, after a pass from Sawer to get her third goal of the season and more importantly tie the score at the half.
At 40:56 after several shots Lafayette’s Rachel Bird got her first goal of the season during a penalty corner, assisted by Lisa van der Geest and Theresa Delahanty, by poking it behind the Colgate goalie. Lafayette had multiple shots during the period, but it was Colgate who was to get their fourth and tying goal, receiving a pass in the center of the scoring circle and finding a gap for a low shot.
With the score tied 4-4 the action went back and forth until, with about 5 minutes left on the clock, Lisa van der Geest assumed the role of hero during a corner and using the assist from Theresa Delahanty and Jen DeLongis to redirect a hard shot into the goal for the fifth and deciding score for the Leopards.
Colgate called a timeout with three minutes to go to no avail, as the Leopards were able to shutoff any threat and run out the clock for the win.
Despite a game effort by the Raiders, Lafayette was to dominate the stats with 19 shots to 5 for the Raiders. ( The Raiders were to have four shots on goals which all resulted in goals). Colgate had 10 saves the Leopards had none. Lafayette had 9 penalty corners to one for the Raiders.
The Leopards will play a good Penn team at 4 pm at Rappolt Field and will then have an extremely important game at Holy Cross on Saturday. The Leopards have been beaten by the Crusaders for the last three years. A win would move the Leopard chances for a playoff appearance ahead. ( as a win for Holy Cross would do the same for them).