Colgate Takes Key Early Patriot League Win over Bucknell, 9-8

from Press Release

HAMILTON – Colgate played small-ball Saturday and picked up a crucial Patriot League victory over Bucknell.

The Raiders received contributions across the board to earn a 9-8 triumph that returned them to .500 in conference play and kept their early clean sheet at Andy Kerr Stadium intact.

"Great team win," Colgate head coach Mike Murphy said. "We were pretty low last weekend after a tough loss at Lafayette, and I really challenged the guys to come together and make sure we did a good job of grinding out a Patriot League win.

"The key for us was we played simple. What I mean by that is we made simple plays. In some of our early games, we were trying to hit the home run. Today was a game of singles and we just kept getting the baserunner around, to use a baseball analogy."

Kevin Adams scored Colgate's first and final goals of the day, the latter one coming with 4:26 remaining to break an 8-8 tie. The Raiders were able to hold off the Bison and even their Patriot League record at 1-1. Colgate is now 3-1 overall and 3-0 at home.

Freshmen Find the Net
Ryan Walsh (pictured right) and Brendon McCann also tallied a pair of goals each for the winners. Walsh chipped in two assists to go with his 35th consecutive game scoring a goal, which extends the nation's best active streak. FreshmenDanny LaCrosse and Will Mette, and sophomore Eric Foote strung together consecutive goals in the third period to precede the thrilling finish.

"When you play a great team like Bucknell, you've got to get a lot of goals and a lot of great play from a lot of people," Murphy said. "It's got to be a team win and it was a great team win for us."

The LaCrosse goal was his first collegiate, while Mette has scored in three straight games. McCann and Foote are at four goals apiece for the season.

"If you look at the scoring, we had balanced scoring," Murphy said. "Ryan's going to do what Ryan's going to do, whether it's five and two (goals and assists) like he was last week or two and two. But it's good to see Brendon McCann get on the board and our midfielders played well.

"Jimmy Ryan may not have registered a point, but he led us. I was just proud of my seniors."

Proud of the Guys
Ryan said it was good for the team to have such a quality opponent after losing the one-game heartbreaker at Lafayette.

"Coming off my injury and then coming off the loss last week against Lafayette, it felt good to play a great team in Bucknell," he said. "It was a great team effort and I'm really proud of the guys. It's great to get that first Patriot League win and we're looking forward to getting a few more down the road."

Bucknell notched the opening goals of both halves to take 1-0 and 5-4 leads. But Colgate regained the advantage in the third quarter when LaCrosse and Mette scored within a two-minute stretch. Foote added a third for Colgate that made it 7-5 Raiders with 4:22 showing in the period.

But the Bison answered by scoring three of the next four to tie it at 8-all with 6:50 to play in the game, setting the stage for Adams' second goal and game-winner. After that, the Raiders clamped down with nearly 4½ minutes of timely defense to seal the win.

Adams scored first for Colgate with 5:52 left in the opening period. Walsh followed 39 seconds later and then McCann got on the board a minute into the second for a 3-1 Raiders advantage.

Walsh scored again with 5:07 left in the second to offset a three-goal Bucknell flurry that made it 4-4 at intermission. Walsh now has 12 goals and six assists in four games, while Adams is second on the team with six goals.

Matt Clarkson added a pair of assists and Cameron Williams one to close out the Colgate scoring.

Stars for Kinnealey & Burke
The Raiders picked up 21 ground balls to 18 for Bucknell, while the Bison claimed a 32-27 edge in shots. Turnovers were even at 10 apiece

Colgate's Alex Kinnealey again prevailed in the faceoff-X, winning 12 of the 19 draws and picking up eight ground balls. Brandon Burke made nine saves to notch his third win of the young season.

"Those two guys have played great for us all season," Ryan said. "Alex has been pretty much unstoppable at the faceoff-X, and he's really evolving his game as teams try to come up with some strategies to stop him.

"Brandon has been great in the goal. He's made some really big saves and it's always great when your goalie can take a few off the board when there are a few defensive lapses. Those two have really helped us stay in some games."

Bucknell, now 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the Patriot League, finished with three extra-man goals in seven opportunities. Colgate was 0-for-2 with the extra man but held on for the key victory.

"It's a Patriot League game and they're always going to be great games," Murphy said. "You've got to find a way to win the one-goal games."

Colgate has a quick turnaround, hosting Central New York rival Hobart this Tuesday at 4 p.m.

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