In their final game of the season, AU Men’s Soccer suffered their second Patriot League loss to the Colgate Raiders by a score of 1-0 at Reeves Field Saturday.
The Eagles were looking to clinch the Patriot League Season Championship, but were unsuccessful. Despite the loss the team still clinches a bid to next weekend’s Patriot League Tournament.
AU didn’t come out with the energy they had during the rest of their season, with only two shots on goal in the first half. Both teams struggled, however, thanks to the hard-nosed defense from both sides.
In the 18th minute, the Eagles crossed a ball into the goal box, which was deflected by the Raiders defense. The ball sat dead in front of the net, but the Eagles couldn’t put it in the net and Colgate’s defense sprinted to kick the ball away out of danger.
AU’s defense stood its ground, despite allowing some risky offensive plays for Colgate to execute. In the 23rd minute, the Raiders offense dribbled the ball shy of AU’s goal box and took a shot that missed just wide right.
“We kind of sat back offensively,” said Coach Todd West. “I challenged them at halftime to go after the Raiders’ defense.”
The Eagles looked to improve their offensive performance while maintaining the strength of their defense in the second half. Unfortunately, it took the offense a while to increase the tempo and get a chance at scoring. Due to AU’s failed attempts to score, Colgate took advantage in the 58th minute.
Alex Weekes received a pass from teammate Mike Carzi and drew AU goalie Matt Makowski out of the net, which allowed him to chip the ball into the back of the net to put the Raiders up 1-0.
The goal looked as if it had sucked the energy right out of the AU team. They were able to cross the ball into Colgate’s goal box, but their shots were either too weak or cleared by the opponent’s defense.
AU’s best chance came in the 27th minute when AU passed consistently to give junior Nick Kapus a shot on goal. In the last two minutes, Makowski left the goal box to desperately help out the offense score a goal. Yet, the Eagles were unsuccessful at notching the equalizer, suffering their third loss at home.
The Eagles had eight corner kicks, compared to Colgate’s mere two. The Eagles’ Jack Scott, Mike Worden and David Menzie saw little action due to flu-like symptoms. Junior Daniel Shannon took four out of the team’s 10 shots, but couldn’t find the net.
The loss meant the Eagles would not gain home field advantage for the PL tournament next weekend. The team will now have to play at Bucknell.
“This loss is very frustrating — we created chances but didn’t take advantage of them,” West said after the game. “I’m frustrated that our guys aren’t taking care of chances to score a goal.”
The men’s squad will head to the PL tournament with Lehigh, Lafayette and top seed Bucknell. They will play their first game of the tournament this Friday.