HAMILTON, N.Y. – Junior Caitlin Donnelly scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season, but Colgate responded with five unanswered goals to down the Lehigh field hockey team, 5-1, on Saturday afternoon. The Mountain Hawks (2-10, 0-2 Patriot League) led the final shot count, 17-13, but Raider (4-9, 1-1 PL) goalkeepers Kirsten Lalli and Caitlin Zolet combined for 10 saves to keep the Lehigh attack at bay.
“Colgate played well; they competed for the whole game,” said head coach Julie Mazer. “We struggled to make smart decisions with the ball today and that hurt us in the end.
“Most of their goals came from corners, so they took advantage of the opportunities that they created,” she continued. “There were some strong individual efforts, but we need to compete as a unit for the entire time.”
Donnelly now has six goals in her last six games to propel her into the team lead. She scored three against Saint Joseph’s on Sept. 15 and two at La Salle on the 25th.
“Caitlin has continued to work tirelessly. She was impressive today,” said Mazer. “She’s constantly hustling. She’s constantly working and good things are going to happen when that’s how you work throughout a game.”
Lehigh jumped out to the quick lead only 5:51 into the game when Donnelly scored off a scramble in front of the cage. It marked the third time in their last four games that the Mountain Hawks scored the game's first goal.
The Raiders responded less than 10 minutes later at 14:12 when Lauren Dittman scored her first of two goals. Allison Waugh added a penalty stroke goal only 3:08 later to make it 2-1 in favor of Colgate.
Adrianna Libutti scored her first of two at 26:25 to make it 3-1 heading into halftime.
The Mountain Hawks controlled play in the second half, but Colgate converted both its scoring chances while the goalkeeping combo of Lalli and Zolet knocked away all seven of Lehigh’s shots on goal. One chance came with just under 10 minutes remaining when Lehigh got off a pair of shots while also forcing a penalty corner, but Lalli stood tall.
“We were more organized in the second half and were getting the ball up the field successfully,” said Mazer. “We made some adjustments at halftime and were doing some things better in the second half [which is] why we had more opportunities.”
Colgate’s goals came at 44:22 and then at 61:20 to effectively put the game away.
Lehigh did get off five shots in the final 10 minutes - including four by Donnelly - as part of one final rush, but was unable to put one past new goalkeeper Zolet.
The Mountain Hawks drew 11 corners, their fourth most of the season and two shy of their season-high. They led the final shot count, 17-13, including 11-2 in the second half. Senior Jessica Miller made seven saves in goal while Lilia Stefaniwsky also saw action in relief.
The squad returns to action on Sunday when it travels to Cornell to face the Big Red. Gametime is set for 12 p.m.