BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 11-6 lead, but a furious Fairfield comeback proved too much in a heartbreaking 13-12 loss on Wednesday at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks (3-4, 0-1 Patriot League) were led by senior Lauren Dykstra who posted a season-high seven points behind six goals and an assist.
“We had a bad spell in the second half and they were able to capitalize,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “In the game of lacrosse, momentum is everything.”
Dykstra was the story early on as she netted four of her six goals within the first 14:58 to help Lehigh jump out to a 5-1 lead. The six goals and seven points stand only two shy of her career highs, while it already marks her fourth game this season with five or more goals.
The Stags responded from their four-goal deficit with three straight tallies to pull within one, but the Mountain Hawks converted two of the final three first-half tallies to go up, 7-5 after 30 minutes. The final marker came from senior Allison Thomas, who converted a free position opportunity with 12 seconds on the clock, only 11 seconds after Fairfield had pulled within 6-5.
Thomas impressed alongside Dykstra with her third straight hat trick while sophomore Megan Kelly tallied a career-high three assists. Sophomores Anna Patterson and Julie McBrien and freshman Chelsea Retaleato netted Lehigh’s other goals. Junior Leigh Ann Torcivia finished with a team-high four groundballs and four caused turnovers.
Lehigh extended its one-goal halftime advantage with four of the first five in the second to go up, 11-6 at 24:05. The run was capped off by a goal from Retaleato, who took a nifty feed from Kelly before finding the back of the net.
Fairfield responded with seven straight goals to open up a 13-11 lead with 1:10 on the clock. Lehigh nearly made a memorable comeback as Thomas took a feed from Kelly and beat Stags’ goalie Katie Keenan with 13 seconds remaining. The Mountain Hawks lost the ensuing draw however, allowing Fairfield to run out the clock.
Lehigh led the final shot count, 28-25 and held a 12-11 advantage in groundballs. The Mountain Hawks also won 16 draws to 11 for the Stags. Lehigh freshman goalie Alexandra Fitzpatrick finished with eight saves, as did Fairfield’s Keenan.
The Mountain Hawks wrap up their four-game homestand on Saturday when they host Patriot League foe Bucknell at 3 p.m. following the men’s game against Presbyterian at 12 p.m.
“We’ll be ready [for Saturday],” said Redfern. “Today takes a lot out of you emotionally, when you’re up that much and lose. But I’m confident we’ll respond for Bucknell.”