RACHEL DEVOR / THE EAGLE
For the third year in a row, the AU men’s soccer team was stopped short in the Patriot League Championship, falling 2-0 to the Colgate University Raiders Nov. 13.
The top-seeded Eagles (7-12-2, 5-2 PL) gave up the first regulation goal of the tournament in the 70th minute. Barrett Metzger found Mike Garzi, whose diving header at the far post put Colgate (11-4-6, 4-1-2 PL) in front 1-0.
“The first goal was the difference in the game,” AU Head Coach Todd West said. “It’s [then] a 1-0 game and then we’re pressing and trying to find it, and the guy scores a pretty clever goal.”
Garzi’s goal was the first regulation score the Eagles had given up in nearly two months at Reeves Field, but the second-seeded Raiders didn’t stop there.
Mike Reidy struck for Colgate in the 83rd minute on an unassisted shot that he slid in from close range after beating two defenders off the dribble.
Despite giving up two goals, Eagles’ goalkeeper Matt Makowski played well in net. The senior tallied five saves, including a one-handed, acrobatic tip over the goal that kept the game scoreless in the 65th minute and a punch save in the 73rd minute.
“Matt played well today, and it’s a difficult game into the wind when they’re serving balls on you in traffic, and he made some big plays,” West said. “He’s a class individual, a hard-working guy [and] has a great attitude. On and off the field, he is what this program is all about; he sets the standard for everyone.”
AU struggled throughout the game to get good looks at the net and didn’t record a shot on goal until the 40th minute, when Colin Seigfreid launched a ball from nearly midfield that Colgate goalkeeper Grant Reed easily saved.
“We wanted to get at the flanks and try to get some one versus one opportunities to run at guys off the dribble, and we weren’t as decisive in those situations as I would have liked,” West said. “Against good teams in big games you only have a split second, and we needed to be more decisive when we had those chances.”
AU did have a few chances to score that they didn’t capitalize on in the second half, including Alassane Kane’s header in the 61st minute that was just a few feet wide and Seigfreid’s shot in the 74th minute that flew just a bit over the crossbar.
This was the Eagles sixth Patriot League title game appearance since joining the conference in 2001, and West is happy about what his seniors have accomplished.
“The senior class has set a standard; the standard is [the] Patriot League finals,” West said. “We’re gonna go back to work as soon as NCAA rules will let us to start working on trying to get one next year.”