BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh field hockey team scored a goal in each half and used 11 combined saves from seniors Jessica Miller and Lilia Stefaniwsky for a 2-1 Senior Day win over Holy Cross in the season finale on Saturday. The win snapped a six-game losing streak and gave the Mountain Hawks (3-13, 1-4 Patriot League) their first home win over the Crusaders since 1996.
Prior to the game, the Mountain Hawks honored Miller, Stefaniwsky, Lauren Cawley, Katey Fardelmann, Claire Horn and Cassie Willard who were playing their final game in the Brown and White.
"I remember recruiting all of them," said head coach Julie Mazer. "What they’ve done for the program goes beyond the field. Strength within the class has helped keep the team together through this tough year. I was pleased to send them out on a high note."
After a back and forth beginning, Lehigh broke the ice at 27:18 when sophomore Kim Eng took a pass on the end line, then beat Holy Cross goalkeeper Kelly Sotsky from a tough angle for her fifth goal of the season. Junior Madison Ingal picked up the assist on the play.
Lehigh made it 2-0 at 47:37 when junior Caitlin Donnelly scored her team-leading seventh goal of the season, making a move around Sotsky before backhanding a shot into the cage.
Holy Cross answered right back, however, as Breezy Rush one-timed a centering pass from Jamie Caniglia only 28 seconds later to pull within 2-1.
"We got off to a slow start, but we seemed energized after we were able to score," said Mazer. "It was frustrating to give up the goal so quickly after going up 2-0, but it was nice to see us stay composed and hold on."
The Mountain Hawks bounced back to hold the Crusaders off the scoreboard to maintain the 2-1 advantage. They rebounded from a 8-5 shot deficit in the first half to lead, 9-8, in the second stanza.
Holy Cross led the final shot count, 16-14 while the Crusaders had seven penalty corners to two for the Mountain Hawks. Miller finished with four saves in the first half while Stefaniwsky came in at the beginning of the second to make seven stops. Sotsky finished with five for Holy Cross.
"We had been talking all week about finishing the season on a high note," said Mazer. "It's going to set the tone for the spring season and for the younger players. With everything that the seniors have done for the program, to send them off with a win was important to the whole team. I'm pleased that we were able to do that."