Posted: April 15, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh overcame a slow start and scored 12 second half goals to roll past Villanova 16-5 on Tuesday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Senior Night. Freshman Lauren Dykstra scored a game-high six goals to give her 59 for the season, which are the fourth most in a single season in program history, while Inneke Carmola added three scores. With the win the Mountain Hawks improve to 9-6 overall, their most wins since the 2003 season, and Villanova drops to 4-10. Lehigh honored seniors Christy Smith and Seana Smith prior to the game, in what was their final game at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
Lehigh led just 4-3 at halftime but exploded for 12 goals in the second half, as the Mountain Hawks won their fourth game by ten or more goals this season. “I’m happy that we were able to rebound from that tough start,” Lehigh head coach Liz Brode Ota said afterwards. “We displayed poor decision making and missed a lot of shots in that first half. We committed too many turnovers and just weren’t doing many smart things.”
She added, “We would get an interception but couldn’t finish. Our defense did a great job of holding the lead for us though by making key stops.”
The Mountain Hawks dominated the Wildcats in every statistical category, out shooting their opponent 46-11, scooping up 49 ground balls to 11, and winning 17 of 23 draw controls. Lehigh turned the ball over 18 times, but was able to overcome that with the strong offensive showing.
Meagan Tenety opened the scoring at the 28:05 mark off an assist from Carmola but ‘Nova came right back and tied things up at one when Samantha McKillip scored on a feed from Alyssa Mahoney. Lehigh scored the next two goals to go in front 3-1 at the 18:09 mark, but a Maggie Breslin goal brought Villanova to within one at 3-2. Dykstra scored her first goal of the night at the 13:13 mark to make it a two-goal game, but again Villanova responded as Rachael Ponge netted a goal to make the score 4-3 at halftime.
Sara MacIntyre put Lehigh up by two with a score just 1:01 into the second, but Ponge scored her 13th goal of the season and the game was yet again a one-goal affair. From there the Mountain Hawks unleashed a 6-0 run though, highlighted by four Dykstra goals, one from Tenety and another from Christy Smith to surge in front 11-4 at the 23:34 mark.
Katie Stone temporarily stopped Lehigh’s scoring run, but the Mountain Hawks closed the game on a 5-0 run including goals from Tess McGrath, Dykstra and three from Carmola to set up the final 16-5 tally.
“In the second half we put together a great offensive effort, coupled with a strong defensive effort,” Brode Ota explained. “To keep them to two second half goals is a great accomplishment and to score 12 second half goals is phenomenal.” She added, “It was nice to see us bounce back with our draw controls after what happened up at Colgate this past weekend and also to dominate in the ground ball category.”
Lehigh closes out its regular season on Saturday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks travel west to Lewisburg, Pa. to take on the Bucknell Bison. Game time is set for 1:00.