BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lafayette jumped out to an early lead and wouldn’t look back on its way to a 5-0 win over the Lehigh field hockey team on Saturday at Ulrich Field. After the Leopards (7-8, 4-0 Patriot League) held a 3-0 advantage, Lehigh (2-13, 0-4 PL) bounced back by holding Lafayette without a goal for more than 50 minutes, but the Mountain Hawks' offense was unable to convert. Senior Jessica Miller made a career-high 22 saves in goal, while senior Lauren Cawley also made three sparkling defensive stops.
"They got a few early goals on us, but we called a timeout and got more organized," said head coach Julie Mazer. "Lafayette plays a fast-paced game [which] was very different than our game last Saturday. It can be challenging when early goals go in, but we continued to keep fighting."
The story of the game was Miller and the defense, which combined to make 26 saves. Along with Miller’s 22 saves and Cawley’s three stops, sophomore Melissa Kuhns made a defensive save in the second half as well.
"Jess played great," said Mazer. "The back defenders did everything they could the way the game was going. I thought Jess did an outstanding job."
After Lafayette took the early 3-0 lead only 13:21 into the contest, Mazer called a timeout to regroup the squad. Lehigh responded by keeping the Leopards off the scoreboard for the remainder of the half and the first 28:42 of the second stanza.
The Mountain Hawks’ defense led to consistent offensive possession late in the first half, but they were unable to get a shot off.
Miller and the defense continued to stand tall early in the second half, denying any and all opportunities sent their way until 63:42, when Meghan Cicchi redirected a shot off a penalty corner for her second goal of the game. Lafayette added another tally at 66:54 to account for the 5-0 final. Miller and Cawley kept fighting until the final horn when they each made subsequent saves as time expired.
"The defense kept fighting and kept their composure," said Mazer. "They kept fighting the whole time. I thought they stepped up and played with a lot of heart."
The Mountain Hawks wrap up their season next Saturday when they host Holy Cross on Senior Day at Ulrich Field. Gametime is 11 a.m. with seniors Lauren Cawley, Katey Fardelmann, Claire Horn, Jessica Miller, Lilia Stefaniwsky and Cassie Willard set to be honored prior to their final games in a Mountain Hawk uniform.