WEST POINT, N.Y. – Despite a dominant second half effort by the Lehigh women’s soccer team, Army scored the game’s first goal at 5:57 of overtime to hand the Mountain Hawks (4-2-2, 0-1-0 Patriot League) a heartbreaking 1-0 loss in the conference opener for both teams on Friday evening. Lehigh has now seen three of its last four games go to overtime, while four of its last five against Army (9-3-0, 1-0-0) have ended in extra time.
“It was a great game between two really good teams,” said head coach Eric Lambinus. “The wind played a little bit of a factor. It was pretty strong in one direction. They got a good chance, took it with composure and finished it in overtime.”
A significant wind was behind Army’s back in a first half which it controlled. The Black Knights outshot Lehigh, 6-0, in the first 45 minutes. The Mountain Hawks had the edge in the second half though, owning the 9-4 shot advantage. Once overtime hit, the Army had the wind again, taking advantage when Julia Stallard made a cross to Lindsay Gordon in the box. She did the rest, finding the left corner of the net at 95:57 to hand Lehigh only its second loss of the season and first in three weeks. Both have come in overtime.
“We came up here against a team which owns the best record in the Patriot League and gave them a game,” said Lambinus. “Both teams had a chance to win. If we continue to do that, it will give us a chance to qualify for the league tournament.”
Army came out strong to control the first half of play, but the Mountain Hawks bounced back with a dominant second half effort. Four of their nine shots were on goal. Seniors Natalie Hojnacki, Glynn Fitzer and Lena Cannon along with junior Leah Kulp all saw strong scoring chances stopped by Army goalkeeper Alex Lostetter, who now owns an astonishing 0.28 goals against average and .920 save percentage.
Tides turned to the Black Knights late in regulation, but Lehigh goalkeeper Lauren Mains made a pair of sensational saves to preserver the scoreless tie. Kelley Robbins had the first chance at 87:12, but Mains made a diving stop. She then denied Robbins again at 88:45 to force overtime.
Army led the final shot count, 12-9. Mains finished with five saves while Lostetter made four. The Black Knights had nine corner kicks to only three for Lehigh, but never got a quality chance off thanks to the strong play of the Mountain Hawk defenders.
Lehigh returns to action on Sunday when it hosts NJIT at 1 p.m. at the Ulrich Complex. Live video and stats will be available on Lehighsports.com.