Lehigh dominates Richmond in opener
Posted: August 29, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh got its 2008 season underway in fashion on Friday evening as the Mountain Hawks rolled past Richmond by a score of 6-1 at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The six goals were the most in a game for Lehigh since 2005, and the five-goal margin of victory in a season opener was the largest for the Brown and White since 1979. Senior captain Adam Gazda returned to the Mountain Hawks lineup in style, scoring two goals after missing all of the 2007 campaign. Jim Taranto, Neal Melchionni, Jesse Schram and Joe Puleo also scored for Lehigh in the win.
Taranto got the season off to a fast start with a goal just 14 seconds in off a feed from junior Kyle Evans. Melchionni then put the home team in front by two at the 14:51 mark off another assist from Evans. Gazda got into the scoring act off a feed from Taranto and Ross Burki and at the 33:10 mark of the opening half the Mountain Hawks were up by three scores, which is how the score remained heading into halftime.
Following a fight for the ball just past midfield, Schram emerged from the pack and waltzed down field for the Mountain Hawks fourth goal at the 46:31 mark of the second. Gazda then put Lehigh in front by five when he scored off a rebound at the 58:13 clip, while Puleo scored his first collegiate goal at the 79:52 mark off an assist from Zachary Gould.
Brennan Lincoln scored Richmond’s lone goal at the 84:13 mark off of an assist from Scott Loesser, spoiling Lehigh’s bid for a shut out.
Lehigh dominated the Spiders in every facet on Friday, out shooting its opponent 20-4 to go along with a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks. Jonathan Nydell made saves in net for the Mountain Hawks and earned the win before giving way to Chris Varga who played the final 22 minutes.
“This was certainly a very good way to begin our season on both sides of the ball,” Lehigh head coach Dean Koski said afterwards. “It was nice to score 20 seconds into the game, but then it was great to see that we didn’t take our foot off the pedal. I thought we really settled in after we got the second goal and pushed through from there.”
He continued, “I thought Adam Gazda had a great day and so did Jimmy Taranto. Our backs were good, our midfield was good, and our forwards were good. I give credit to Richmond though because they’re a great team and we knew they could play. Even at halftime we weren’t comfortable because we knew they were capable of a comeback.”
Lehigh gets right back at it on Sunday afternoon when the Mountain Hawks play host to the Stony Brook Seawolves at the Ulrich Sports Compex. The match gets underway at 3:30 and all of the action will be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com.