ITHACA, N.Y. – Senior goalkeeper Jessica Miller stood tall with a career-high 18 saves, but it wasn’t enough as the Lehigh field hockey team dropped a hard-fought 3-1 final in its final nonconference game of the season on Sunday at Cornell. Miller made nine of her 18 saves in the first half while junior Madison Ingal scored the Mountain Hawks’ (2-11, 0-2 Patriot League) goal off a penalty corner.
“Jess was outstanding, especially early, on which sparked the play of her teammates,” said head coach Julie Mazer. “We competed well today. We had a great first half and a good second half, but we need to generate more scoring opportunities and convert our corners. There were a number of players who played really well today.”
The story early on was Miller, who kept a strong Cornell (8-3) squad at bay, despite firing 15 first-half shot. She made a number of sensational stops, including three in one 1:57 stretch midway through the first half.
Cornell eventually got on the scoreboard first at 46:30 when Mallory Bannon tipped a shot past Miller to make it 1-0. The Big Red added two more – at 52:11 and 54:46, but Lehigh came back with a goal of its own at 57:30 to pull back within two. Ingal fired a shot off a penalty corner which deflected off a Cornell defender and past goalkeeper Alex Botte to make it 3-1. Junior Abby Tilton was credited with the assist on the play.
The Mountain Hawks created chances over the final minutes, including a penalty corner and subsequent shot on goal with under a minute remaining, but it wasn’t enough.
The Big Red led the final shot count, 36-6, while they forced 14 penalty corners to Lehigh’s five. Miller finished with her career-high 18 saves while senior back Cassie Willard made a defensive stop. Botte had four saves for Cornell.
“Saturday was a frustrating day, but I was proud of how we regrouped and went back after it today,” said Mazer. “Cornell is a good team. They were able to draw a lot of corners. Now we need to get back to work to prepare for Bucknell.”
Lehigh continues its road swing when it travels to Lewisburg next Saturday to face the Bison. Gametime is set for 1 p.m.