A popular idiom in today's society is that every cloud has a silver lining. That statement couldn't ring any more true for Colgate's men's lacrosse team.
Colgate may be struggling through a 2-8 season, but there is hope beyond the horizon for the Raiders in midfielder Peter Baum.
Baum is a 6'1", 185-lb. freshman from Portland, OR. Oregon may not be thought of as a hotbed for lacrosse players, but his high school credentials provide a glimpse of the player Baum has the possibility of developing into.
As a senior at Lincoln High School, Baum scored 84 goals, tallied 38 assists, and won 52 ground balls. He finished his high school career with 180 goals and 70 assists. In both 2008 and 2009, Baum was a First Team All-State selection and was voted as Oregon's best offensive player.
Baum led Lincoln to a state championship in 2008 and a second-place finish the following year. He displayed his intelligence in the classroom by being on the Honor Roll every quarter in high school and obtaining a 3.9 un-weighted GPA.
Inside Lacrosse ranked Baum No. 37 on its list of incoming freshman recruits for 2009. On the surface, a university in New York may seem to be an unlikely destination for Baum, but his father Richard played lacrosse at Colgate.
Baum's biggest asset is his tremendous speed. He can scoop up a ground ball without being touched and can immediately attack the opposition's net. Baum still needs to improve his shot selection and finishing skills, but he has begun to take more low shots to increase his offensive efficiency.
Heading into tonight's home game against Lafayette, Baum has scored 21 goals and dished out one assist. With at least three matches remaining in the season, he already holds the Colgate record for most goals by a freshman. In last Saturday's defeat over Lehigh 12-4, Baum achieved his fifth hat trick of the season.
Although Baum represents the future for the Raiders, his impact on the present is not yet over. Wins over the Lafayette Leopards and the Bucknell Bison could push Colgate into a spot in the Patriot League Tournament. With Colgate losing its eight games by a total of 16 goals and four by just one, the Raiders represent a threat to any team they face.
In interviews, Baum has stated that what he misses most about not living in Oregon is eating Mexican food. If he continues to score goals for Colgate, and the Raiders win more frequently, a restaurateur may open a Mexican establishment in Hamilton and call it Baum Bueno.
Photo Credit: Underarmourlacrosse.com