BETHLEHEM, Pa – The Lehigh field hockey team dropped a decision to Monmouth on Friday night by a 4-1 count at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Senior Lauren Cawley netted her first goal since the 2008 season off a feed from sophomore Kim Eng, while goalkeepers Jessica Miller and Lilia Stefaniwsky combined for 13 saves. The defeat drops the Brown and White to 1-7 on the year.
"Once again, we’re not taking care of the ball," Lehigh head coach Julie Mazer said. "We worked hard tonight, but we didn’t work smart enough."
The potent Monmouth offense peppered the Lehigh cage with 25 shots, including 18 on goal. Miller made seven saves in the first half, while Stefaniwski stopped six shots in the second frame. Freshman Marie Mignogna was also credited with a defensive save in the first stanza as she cleared away a shot that was trickling toward the goal line behind Miller.
Monmouth (5-1) took the lead 11 minutes into the contest as Katelyn Buckley tipped home a feed from Nora Bosmans at the right of the cage.
Miller was put to the task several times in the first half and made a pair of dazzling kick saves on the Hawks’ Alex Carroll. Monmouth keeper Melissa Katz (four saves) was also tested early as she knocked away a shot by senior Katey Fardelmann from point-blank range.
"It was tight in the first half and I think that was a combination of us making saves and also taking better care of the ball," Mazer explained. "If you don’t take care of the ball, you’re not going to have control of the game."
Monmouth opened up a two-goal lead six minutes after halftime when Kimmy Baligian slotted home a centering pass from Michelle Pieczynski on the right wing. The Hawks then added a third only four minutes later when Pieczynski picked up a loose ball in front of Stefaniwsky and finagled it around the Lehigh keeper for the goal.
The Mountain Hawks quickly responded with a goal of their own as Cawley finally solved Katz in the 58th minute. Off a penalty corner, Eng faked a shot and passed it to her right, where Cawley was left unmarked. The senior unleashed a low, hard blast that pounded the boards in the back of the Monmouth cage to cut the deficit to 3-1.
That was as close as Lehigh would get however, as Monmouth tacked on a fourth goal at 59:23 when Kayleigh Kalamar scored on a turn-around shot that glanced off the right post from just inside the circle.
Lehigh will try to right the ship on Wednesday at Siena. Game time is set for 4 p.m.