Mountain Hawks drop opener, 2-1 to Rutgers
Posted: August 29, 2008
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh hung tough with Big East foe Rutgers all night long, but a pair of first half goals off restarts propelled the visiting Scarlet Knights to a 2-1 victory, spoiling the Mountain Hawks home opener Friday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Caycie Gusman netted the eventual game winner in the 37th minute as Rutgers improves to 2-0 on the season while Lehigh drops its season opener for the first time since 2003.
“We gave a great effort,” said Lehigh head coach Manny Oudin. “I was pleased with our work rate and the way we battled. What was disappointing was the way we went down 2-1 in the first half. All week we talked about how Rutgers was very strong on the restarts and we allowed two restart goals.”
After 28 scoreless minutes, Rutgers took advantage of a Lehigh defensive breakdown off a free kick to net the game’s first tally. The free kick eluded the first line of Lehigh defense and found Kristen Edmonds along the goal line. Edmonds fed Kristie Lang who beat sophomore Lauren Mains for her first goal of the season.
It took just over a minute for the Mountain Hawks to pull level as a Rutgers hand ball in its own 18-yard box resulted in a penalty kick, which senior Emily Means tucked inside the lower left corner of the net for her first career goal.
Gusman delivered the deciding goal, her second of the season, when she deflected Gina DeMaio’s corner kick into the back of the net.
Rutgers out shot Lehigh 20-5 for the game and held a 14-1 advantage in shots in the second half. The Mountain Hawks had a strong chance for an equalizer late in the second half but Erin Guthrie turned aside a shot from sophomore Kelsey Lusardi with eight minutes remaining.
Mains tied a career high with seven saves in a losing effort. Guthrie was credited with two saves for the Scarlet Knights.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the pitch on Sunday when they host Albany at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com with streaming powered by Yahoo! Sports College Broadcast.