EASTON, Pa. – Led by a season-high seven goals from senior Lauren Dykstra, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team jumped out to an early lead before cruising to a 18-9 win over archrival Lafayette on Sunday afternoon. The win marks the Mountain Hawks’ third in a row as they improve to 6-4 on the season and 2-1 in Patriot League play.
Now 15-2 against Lafayette during the 2010-11 school year (across all sports), Lehigh jumped out to an 11-3 halftime advantage before the Leopards pulled as close as 13-6 in the second half. But the Mountain Hawks responded with five of the game’s final eight goals to erase any doubt.
“I thought we played a terrific first half,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “We went out with a lot of energy and intensity and got a great lead. Then I thought our second half was very mediocre.”
Dykstra also had an assist for eight points on the afternoon, one shy of a career high. She is now up to 54 points on the season behind 43 goals and 11 assists.
“We’re thrilled when Lauren gets an opportunity to shoot the ball,” said Redfern. “She also did a great job on defense to shut down Ana White, their high scorer.”
White entered with 20 points through eight games, but was held to only one (an assist). A strong Mountain Hawk defense forced a season-high 27 turnovers, led by four caused turnovers from junior Kelly Draper and three each from sophomore Anna Patterson and senior Kindall Healy.
Sophomore Megan Kelly posted her second-straight four-goal game while senior Allison Thomas added her fifth hat trick in her last six contests. Draper enjoyed another strong day with four points via three goals and an assist. Sophomores Julie McBrien and Patterson each posted two points (one goal, one assist) as well.
The Mountain Hawks jumped out to a 2-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. After Lafayette got on the scoreboard, Lehigh responded with six consecutive goals spanning the next 12:40 to take a commanding 8-1 advantage. One highlight-reel play came from junior Leigh Ann Torcivia, who scooped a groundball at mid-field and went in all the way for her first goal of the season, making it 5-1 at 17:13. Dykstra then capped off the run with three straight scores, all in a span of 3:10, for a seven-goal advantage with 13:21 on the clock.
Lafayette’s Katie Leto made it 8-2, but Dykstra’s hot streak continued as she netted her fourth and fifth of the game - all in a short 10:51 span - to help Lehigh go up, 11-2 at the half.
The Leopards made a mini run in the second, pulling as close as seven with 18:46 remaining, but the Mountain Hawks responded, opening up as much as an 11-goal lead (18-7) following a pair of Thomas goals. Lafayette scored the game’s final two, including one with 16 seconds remaining, to pull within nine at the final horn.
“This rivalry always has meaning,” said Redfern. “You exert so much energy going into it and I think that was part of our letdown in the second half once we had the game in hand. Our seniors haven’t lost to Lafayette, and that was extremely important for us to get them a W in their last year.”
The Mountain Hawks held the final edge in shots (29-16), groundballs (25-15) and draw controls (17-12). Lehigh was 13-of-16 on clear attempts while Lafayette was 13-of-19. Freshman goalie Alexandra Fitzpatrick made four saves before being relieved by sophomore MaryLeah DiNisco, who made one. Alexa Blake finished with six stops for the Leopards.
Lehigh returns to the Ulrich Sports Complex for a three-game homestand to wrap up its regular season home slate. The Mountain Hawks begin by hosting Patriot League rival American on Saturday in the team’s Pink Zone Game in support of breast cancer awareness. Opening draw is slated for 3 p.m.