The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Women’s soccer misses playoffs after tie against Colgate, loses to Navy in final match of season

Freshman April McDonald sends the ball into the box in the third minute of Lafayette’s tie against Colgate. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Lafayette women’s soccer (3-11-3 overall, 1-6-2 Patriot League) tied Colgate this past weekend with a 1-1 score, in turn missing out on the playoffs. Their last game of the season was also unsuccessful, as they fell 0-1 to Navy.  

After Holy Cross upset Navy 2-0 the previous Friday night, Lafayette could have clinched a playoff spot had they beat Colgate. The Leopards, however, were unable to prevail.

Sophomore center midfield Alexa Jindal said that the team was prepared for a high-pressure game. 

“It was awesome the night before,” Jindal said. “We were all so ecstatic, our spirits were so raised because we knew that we had something to play for the next day.” 

Senior captain and goalie Natalie Neumann was sure about the Leopards’ capability to win, especially since Lafayette has beaten Colgate historically.

“In terms of emotion behind the match, I think going into this game, I felt fairly confident in our abilities,” Neumann said, “We knew we had to go out there and leave everything on the line, and so I think that’s the mentality most of us had going into it.”

Hopes for the postseason rose significantly as Lafayette struck early on Saturday and one of their first offensive opportunities of the game was a success. Freshman midfielder April McDonald scored in the third minute of the match to give the Leopards a 1-0 lead.

“I think getting a goal in the first few minutes of the game really boosted one another and gave ourselves more chances,” McDonald said. 

The Maroon and White wanted to utilize their forwards and midfielders to make as many offensive runs as they could.  

“We are immediately trying to forward every game. Our team says, ‘first five [minutse] we’re just gonna send it forward, send it forward.’ So that’s what we did and it ended up working out,” Jindal said. 

Neumann said that the defensive line felt even more confident and composed being up one early into Saturday’s competition. 

“From a defensive standpoint, it is so crucial that [McDonald] scored that early goal,” Neumann said. “It basically relieved the entire back line from having a lot of pressure on them.” 

For the remainder of the half, Lafayette took two more shots and Colgate challenged with four shots of their own. 

Into the latter half of the match, the Leopards failed to maintain their lead, a problem that has haunted them in previous games of their 2022 campaign.   

 “Our style of play is not very possession-based, but we knew that we needed a win to make it to playoffs, so this game we were really focused on possessing in the final third and building up our opportunities quickly,” Jindal said. 

In contrast to the Leopards’ plan, the Raiders dominated with 18 offensive opportunities, eight on cage to Lafayette’s mere two shots. 

“It was crucial that the defense stayed strong and that everyone worked together to deny an equalizing goal early on so that we could maintain our best chance at winning,” McDonald said.

Ultimately, one of the Raiders’ shots was bound to fall. Colgate answered back in the 76th minute of the game with a sharp shot past junior goalie Linsay Dewar.

In the minutes following, Colgate continued to pressure Lafayette’s defensive lines, taking three more unsuccessful shots. 

Lafayette left Beyer-Small Field short of pushing their season into championship play, with the final score reading 1-1.

The Leopards laced up their cleats for the final time this season on Wednesday night, hosting Navy.  The Leopards tried to keep their heads high, but after a scoreless first half, it was Navy who was able to put one on the board in the 62nd minute. It was truly an unlucky night for the Leopards, who outpaced Navy in total shots (15-9) and shots on goal (10-8) but were unable to pull out the win.

“Although we know we can’t make it to the playoffs, the game plan [was] the same as any other game, we [were] playing to win,” McDonald said.

“I think as a captain, it was a great learning experience to confront challenges as we went through the season,” Neumann said of her final season. “Overall, I’m so grateful for my experience here.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Colleen McNamara
Colleen McNamara, Staff Sports Writer/Copy Editor

Comments (0)

If you wish for your response to an article to be submitted as a letter to the editor, please email [email protected].
All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *