Posted: October 24, 2009
WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman Kim Eng netted her first career hat trick as Lehigh gained control of its own destiny for a potential Patriot League tournament berth with a 3-2 victory over Holy Cross Saturday at the Hart Turf Field. The Mountain Hawks raced out to a 2-0 halftime lead before the Crusaders mounted a second half comeback. Eng delivered the game-winner with just over two minutes to play as Lehigh improves to 6-9 overall and 2-2 in the Patriot League.
“It was a great team effort,” said Lehigh head coach Julie Mazer. “Everyone played a role in today’s win. We had lots of support from the sidelines. Overall we did what we needed to do to win.
Mazer continued, “I’m pleased with our effort and execution. Today was the best we’ve played under pressure in a while.”
Eng put the visitors in front 12 minutes into the contest when she raced down the field on a fast break opportunity and capped off Lehigh’s first major offensive rush of the day with her 11th goal of the season.
With five and a half minutes to play in the half, Eng struck again with a low chip shot from a tough angle that found its way into the back of the cage. Senior Morgan Christopher assisted on the goal which put the Mountain Hawks up 2-0 at halftime.
Lehigh enjoyed the two goal lead despite being out-shot 8-4 and out-cornered 5-1 in the opening half.
Holy Cross began its rally 14 minutes into the second half and cut the deficit to one when Rachael Miers scored on a feed from Katie Aylward. The Crusaders tied the game three minutes later when Jamie Caniglia scored after the Mountain Hawks initially broke up Holy Cross penalty corner.
After Mazer called a timeout to settle down her team, the game remained knotted at two for the next 15 minutes. Lehigh earned a corner with just under three minutes remaining, and after Eng’s initial shot was saved by field player Breezy Rush, Eng took the rebound and fired a shot off goalkeeper Kelly Casey and into the back of the cage for her league-leading 13th goal of the season, which proved to be the game-winner. Eng has now scored the game-winning goal in four of Lehigh’s six wins this season.
Holy Cross out-shot Lehigh 15-8 for the game and had a 10-4 edge in penalty corners. Mazer praised the efforts of the Mountain Hawks back four: juniors Lauren Cawley, Taryn Hartzell, Claire Horn and Cassie Willard for their work. Cawley added a key defensive save on the Crusaders’ final corner attempt to preserve the win for the Mountain Hawks.
“The entire defense stayed composed and poised,” said Mazer. “They were the key to our possession today. Lauren made a big defensive save late and Taryn did a great job with her tackles breaking up Holy Cross’ fast break opportunities.”
Junior Lilia Stefaniwsky added four saves for Lehigh in the goal cage, while Casey also made four saves for Holy Cross, which is now 4-12 overall and 2-2 in the league.
The Mountain Hawks will wrap-up the regular season next Sunday when they travel to American. Lehigh can wrap-up a Patriot League tournament berth with a victory over the Eagles. Game-time is set for 2 p.m. from Jacobs Field.