BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Colgate jumped out to a quick lead and wouldn’t look back as the Raiders held off a late Mountain Hawk rally to down the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team, 19-16, in the Patriot League opener on Saturday. Lehigh (3-3, 0-1 PL) used a late charge with five goals in a span of 6:39 in the second half, but couldn’t pull any closer than two.
“We didn’t play well, particularly on defense,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “I thought they played their style - run and gun, which worked for them.”
Leading Lehigh’s attack was junior Kelly Draper, who tied a career-high seven points via two goals and a career-high five assists. Sophomore Julie McBrien had a monster game with a career-high five goals. Ironically, it marked her first-career multi-goal game after entering the game with four in her career. She also posted an assist for six points.
Senior Allison Thomas recorded a hat trick while junior Lauren Murray and sophomore Megan Kelly also scored a pair. Senior Lauren Dykstra was held in check with a goal and assist, but the senior contributed in other ways with four draw controls and two groundballs.
Colgate set the tone early with a Katie Sullivan goal only eight seconds into the game. Colleen Bubnack added her first of seven markers only 30 seconds later to make it 2-0 at 29:22. Murray and Draper responded with consecutive tallies, but Colgate reeled off a 4-0 run to open a 6-2 advantage at 17:04.
The runs continued as Lehigh answered with three in a row, but the Raiders responded with three of their own. The Mountain Hawks eventually pulled within 10-8 following Draper’s second goal of the game at 28:53 of the second half, but Colgate continued to have an answer.
The teams went back and forth as Lehigh pulled within 12-10 and 13-11, but never any closer. Four-straight Raider goals made it 17-11 with 10:42 remaining, looking to put Lehigh away, but the Mountain Hawks responded with a furious comeback which fell just short.
Sophomore Anna Patterson made it 17-12 at 8:58. Goals from Murray and McBrien pulled Lehigh within 17-14 with 6:10 remaining. After a Colgate score made it 18-14, Kelly and Thomas responded with tallies to pull within 18-16 with 2:19 still on the clock. The Mountain Hawks had one final chance off the ensuing draw, but Colgate goalie Christina Roa made a big save to preserve the Raiders’ victory.
“It was too little, too late,” said Redfern. “To continue to have the effort when your opponent starts to pull away is a good thing. But ultimately, we put ourselves in that position.”
Lehigh led the final shot count, 36-27, while it won 20 draw controls to Colgate’s 17. The Mountain Hawks scooped up 10 ground balls and the Raiders had eight.
The Mountain Hawks continue their four-game homestand on Wednesday when they welcome Fairfield to the Ulrich Sports Complex at 3:30 p.m. Lehigh returns to league action next Saturday when it hosts Bucknell at 3 p.m. following the men’s game against Presbyterian at noon.