Women's Lacrosse Earns First-Ever Patriot League Championship
April 21, 2006
WORCESTER, Mass. - Junior Patricia Sutton and sophomore Nikki Bolduc combined to score six goals and the Holy Cross women's lacrosse team played spoiler, ending Colgate's 22-game conference winning streak as the Crusaders captured their first ever Patriot League regular season title with a 9-7 win on Friday afternoon. With the win, the Crusaders also snap a personal three-game losing streak to the Raiders and earn the right to host next weekend's Patriot League Tournament. Holy Cross is now 11-6-0 overall and a perfect 6-0 in league play, while two-time defending champion, and heavy preseason favorite, Colgate, falls to 9-7 (5-1 Patriot League) on the season.
The two teams went into the break tied at 5-5 after a back-and-forth first half of play. The Raiders got out to an early 2-0 lead after free position goals by Tara Casey and Jessica Vander Meulen less than three minutes apart. Holy Cross senior Carolyn Smirti cut the deficit to one (2-1) with an unassisted effort at the 24:32 mark, but Colgate came right back to take a 3-1 lead less than a minute later.
The Crusaders tied things up at 3-3 with back-to-back goals by Sutton and Bolduc with 20:16 on the clock. Kelly Winning then beat Crusader goalie Megan Orr to give the Raiders a 4-3 edge with 14:30 to go, but Sutton answered with consecutive goals to give the home team a 5-4 lead - its first of the game - with just 6:44 left.
Colgate's Katie McVeigh scored on a free position shot with 5:38 to go for the 5-5 deadlock at the break.
In the second, Smirti gave Holy Cross a 6-5 advantage with just 66 seconds off the clock, but the Raiders battled back to take a 7-6 lead after goals by Winning and Megan Janson. That was as much offense as the Raiders would get the rest of the way, however, as the Crusaders scored three times in the final 19:01 for the 9-7 victory.
Colgate had a 31-23 shots advantage and dominated draw control play, 14-4.
Orr was huge in net all afternoon and made 17 saves for the Crusaders to record her 11th win of the season. Bielamowicz had nine stops for Colgate.
With her three-goal performance today, Sutton has now registered 10 hat tricks this season and four in the last five games.
Top-seeded Holy Cross will face the fourth seed on Saturday, April 29 in the first round of the playoffs. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Colgate (second seed) game in the championship on Sunday, April 30, where a trip to the 2006 NCAA Tournament is on the line.