Posted: September 1, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team rallied in the second half to defeat the Stanford Cardinal 2-1 Tuesday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex in the 2009 season opener. The Mountain Hawks were able to win their season opener with second half goals from Jesse Schram and Matt Thaeder after trailing 1-0 at halftime.
After falling behind in the fifth minute, Lehigh was able to get its nerves under control and settle in.
“We were overly excited,” head coach Dean Koski said. “It was a good crowd and it took us a while to get settled in.”
Stanford was able to strike first with an early goal from sophomore Garrett Gunther who put the ball in the top corner off a cross from teammate Ryan Thomas.
The Mountain Hawks went into the half trailing by one, but the momentum was clearly in their favor. Lehigh came out in the second half and didn’t waste any time as they were able to even the score just five minutes into the half. Schram put in a rebound to even the score with the Cardinal.
Lehigh was able to take the lead for good in the 73rd minute off a goal from Thaeder who was set up by senior Adam Welch.
The Cardinal would not go easy as they put the pressure on Lehigh in the final minutes of the contest.
“Stanford put the pressure on us in the final third of the game,” Koski said.
Lehigh showed its depth as it was able to receive solid play from every position.
“Backs were very good tonight, Welch and Struck did a good job solidifying the back line,” Koski said. “The midfield did a great job of competing; they had to run a lot tonight. We have four hardworking forwards, it is nice having depth.”
Lehigh finished the game with a total of 16 shots and was able to hold Stanford to only seven. Junior keeper Jonathan Nydell made three saves in the win. Neal Melchionni and Adam Gazda paced the Mountain Hawks with four shots apiece and no player from Stanford took more than one shot.
For the second season in a row Lehigh opened its season at home and was able to give the home crowd a win.
“Kudos to all our fans,” Koski said. “For it being a Tuesday night and a school night we had tremendous support tonight. It was big for us to get an opening win against a renowned program like Stanford.”
Men's Soccer vs. Stanford Post-Game Extra
Lehigh returns to action on Friday evening when the Mountain Hawks play host to the Princeton Tigers at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The match is slated to begin at 7:00 and all of the action will be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com.