The Colgate Scene
|By Bob Cornell|
The winter sports season closed in exciting fashion. The women's swimming and diving team captured its first-ever Patriot League Championship, while the men's basketball team advanced to the title game of the Patriot League Tournament, and the men's hockey team skated deep into the ECACH playoffs.
First-year Erin McGraw was honored as the Rookie of the Meet as the Raiders edged Navy in the final standings at the 2008 Patriot League Swimming & Diving Championships at Annapolis. McGraw won the 100-fly with a Patriot League meet and Colgate record time of 55.75. She also placed third in the 200-IM, and helped the Raiders gain valuable points in the 200-free relay, 400-medley relay, and 800-free relay.
Junior Emily Murphy won gold in both the 100- and 200-breaststroke, while junior Beverly Walker won the 200-back for the third consecutive year. Murphy, Walker, sophomore Kate Murphy, and senior Kacy Reams combined to win the 200-medley relay with the third fastest time in school history (1:45.20).
In the men's competition, senior Zach Whitman captured the crown in the 100-fly to earn first team all-league honors, while first-years Devon and Trevor Healy and Tucker Gniewek made second team.
March Madness came to Cotterell Court with the men's basketball team hosting Lafayette and Bucknell in the Patriot League Tournament's first two rounds. The Raiders, who were seeded third, defeated Lafayette 76-74 in the quarterfinals before earning their first trip to the championship game since the 1996 season with a 54-40 win over Bucknell in the semifinals.
Colgate traveled to top-seeded American University for the championship game and battled the Eagles right down to the final minute before losing 52-46. Junior Kyle Roemer had an outstanding tournament, scoring 74 points in three games — two short of the Patriot League record. He had a career-high 32 against Lafayette, 25 vs. Bucknell, and 17 in the championship game. Roemer, senior Kendall Chones, and junior Alex Woodhouse were named to the all-tournament team.
Earlier, Roemer, who led Colgate with 16.2 points per game, was named to the all-league second team, while first-year Mike Venezia was picked on the all-rookie squad. Chones and Roemer became the 26th and 27th player, respectively, in school history to score 1,000 career points.
After finishing the regular season in eighth place, the men's hockey team came alive in the ECACH playoffs. The Raiders opened the playoffs with a best-of-three series against St. Lawrence at Starr Rink. The Saints took a 1-0 advantage in the series with a 5-2 win in the opening game, before Colgate rallied to eliminate SLU with a 3-1 and 3-2 win in the final two games.
In the quarterfinals, Colgate had to travel to top-seeded Clarkson for another best-of-three series. The Raiders became the first eighth seed to eliminate the number one seed since the 1979-80 season. After falling in the opener, 1-0, the Raiders posted a 4-3 and 3-2 double overtime victory to take the series.
Advancing to the ECACH Final Four for the fourth time in the last five seasons, the Raiders lost to eventual champion Princeton in the semifinals, 3-0.
Shortly after the playoffs, senior captain Jesse Winchester signed a one-year contract with the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey League. On March 29, he played for the Senators in a game against the Boston Bruins. Classmate Tyler Burton, who was Colgate's leading scorer this season, signed an amateur tryout agreement with the Lowell Devils, the AHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils.
Winchester, Burton, and goalie Mark Dekanich all earned a spot on the all-ECAC Hockey team. Burton was named second team, while Winchester and Dekanich were picked for the third team.
The women's ice hockey team placed two players on the all-ECAC Hockey team. Juniors Sam Hunt and Kiira Dosdall were third team selections. Hunt was Colgate's leading scorer with 36 points, while anchoring the blue line for the Raiders.
Sophomore Lyle Tolli was named the Patriot League Men's Indoor Track & Field Scholar Athlete of the Year. Earlier, he was named the Track Athlete of the Meet at the 2008 Patriot League Championships. He is just the second Colgate individual to win the Scholar Athlete of the Year award, joining Ray Appenheimer '94, who won in 1993 and 1994. Tolli captured the Patriot League titles in the 1,000-meter run and the mile.
Check out www.gocolgateraiders.com, which provides daily information on the Raider program, including schedules, rosters, statistics, and game information, and online ticket ordering, as well as sports video features. You can also call the Raider Sportsline at 315-228-7900 or the ticket office at 315-228-7600.
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