Lehigh battles Syracuse to 1-1 draw in season opener
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Lehigh hung tough with Big East member Syracuse in its season opener Friday night at the SU Soccer Stadium. Senior Glynn Fitzer even game the Mountain Hawks the lead late in the second half, but after Tina Romagnuolo tied the game in the 89th minute the teams settled for a 1-1 draw.
The Orange held a commanding 24-10 advantage in shots, but the young Lehigh defense stood its ground for most of the night. Romagnuolo’s equalizer sent the game to overtime, where each team had two shots but quality chances were few and far between.
"It was great to play against a Big East opponent and match them for the entire game," said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. "Our back line played phenomenally. We have a lot of young players back there but they kept Syracuse off the scoreboard for most of the night. We worked hard out there and overall I’m pleased with the way we played."
Senior goalkeeper Lauren Mains kept Lehigh in the game with 13 saves on the night.
The first 45 minutes were scoreless, despite the Orange holding a 13-3 advantage in shots in the opening half. The Mountain Hawks picked things up with a solid 20 minute stretch in the second half, and following several quality chances, Fitzer put the visitors ahead when she took a pass from junior Jana Basubas and beat Erin Quinlan for her seventh career goal.
Lehigh did its best to hold on through the final minutes of regulation, but Syracuse picked up the equalizer as Romagnuolo scored with an assist from Megan Bellingham. The Mountain Hawks had the only shot of the first overtime as Quinlan stopped senior Lena Cannon. The Orange had a 2-1 shot advantage in the second overtime period, with Mains making a save on Romagnuolo in the final seconds.
Despite being outshot, Lehigh held a 5-2 advantage on corner kicks. The Mountain Hawks were whistled for 14 fouls, while the Orange were called for ten. Quinlan made five saves for Syracuse (0-1-2) in goal.
The Mountain Hawks will be off until Sunday, September 5 when they open up their home schedule against Quinnipiac at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Game time is set for 1 p.m.