HAMILTON, N.Y. - The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team fought back from a 9-4 second-half deficit to pull within one with 19:13 remaining, but the Mountain Hawks (10-7) couldn’t pull any closer, dropping a 10-8 heartbreaker in the Patriot League Semifinals on Friday. Senior Lauren Dykstra led the way with her third-straight four-goal game while Allison Thomas also chipped in a goal and assist.
“We didn’t play the game we wanted,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “Eight-of-30 shooting is not going to win the game. That was the difference. We had too many mistakes, but didn’t give up and I was proud of the comeback we made.”
The Midshipmen started quickly, scoring three of the game’s first four goals to take a 3-1 advantage at 21:05 of the first half. Lehigh responded with two straight, from sophomore Megan Kelly and Dykstra, to pull even at the 16:15 mark. However, Navy answered with four in a row to make it 7-3 before Thomas broke the run with 1:21 remaining to pull within 7-4 at the half.
Navy continued the momentum into the second half, scoring the next two to take its largest lead of the game, 9-4, at the 25:03 mark. That’s when the Mountain Hawks came storming back as they scored four goals in a 5:07 span to quickly pull back within one. After junior Lauren Murray made it 9-5, Dykstra added two straight before junior Kelly Draper finished a nifty feed from Thomas to pull within 9-8 at 19:13.
With momentum on its side, Lehigh continued to generate offensive opportunities, but was unable to pull any closer. Navy goalie Michelle Verbeeck came up with a number of big saves while an aggressive Navy defense forced key turnovers. The Mountain Hawks’ defense proved stellar as well, holding the Midshipmen off the scoreboard for 25:02 before Caitlin Mandrin Hill scored on an empty net as time expired to account for the 10-8 final.
Lehigh led the final shot count, 30-19, and held a 22-17 edge in groundballs and 13-6 in draw controls. The Mountain Hawks were 12-of-14 on clearing attempts to the Midshipmen 15-of-19. Verbeeck finished with 11 saves while Lehigh freshman Alexandra Fitzpatrick had seven.
Dykstra ends her storied career with 257 career goals, in sixth place in NCAA history. Thomas added a goal and assist to finish her career with 112 and 44, respectively. Senior Kindall Healy also finished an impressive career with 22 goals, 10 assists and 63 draw controls.