Colgate Controls FOs, GBs to Sail by Vermont

HAMILTON – The way Colgate dominated Vermont in faceoffs and groundballs Saturday suggested the game would be a rout. It was. The Raiders downed the Catamounts, 13-3, in a non-conference game at chilly Andy Kerr Stadium.

Faceoff maestro Alex Kinnealey was in sensational form, successfully winning 13 of 15 draws. And when Colgate coach Mike Murphy decided to give Kinneally a rest, backup Peter Marchetto won 4 of 5.

Kinnealey won his first five draws, and it played no small part in Colgate's 5-0 lead after the first quarter.

“Alex did a great job of getting us started,” Murphy said.

The Raiders' ground balls edge was an impressive 41-27. The hosts held a 14-3 advantage in the decisive first quarter.

Colgate got cooking early. Eric Foote scored a nifty solo goal just 3:53 in. Kevin Adams doubled the lead a little less than two minutes later taking a pass from Peter Donato.

Kinnealey's dominance continued, and it wasn't long before Colgate stretched its advantage.

Brendon McCann scored the first of his two goals on a Raiders man-advantage opportunity at 5:27. Freshman Jack Stebbins scored his first career goal at 4:45, prompting a Vermont timeout.

The Catamounts' attempt to slow down the hosts didn't work. Ryan Walsh made it 5-0 with Colgate a man up at 1:58.

“I thought we did a good job of playing offense with the weather,” Murphy said. “You put five on the board quickly and then you've got the play the next minute exactly for what it is.”

Vermont ruined the hosts' shutout bid with an early second quarter goal, but that was the Catamounts lone first-half highlight.

Colgate all but put the game away with a three-goal eruption in the space of one minute. Kevin Adams scored from Cameron Williams pass at 4:58. Walsh tallied his second 50 seconds later. And Kinnealey rushed downfield to score after winning the resulting faceoff at 3:58.

The third quarter saw the ball on the ground a lot and few goals. Will Mette's first career goal, from a Walsh assist, gave the hosts a 9-2 lead.

Matt Clarkson, Kevin Boyle, McCann and Conor Braddish found the range in the fourth quarter.

For Boyle, a long-stick midfielder, it was his second goal in two games. The senior captain also scooped up four ground balls, and his defensive play was a big reason the Catamounts were so unsuccessful offensively.

“Our faceoff game has made my job as a midfielder much easier,” Boyle said.

Colgate starting goalie Brandon Burke stopped nine of the 11 shots that Vermont got on goal. Senior captain Bobby Lawrence grabbed seven ground balls, second only to Kinnealey's nine.

The Raiders (2-0) open Patriot League play Saturday at Lafayette in a noon start. The game grabbed Murphy's attention the minute he saw Colgate's 2014 schedule.

“They're a really good team,” Murphy said. “I know they had their opening game today and they play Stony Brook Tuesday, so they'll have two games underneath their belts. I think they're bigger and stronger than they've been in the past so it will be a great game for us.”

Raider Reel: Walsh scored in his NCAA Division I-leading 33rd straight game. He upped his consecutive points streak to 35 games, the nation's third longest run ... Kinnealley's has won 24 of 30 faceoffs over two games. He won 9 of 15 last week against Bryant's Kevin Massa, who is regarded as one of the nation's best ... Murphy was able to substitute 21 players. “I think we want to do that through the course of the year,” Murphy said. “Anytime that we can get some other younger guys some playing time it's just going to help us.” ... Saturday's only negative was Colgate's 24 turnovers. “That was way too many,” Murphy said. “We can't use the weather as an excuse.”

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2014-02-15



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