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Playing for JB

It was just after Christmas. Just after a loss to Seton Hall and a win over St. Mary's. After Jack Bruen had been laid to rest on the upward slope of the university cemetery....

by Robert D. Cornell

Four Patriot League championships and three NCAA appearances highlighted the fall sports scene for the Red Raiders.

Colgate won titles in football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer and women’s tennis. Men’s soccer and women’s soccer won their respective tournaments to advance to the NCAAs while football gained an automatic berth in the NCAA Division I-AA playoffs.

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The Kerr Dome carpet -- mud -- was a fast track for the Red Raiders, who trounced Bucknell 48-14 for the PL championship.
The football team won its first Patriot League Championship in the 12-year history of the league with an exciting 48-14 win over Bucknell in the season finale at Andy Kerr Stadium.

Making its first appearance in the Division I-AA playoffs since the 1983 season, Colgate was seeded last in the 16-team field. The Red Raiders met top-seeded and undefeated Villanova University in the first round. The Wildcats rallied with 22 fourth-quarter points for a 49-28 win.

Colgate took three of the five major Patriot League awards in football. Sophomore quarterback Ryan Vena was chosen as the league’s Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. Since taking over as the starting quarterback he has guided the club to a 13-6 record. He is only the second player in Patriot League history to win Player of the Year honors twice.

Senior running back Daymon Smith also figured prominently in the Red Raiders’ success, and was tabbed as the Offensive Player of the Year.

One of the best blocking fullbacks ever to put on a Colgate uniform, Smith also carried the ball 166 times for 1,012 yards and a league-high 15 touchdowns. Smith finished his career as Colgate’s fourth all-time rusher with 2,841 yards and is sixth in scoring, with 192 points.

For the second straight season the Patriot League Rookie of the Year comes from Colgate. Tailback Ed Weiss is the eighth player in school history to surpass the 1,000-yard rushing mark, rushing for 1,069 yards. He and Smith are the first two Colgate backs to surpass the milestone in the same season. 

Twelve Colgate football players were named to the all-league team. Joining Vena and Smith on the first team were wide receiver Corey Hill, offensive guard Luke George, offensive tackle Tim Girard, defen-sive end Blair Hicks, linebacker Matt Domyancic and strong safety Jamal Patterson.

Second team selections were tight end Ernie Quackenbush, offensive tackle Paul Clasby, defensive tackle Neal Gomez and punter Erich Kutschke.

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Colgate women have dominated Partriot League soccer, winning seven of the eight championships.
The women’s soccer team continued its dominance of the Patriot League this fall, winning its fourth straight title and seventh out of the league’s eight-year existence.

With the championship, the Red Raiders represented the Patriot League in the NCAA Tournament. In the opening round, they fell 4-0 to the University of Hartford, ranked 11th nationally.

Five Colgate players were named to the all-league team. Nicole D’Orazio, Alli Jacobs, Heidi Schmitz and Kelly Tyrrell were first team selections, while Wendy Schreiber was a second team choice. Molly Ryan was the most valuable player in the PL Tournament.

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The Red Raiders were first in the regular season and won the championship on Tyler Field.
The men’s soccer team won its first Patriot League tournament crown since 1992, after finishing with the school’s first-ever regular season title.

By winning the Patriot League championship, the Red Raiders qualified for an NCAA play-in game against the champion of the Mid-American Conference. On a wet and slippery field, Bowling Green University defeated Colgate 2-0 to advance to the NCAA tournament.

The Red Raiders picked up several post-season honors with senior Freddie Song being tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year in the Patriot League. Joining Song on the first team all-league squad were forward Rob Damico and midfielder Scott Jackson, while back Michael Crandall and goalie Jeff Lipman were second team selections. Lipman was also named the MVP of the Patriot League tournament.

Colgate’s field hockey team finished first in the regular season with a perfect 6-0 league record and was 13-4 overall.

Unfortunately, the Raiders were upset in the semifinal round of the PL tournament.

Goalie Hilary Meyer was named the Defensive Player of the Year and was joined on the first team all-league squad by Becky Evans. They were also second teamall-Mideast Regional selections. Jocelyn D’Angelo, Molly Russo and Karly Henney gained second team PL honors.

Other fall athletes earning all-league recognition were men’s cross country runner Chris Ashfield, women’s cross country runner Molly DeMark, volleyball player Judy Culhane, and tennis players Amy Wachenheim, Lisa Ongseng and Samantha Kohn. Wachenheim was also named the MVP of the Patriot League tournament, while head coach Rene Vidal was chosen as Patriot League Coach of the Year in tennis.