BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Down 2-0 with less than 20 minutes remaining in regulation, the Lehigh field hockey team scored two goals in a 5:50 span to even the score and force overtime, but in the end, a nifty Georgetown tally gave the Hoyas a 3-2 overtime win to spoil the Mountain Hawks’ (0-1) season-opener on Friday evening. Seniors Madison Ingal and Caitlin Donnelly converted the tallies, but it wasn’t enough. The Mountain Hawks will go for their first win of the season on Sunday at Saint Francis (Pa.).
“We definitely came to play in the second half and gave it our all,” said Lehigh head coach Stacey Blue. “That’s how we were able to come back. In overtime, we had some opportunities that I wish we would’ve capitalized on, but [the chances] were there. It’s our first game, so I thought we did pretty well.”
The overtime game marked the first time Lehigh went to an extra session since Oct. 14, 2009 against Fairfield.
An evenly played contest saw Georgetown jump out to a 2-0 lead. After playing 23 minutes of scoreless field hockey, Annie Wilson converted the first of her two goals on the evening by firing a low shot from the top of the circle past freshman goalkeeper Sydney Maltinsky-Wilson to make it 1-0 Hoyas at 23:44.
Lehigh began the second half with a vengeance, firing a flurry of quality chances on cage, but couldn’t beat Georgetown goalie Briana Pereira. The Hoyas converted at 39:19 when Catherine Shugrue found the back of the cage with a flick shot off a penalty corner.
The Mountain Hawks wouldn’t quit, continuing to get chance after chance. Ingal finally made it count at 53:06, corralling her initial rebound and beating Pereira to the far corner, cutting Georgetown’s lead in half.
Just over five minutes later, junior Kelsey Zeswitz made a field-long pass to Donnelly, who made a move towards the middle and fired a shot past an aggressive Pereira, who was coming out strong to cut down the angle. Donnelly’s shot was on target and trickled into the cage, tying the score at two at 58:56.
Both teams continued to have chances through the end of regulation, but neither side could score another before time expired. One of the key plays came from freshman Emily Hu, who came up with a big defensive save at 61:09, Lehigh’s third defensive save of the game, to keep the score tied.
Lehigh had a golden opportunity less than two minutes into overtime when Pereira stopped a blistering Kim Eng shot. The Mountain Hawks later received a yellow card, meaning they were down a player and had to play seven-on-six for five minutes. A resilient Lehigh squad fought off those five minutes, allowing two penalty corners but not a single shot. However, Georgetown scored the game-winner just 54 seconds after Lehigh returned to full strength as Shugrue made an impressive cross to Wilson, who poked it into the open goal.
The Mountain Hawks held a 20-18 edge in shots and 10-9 in penalty corners. Maltinsky-Wilson finished with six saves in her collegiate debut while Hu, sophomore Marie Mignogna and junior Carly Smith all had defensive stops. Pereira was strong for Georgetown, making 11 saves, including numerous sensational stops to prevent Lehigh from taking a lead.
Lehigh now looks ahead to a Sunday showdown at Saint Francis (Pa.). Gametime is set for 1 p.m. Following that game, the Mountain Hawks return home to host La Salle next Sunday (Sept. 11) at 1 p.m.
“We learned a lesson that we need to play for 70 minutes,” said Blue. “I think if we played for 70 minutes, the outcome could’ve been different. We now know that; it’s our first game and now we’ll try and get our first win on Sunday.”