Lehigh nets OT win over Fairfield in home finale
Posted: October 14, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Morgan Christopher scored 7:06 into overtime to lead Lehigh to a 3-2 win over Fairfield Wednesday afternoon in the Mountain Hawks final home game of the season at Ulrich Field. The visiting Stags forced overtime when Molly Byrnes scored with two minutes to play but Christopher took a centering pass from freshman Kim Eng and scored her fifth goal of the season to lead Lehigh (5-7) to victory in its first overtime contest of the season.
Eng gave Lehigh the lead seven and a half minutes into the first half as she capped off a 3-on-1 break with a shot to the far corner of the cage, her tenth goal of the season.
Fairfield (4-9) pulled even in the final seconds of the opening half when Marit Westenberg’s shot hit junior goalkeeper Lilia Stefaniwsky but then trickled past her into the cage for Westenberg’s sixth goal of the season. Through the first 35 minutes the Stags held a 9-2 lead in shots and a 5-1 advantage in corners.
In the second half Lehigh went back in front at the 42:06 mark as a reverse shot from junior Taryn Hartzell made its way through traffic and into the back of the cage for her second goal of the season. Once again however, Fairfield was able to tie the game late in a half as Byrnes took a centering pass from Carly McCullough and beat Stefaniwsky for her third goal of the season.
Christopher nearly won the game for Lehigh early in overtime, but her close-range shot was turned aside by Megan Ambrose. The game-winning goal rush was created by Hartzell whose tackle spurred the Mountain Hawks on an odd-woman rush Eng fed Christopher from the right side of the circle and the senior converted to snap Lehigh’s two game losing streak.
“It was certainly good to come away with a win in our first overtime game of the season,” said Lehigh head coach Julie Mazer. “We started out the game strong, but when Fairfield picked it up late in the first half we could not get back to doing what was working well.
Mazer continued, “In the second half we came out strong again, but Fairfield came out and was a lot more physical. They put good pressure on the ball. We need to keep working on moving the ball quicker and making better decisions.”
The Stags finished with a 19-12 advantage in shots and an 11-6 edge in penalty corners. Stefaniwsky finished with eight saves for Lehigh while Ambrose finished with four stops for Fairfield. Westenberg led all players with eighth shots while Eng paced the Mountain Hawks with seven.
The Mountain Hawks will now play their final four games on the road beginning Saturday when they travel to Easton to take on their arch rivals Lafayette. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. from Rappolt Field.
Lehigh - Fairfield Post-Game