Heartbreak x3

Brian O'Neill

Triple OT loss eliminates Lafayette from postseason tournament

With just two seconds remaining in a pivotal Patriot League matchup between Lafayette and Colgate, Laura Kleiber stood ten yards away from the net. The senior captain was alone, with a free position and a chance to break the tie and win the game.

The whistle blew, signaling the start of play. Kleiber approached the net, shot, and the sound of the ball hitting off the post signaled what was to follow: overtime.

No one quite knew at the time, but three overtime periods of nauseating anxiety would follow.

“She got off a phenomenal shot, and any time you hit the post you’re doing the right things,” head coach Alison Fisher said. “To get another look with less than 15 seconds on the clock is pretty significant.”

The end results were not favorable for Lafayette. The Leopards lost an agonizing 18-17 contest on Saturday to Colgate, its fourth one-goal loss in league play this season, officially eliminating the Leopards from the postseason tournament.

For Fisher and her team, it was a matter of what could have been this season.

“We could’ve been 6-2 instead of 2-6,” Fisher said. “In every Patriot League game this year we had our chances. We were certainly knocking at the door in every game.”

“We had the opportunity to do something really significant but unfortunately we didn’t take advantage.”

Colgate made its statement just 17 seconds into the game in when it scored its first goal.

“We got off to a really slow start,” Fisher said, referring to the six-goal deficit that the Leopards faced with ten minutes to go in the first half.

The Leopards went into the half down four goals though, after shots by freshman Kirsten Wilhelmson, senior Ana White, and Kleiber found the net before the Raiders struck once again with just seconds remaining in the first half.

“Being able to come back from a six goal deficit was clearly pretty impressive, I thought,” Fisher said.

Sophomore Kristen Mignon scored with five minutes remaining in regulation to bring Lafayette within one, and then Wilhelmson netted her third goal of the contest to bring them even.

Back and forth in the final minutes, Kleiber scored with 40 seconds left to give Lafayette its first lead of the game at a crucial time. But just 15 seconds later, Colgate scored to tie. The following Lafayette possession drew the free position chance for Kleiber.

Colgate scored with 20 seconds remaining in the third overtime as the final dagger.

The Lafayette will provide a complete season wrap-up for women’s lacrosse next issue.