KIM D’ARIA / THE EAGLE
The AU men’s soccer team put forth its most impressive game this season in its conference opener Sept. 24, defeating the defending Patriot League regular season champion Colgate University Raiders 3-0.
Against Colgate (5-2-1, 0-1), whose last Patriot League regular season loss came in October 2009, the Eagles (2-6-1, 1-0) netted two goals in the first half and one in the second for the 3-0 victory.
“A 1-0 [record in the conference] and a clean sheet and three goals; all three are big,” Head Coach Todd West said.
Seth Goldman, Alassane Kane and Tyler Collins all struck for the Eagles against a tough Raiders defense that had allowed four goals coming into Saturday.
The Eagles found the net 13 minutes into the contest, when corner Colin Seigfreid found Goldman, whose header beat Colgate goalkeeper Grant Reed to give AU a 1-0 lead.
“The first goal is always important, especially when you’re playing these Patriot League teams,” Goldman said.
Ten minutes later, a Colgate handball in the 18-yard box gave Kane a golden opportunity to extend the AU lead.
Reed guessed right, but Kane smoothly sent his penalty shot past the extended arms of the Raiders goalkeeper for his third goal of the season, putting AU up 2-0.
Against Colgate’s defense that averaged 0.88 goals against in 2010, the Eagles scored twice midway through the first half.
Matt Makowski was strong in goal for AU, as the senior made three saves to send the Eagles to the half with a 2-0 advantage.
“We told them at halftime to keep playing,” West said.
After intermission, Colgate had its best chance to score, but Scott Brown sent his shot wide of the goal.
The Eagles continued to look for their third goal, and they got it in the 66th minute when Collins chipped a shot from 25 yards out around new Colgate goalkeeper Chris Miller. The goal gave Collins his second of the season and Seigfreid his second assist on the afternoon.
“Tyler Collins; that’s a goal all about effort,” West said.
Makowski nailed down the clean sheet in goal with two saves in the second half, as the Eagles put the finishing touches on a performance that was as good as it gets.
“To come out and beat them 3-0 on our home field is huge for us,” Goldman said.
The Eagles will play a non-conference home game against the Virginia Tech Hokies Sept. 27 before resuming conference play Oct. 1 at Bucknell University.
The Hokies will continue AU’s tough non-conference schedule, as the Eagles have played three ranked opponents while their first eight matches were against teams with a combined record of 32-14-7 entering Saturday.