PHILADELPHIA – A strong first half wasn’t enough as the Penn Quakers broke a scoreless deadlock in the 53rd minute before tacking on a late insurance goal to down the Lehigh women’s soccer team, 2-0, in nonconference action on Wednesday. The Mountain Hawks (8-4-4, 3-1-2 Patriot League) now turn their attention to this Saturday’s regular season finale at Lafayette.
“I thought we played well in the first half, but our second half was not strong,” said head coach Eric Lambinus. “The two overtime games from the weekend seemed to catch up with us in the second half and it looked like we were a little bit tired. We struggled to connect our passes and compete physically. We have to do a better job moving forward.”
Lehigh did rest a handful of players, including senior goalkeeper Lauren Mains, which allowed freshman Ali Griffin to start for the second time in her young career.
“Everybody who was healthy played in the game,” said Lambinus. Some other girls got some opportunities, but we were still trying to compete, still trying to do good things.”
After an even first half in which Penn held the slight 4-3 shot advantage, the Quakers broke through for the game’s first score at the 52:42 mark. Kerry Scalora was the goal-scorer, converting a shot from 30 yards out for her fifth goal of the season.
Penn converted a corner kick to make it 2-0 at 86:10 when Ursula Lopez-Palm headed a ball past Griffin.
Final shots were 13-7 in favor of Penn while the Quakers also led in corner kicks, 6-2. Griffin finished with four saves for Lehigh while Caroline Williams made two before being relieved by Sarah Banks, who tallied one.
Senior Glynn Fitzer led the Mountain Hawks’ offensive attack with two shots, both on goal.
Lehigh returns to action on Sunday in its regular season finale at Lafayette. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“Saturday is vitally important,” said Lambinus. “It’s Lafayette. Nothing else needs to be said. We know they’ll come out and play their best game. I feel like it will have the intensity of a Patriot League Tournament game with the rivalry and it being their last game, and wanting to get a conference win. It will be great preparation for the following week.”
Lehigh will play in the Patriot League Tournament for the first time since 2006 when it hits the field next Friday (Nov. 5) for the league semifinals at a site to-be determined. Should the Mountain Hawks win on Saturday and both Army and Bucknell lose or tie, Lehigh would win the regular season championship and host the league tournament for the first time since 2005.