Posted: September 23, 2009
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - The Mountain Hawks got a late goal Wednesday night against in-state foe Penn State, but after two overtimes neither team could break the 1-1 stalemate. Senior Adam Welch scored his first goal of the season in the 87th minute to send the game to extra time. With the tie Lehigh now has a 3-2-2 record as they head into league play this weekend.
After a scoreless first half the Nittany Lions were able to get on the board first as sophomore Corey Hertzog scored his fourth goal of the season off a pass from senior Jason Yeisley.
The Mountain Hawks never gave up and their hard work payed off as Welch would knock in a cross from sophomore Neil Melchionni in the final minutes of the game to send it to overtime.
“When you’re on the road against any team to come from behind that shows character and commitment,” head coach Dean Koski said. “This was an important game and I appreciate that they battled this well.”
Welch, the reigning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week now has four points on the season and continues to shine for Lehigh.
“With James Graf back we’ve been able to move Adam back to outside back which will allow him to get more involved in our attack,” Koski said. “It is important that we utilize him offensively because he is so versatile. Adam is and will continue to be one of the best backs in the league.”
The Nittany Lions offensive attack was strong all night as they took a total of 21 shots compared to the Mountain Hawks who were only able to fire off 10.
“They have a very intimidating attack led by Yeisley,” Koski said. “He is one of the best forwards we will see all season and his play along with his teammates was very strong all night.”
Coming up big for Lehigh was junior keeper Jonathan Nydell who tied his season-high with nine saves in the match. Nydell was especially strong in the overtime periods when he recorded four big saves for the Mountain Hawks.
“Nydell certainly made some big saves when we needed him tonight,” Koski said. “He had some saves that had to frustrate Penn State because they thought they were going to score. Our entire defensive unit including Nydell had a good overall night.”
With Patriot League play about to start for Lehigh, Koski knows his team should be well prepared after the non-league games they have played so far.
“We’ve had one of our toughest non-league schedules in several years,” Koski said. “We’ve faced a lot of different teams with different styles and our guys have responded. Now it’s time for our real season to begin on Saturday as we head into league play."
That real season will start off with preseason league favorite Colgate as the Mountain Hawks will host the Raiders at 7 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.