May 3, 2008
HAMILTON, N.Y. - For the third time in five years, the Colgate women's lacrosse team has advanced to the NCAA tournament. For the first time in program history, the Raiders punched their ticket to the Big Dance by winning an NCAA play-in game. Colgate survived a late surge by MAAC champion Marist to hold on and win, 19-18, on Saturday, May 3, to earn their NCAA tournament berth.
The Raiders held a comfortable 16-10 lead with 17:04 left in the second half, but the Red Foxes weren't about to go away without a fight. Marist scored five straight goals within six minutes to make it a one-goal game, 16-15, with just over eight minutes to play. Colgate re-took the two-goal lead three times, but the Red Foxes answered every goal to keep things close. However, Marist was never able to take the lead, with its final goal coming with 2:30 on the clock. The Raiders regained possession, set up in their own end, and stalled until time ran out to eke out the one-point win.
Marist started the game strong, scoring two of the first three goals. However, Colgate netted eight of the next nine to break open a 9-3 lead with less than 10 minutes to play. The Raider defense, anchored by junior goalkeeper Sara Drexler (Pottstown, Pa.), kept Marist off the board for nearly 10 minutes. However, the Red Foxes once again scored two of three as time wound down to send the teams into halftime with the Raiders leading, 10-5. Drexler finished the half with nine saves.
The Red Foxes also opened the second half strong, netting four of the first six to cut Colgate's lead to three, 12-9, 4:36 into the period. However, Colgate scored four of the next five to go up 16-10 before letting Marist climb back into the game.
Patriot League Tournament MVP Molly Carroll (Swarthmore, Pa.) once again proved her value to the Raiders as she led her team with five goals. Sophomore Meghan Lawler (Liverpool, N.Y.) added four goals and an assist, while freshman Colleen Bubnack (Syracuse, N.Y.) posted three goals and two assists. Junior Ashley Didio (Syracuse, N.Y.) and senior Jessica Van der Meulen (Liverpool, N.Y.) both netted two goals in the winning effort, and four other Raiders recorded at least one point on the day.
Jessica O'Brien and Kate Noftsker paced Marist with five points each on four goals and an assist. Lindsey Diener, the MAAC co-Offensive Player of the Year, recorded three goals and two assists, while Stephanie Garland added two goals and two helpers. Kellie Considine and Ali Carnabuci each scored two goals, and Considine also chipped in a helper.
Drexler finished the game with a career-high 15 saves, while Marist keeper Liz Burkhard posted nine stops in the game. The Red Foxes outshot Colgate, 39-32, including 20-14 in the second half, and posted a 21-18 advantage on draws. The Raiders earned the edge in groundballs, 18-12, including 11-5 in the first half.
Colgate will find out who they will play in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Monday, May 5, when the 16-team bracket is announced at 8:00 p.m., on a live webcast at NCAAsports.com, and on the CBS College Sports television station. The Raiders will make their third appearance in the NCAA tournament in the last five years on Sunday, May 11.