Colgate Drops One-Goal Thriller at Lafayette

EASTON, Pa. Colgate's early-season bugaboo finally bit the Raiders when it counted. Colgate couldn't overcome 10 first-half turnovers and dropped an 8-7 thriller to Lafayette in the Patriot League opener for both teams.

Trailing 5-1 at the break, the Raiders nearly came all the way back behind a career-tying performance from Ryan Walsh. The junior attackman scored five second-half goals and assisted on Colgate's two other scores, but the rally fell just shy.

"We've talked about it all year long and in that first half we had 10 turnovers," Raiders head coach Mike Murphy said. "That's 34 turnovers in six quarters of lacrosse (24 last week vs. Vermont), and you can't come on the road against a really good team and expect to hand out extra opportunities.

"And give Lafayette all the credit. They deserved the victory, their kids played great and their goalie was fantastic. They did a great job of taking advantage of our mistakes."

The Leopards in contrast to Colgate received exactly one goal from eight different scorers. They did, however, string them together in a four-goal opening period. Lafayette grabbed a 4-1 lead in sudden style, scoring twice in the last six seconds of the quarter.

"Those can be back-breakers because you never know when those goals are going to come back to haunt you," Murphy said. "We've just got to be more of a disciplined team. We were very undisciplined today, and when you play a really good team like Lafayette then you see what can happen.

"They were coming off a tough loss to Stony Brook and they were ready for us. They played great in the first half and did everything they could to hang on for a great victory for them."

Natural Hat Trick
Lafayette made it 5-1 by halftime and it was still 6-2 past the midway point of the third quarter when Walsh finally found his scoring eye. The attackman scored at 7:00, 4:18 and 3:35 a natural hat trick within less than a 3½-minute span to narrow the deficit to 6-5.

It was Walsh's 15th career hat trick and second of the season, and also marked his nation's best 34th consecutive game with a goal. But he wasn't done yet.

Jason Sands scored for Lafayette with 10:46 left in the fourth quarter to make it a 7-5 game, but Walsh answered 90 second later. John Floyd scored for the Leopards with 5:34 remaining, but Walsh again found the range this time with 2:57 showing.

Lafayette was trying to milk the clock and Colgate trying to convert. The Raiders had chances down the stretch but couldn't connect, and the Raiders' eight-game winning streak over Lafayette was over.

"Our team needed some big goals so I tried to help us out," Walsh said. "I came up short there at the end and missed the last one, but what are you going to do.

"We dug ourselves a hole. Patriot League games are always a battle. We didn't come out ready to play even in the second half we didn't play our best, so we've just got to go back to the drawing board. It's not a secret what we have to do to get better: limit the turnovers."

Colgate narrowed its miscues to just four in the second half, but still had 14 overall to match Lafayette's total. Shots were 34-28 in Colgate's favor, as were ground balls by a 26-18 spread.

Another Showing for Kinnealey
Faceoff specialist Alex Kinnealey continued his sparking play by winning 14 of 18. He's claimed 35 of 48 for the season. But Lafayette's Jake Hyatt was just as big in goal, saving 15 of Colgate's 22 on-target attempts. Brandon Burke made 10 saves for the Raiders.

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2014-02-22



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