Posted: May 2, 2010
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh fell to Navy in the 2010 Patriot League championship game on Sunday afternoon by a score of 11-9 at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks trailed for most of the game and missed several chances close to the net throughout the contest as their dream season comes to an end. Lehigh tied the school record for victories this year with 14 and won a Patriot League Tournament game for the first time in school history. Junior Allison Thomas, who earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team scored a game-high four goals for Lehigh, while tournament MVP Erin Rawlick found the back of the net three times for Navy (16-3).
“It’s certainly disappointing to lose after getting this far,” Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern said afterwards. “But I cannot fault the effort of our girls; they played tremendously hard today and gave it everything they had. We didn’t execute near the goal cage on several opportunities and our defense was not as strong as it needed to be, but we did not lose for lack of effort.”
Both teams took 22 shots on the afternoon, while Lehigh scooped up nine ground balls with four different Mountain Hawks registering two apiece. Thomas won a team-high three draw controls for Lehigh and totaled five points on the day with four goals and an assist. Junior captain Lauren Dykstra and sophomore Kelly Draper caused two turnovers apiece for the top-seeded Mountain Hawks and freshman ML DiNisco stopped five shots in goal.
Navy scooped up 12 ground balls as a team with three different Midshipmen totaling two apiece and Rawlick won a game-high four draw controls. Kathy Young caused four turnovers in the game and Michelle Verbeeck earned the win in goal with three saves in 31 minutes of action.
Rawlick scored the game’s opening goal 2:22 into the contest but Dykstra quickly answered for Lehigh with a free position goal to tie things at one. Inneke Carmola then gave the Mountain Hawks a 2-1 lead with 24:23 on the clock but the Midshipmen answered with four straight scores capped by Danielle Vivonetto’s goal at the 6:05 mark to give the second-seeded squad a 5-2 lead.
The final five minutes of the half belonged to Lehigh as the Brown and White reeled off four straight goals to surge in front 6-5 at halftime. Dykstra, Carmola, Thomas and freshman Meg Kelly each scored during the run as Lehigh took a one-goal advantage into intermission.
Rawlick scored the first two goals of the second half to put Navy on top 7-6 with 21:20 remaining in the contest but as she did all day Thomas had an answer for Lehigh, finding the back of the net with 19:54 on the clock to make it a 7-7 affair. Mary Ruttum and Caitlin Mandrin Hill netted back-to-back goals for the Midshipmen however and Lehigh was down 9-7 with 14:13 to go.
Thomas took a feed from Carmola at the 12:10 mark and found the back of the net as Lehigh pulled to within 9-8 but Mandrin Hill answered for the Midshipmen to make it a 10-8 game. Thomas once again responded for the Mountain Hawks with her fourth score of the day at the 6:52 mark, but Vivonetto took a pass from Rawlick and beat DiNisco for a score with 3:41 to play to again make it a two-goal game. Lehigh got the ball back several more times down the stretch but turnovers proved too costly for the Mountain Hawks as their five-game win streak was snapped.
Following the game Carmola, Dykstra and Thomas were named to the All-Tournament Team for Lehigh, while Rawlick, Mandrin Hill, Abby Ellis and Catrina Nietsch were Navy’s representatives.
“We set a lot of goals at the beginning of the year and I think we learned a lot,” Redfern explained as she reflected on Lehigh’s record setting season. “It’s good that we got this far and our girls certainly had high goals for the season, but right now it hurts to lose this one.”
Lehigh - Navy Post-Game Extra