BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Senior Lauren Dykstra scored four goals to enter the Lehigh, Patriot League and NCAA record books, but it wasn’t enough as the Virginia Tech Hokies broke a 5-5 deadlock with one second remaining to hand the Mountain Hawks a heartbreaking 6-5 defeat on Saturday afternoon. The four goals gives Dykstra 243 for her career to break the 15-year school and Patriot League records held by Jill Altshuler. In the process, Dykstra also moves into 10th place in NCAA history in career goals.
“It feels great to have the record, but it would’ve felt better if we won today,” said Dykstra. “Coming into the game, I wasn’t really thinking about it. My main goal - which I’ve said to the team - is to win a Patriot League Championship. The record is awesome to have, but will be even better if we end the season with a championship.”
Dykstra’s record-breaking performance came on Senior Day as she was honored prior to her last regular season home game, along with senior teammates Allison Thomas and Kindall Healy.
“I think Lauren’s legacy is not this record, although we’re happy she accomplished it,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “Her real legacy is her hard work, determination and drive to winning.”
In the end, Dykstra accounted for four of Lehigh’s five goals against a strong Virginia Tech defense. She now has 70 points on the season via 58 goals and 12 assists. The Mountain Hawks’ defense was also stellar, holding the Hokies to their fewest goals all season.
“I thought our defense was outstanding today, especially in the first half,” said Redfern. “They gave us every opportunity to win. [Alex] Fitzpatrick was excellent in goal. It was unfortunate it came on a day we weren’t gelling on offense, though.”
Along with stellar defenses, both goalkeepers were strong as freshman Alexandra Fitzpatrick made 11 saves across Alex Gale, who posted 10. Lehigh held Virginia Tech off the scoreboard for the game’s first 22:34 while the Hokies kept the Mountain Hawks off the scoreboard for a stretch of 20:11, and the game’s final 12:30.
The loss snaps Lehigh’s five-game winning streak, marking its first defeat in nearly a month.
Dykstra got the scoring started with an unassisted goal less than a minute into the game. Dykstra accounted for the second as well 13:32 later, taking a feed from junior Kelly Draper to make it 2-0.
The Mountain Hawks’ defense continued to impress, but the Hokies responded with the final two first-half tallies to even the score heading into halftime.
Lehigh responded with three of the first four second-half goals, which included Dykstra’s record tying and breaking scores. She tied the record at 16:25 off a free position shot, while breaking it 3:55 later when a shot in traffic found its way in. That gave the Mountain Hawks a 5-3 lead, but Virginia Tech’s Allie Emala quickly tied the score with two goals in a 1:09 span, at 9:28 and 8:19.
Dykstra looked to have given Lehigh the lead at 2:04, but the officials called off the goal after a failed stick check. That led to Virginia Tech’s last chance. With time winding down, Fitzpatrick made a big save off an Allie Emala shot, but couldn’t stop Libby Rosebro’s bad angle attempt with one second remaining.
Lehigh led the final shot count, 20-19, while registering 22 groundballs to the Hokies’ 18. Virginia Tech won six of eight second-half draw controls to hold a 7-6 advantage. The Hokies had more turnovers, 16-15.
“Losing to a quality Virginia Tech program, this is a good game moving forward into the rest of the season,” said Redfern.
The Mountain Hawks wrap up the regular season with a three-game road trip. The first game will be at Penn State on Tuesday (Apr. 12) at 4 p.m. This will be followed by two big league games against Holy Cross and Navy. Lehigh will look to avenge last year’s Patriot League final loss to Navy when it plays the Midshipmen on Apr. 23 on CBS Sports Network.