BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Senior Lena Cannon scored early and Natalie Hojnacki added two goals late as the Lehigh women’s soccer team posted a convincing 3-1 win over defending Patriot League champion Colgate on Friday evening at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks improve to 6-2-2 and 1-1-0 in league play behind their seventh straight home win dating back to last season.
"I thought we came out with great energy," said head coach Eric Lambinus. "We pressured them all over the place and kept them on their half of the field. I was really pleased with the energy we showed."
Lehigh held a dominant 24-6 shot advantage, forcing Colgate’s (3-10-0, 0-2-0 PL) Alexis Longwell to make seven saves in goal while Mountain Hawk goalkeeper Lauren Mains made one. Lehigh also hit a crossbar in the first half and a post in the second.
"It’s good to get three points and get into the win column in the Patriot League," said Lambinus. "We’re playing well at home and defending our home turf, which is important."
Cannon got the scoring started only 1:50 into the game when the ball squirted to her at the top of the box. She surprised Longwell with a quick shot that snuck just inside the left post to make it 1-0.
Lehigh continued to control possession, building a 11-3 first-half shot advantage. Senior Liz Carlos nearly made it 2-0 midway through the first half when her shot from just outside the box hit the crossbar.
The Mountain Hawks continued to attack early in the second half and converted an insurance tally at 63:50 behind Hojnacki’s second goal of the season. Junior Genna Pepe made a run down the right flank, where she made a nifty crossing pass. Hojnacki did the rest, redirecting it into the top corner of the net for her second goal in as many games.
Colgate got on the scoreboard only 6:39 later when Alyssa Manoogian gathered the ball out of a scramble and came in all alone on Mains, finding the corner with a perfectly-placed shot to make it 2-1.
"They’re doing great," said Lambinus when asked about the play of the Mountain Hawk defense. "We just slipped on that one play and they took advantage. Give [Colgate] credit. They’re a good team.
"That’s how we’re going to get better," he continued. "We need to be smart for 90 minutes. Goals against aren’t going to kill us, though, if we score two or three a game."
Lehigh erased any doubt in the 85th minute when Hojnacki added her second of the game. Her shot from outside the box was originally stopped by Longwell, but snuck through the Colgate goalkeeper for the 3-1 advantage. Hojnacki now has nine points (three goals, three assists) over her last two games.
The Mountain Hawks return home Sunday to host Bucknell at 1 p.m. It will be Senior Day with Cannon, Mains, Hojnacki, Carlos, Glynn Fitzer and Lauren Glazebrook all set to be recognized prior to the game. It will also be the team’s Pink Game to help promote and raise funds for breast cancer awareness. Fans can help make a difference in the fight against breast cancer by purchasing a pink Lehigh t-shirt. They are on sale at Lehighsports.com and will be available at the merchandise table on Sunday. A portion of the proceeds will go directly to Susan G. Komen for the cure.
Fans who can’t make it can watch the game live on Lehighsports.com with Steve Lomangino and Jeff Tourial on the call.