Posted: October 30, 2009
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The men’s soccer seniors did not disappoint as they led Lehigh to a 4-1 win over Army in the final home game of their careers, Friday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Lehigh was able to build an early 2-0 lead just 12 minutes into the game and that would be all the Mountain Hawks needed to keep their post season hopes alive. All five seniors were able to see action in the game and they played a part in three of the four goals that were scored for the Brown and White. With the win the Mountain Hawks are now 8-5-3 (3-2-1) on the season and they picked up three crucial points in the Patriot League standings.
“If you can get all your seniors playing time it is a gift,” head coach Dean Koski said. “There was a lot of pressure on them to not only pick up three points, but it was also Senior Night and they were wearing different jerseys. They had all these elements change for them and we had to make sure they were focused on the game.”
Lehigh got on the board in the fifth minute of the game as senior co-captain Adam Gazda placed a perfect ball to junior James Graf and he was able to head the ball over the Army goalkeeper's reach.
The Mountain Hawks kept the pressure on and scored their second goal of the game seven minutes later as senior Adam Welch scored his fourth goal of the season off a pass from classmate Jesse Schram in what turned out to be the game-winning goal.
Lehigh entered the second half with a 2-0 lead and pushed it to three goals when Gazda hit a strike with his left foot into the top left corner of the goal.
Army didn’t give up as sophomore Jeffrey Pickett scored his first goal of the season off a corner kick from junior Michael Kim.
With a 3-1 lead freshman Austin Decker provided the fans with the highlight of the night in the 85th minute as he bicycle kicked one into the top right corner of the net. The goal from Decker was his team-leading fifth of the season.
“That’s what you’re going to get from Austin,” Koski said. “He has the ability to score that kind of goal, but as a freshman he does make mistakes. We appreciate his flashes of brilliance and we will work on getting him to put in a full 90 minute effort.”
Lehigh finished the game with 19 total shots and the Mountain Hawk defense was able to hold Army to only seven. The Black Knights’ freshman keeper Ryan Currens made two saves in the loss.
With only one game left in the season for the Mountain Hawks, they now must turn their attention to Bucknell.
“The three points were important to us, but now we have to focus on Bucknell who is having a great year,” Koski said. “We have to stay healthy, make sure we come out and play at the level we’re capable of and we can’t come out flat.”
Lehigh wore pink jerseys in the match tonight to show its support for breast cancer research. Almost $100 was raised during the game and all of the proceeds will go towards the fight against cancer.
“I’m happy for the seniors and it was great to bring some attention to breast cancer research,” Koski said. “I am thankful for everyone that contributed to tonight’s game.”
The Mountain Hawks will close out their 2009 regular season next Friday when they travel to Bucknell for a 7 p.m. game.
Lehigh - Army Post-Match Extra