BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team (4-2-5, 1-1-1 PL) came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Ivy League opponent Penn (6-4-2, 1-1-0 Ivy) Tuesday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The Mountain Hawks were faced with a 1-0 deficit for most of the game until junior co-captain Cameron Omsberg found the back of the net for the equalizer - and his first career goal - in the 80th minute.
“Certainly going down 1-0 was frustrating and it’s hard to dig your way out of so for us to find a goal in the second half was important,” said head coach Dean Koski. “I am pleased that the guys were able to do that.”
Omsberg found himself with space outside of the 18-yard box and fired in a cross towards the back post. A couple of Mountain Hawks made runs in the box including senior Jordie Ciuffetelli who jumped over the ball and distracted the keeper which allowed Omsberg’s ball to find the back of the net.
“We’ve been encouraging guys to make runs in the box,” said Koski. “We had a couple guys in there that caused some chaos and it’s an important step. That’s why you run in the box. It’s a good lesson for the guys. Anything can happen.”
Penn came into the game averaging 1.82 goals per game and it found one right away. In the sixth minute, Christian Barreiro took a free kick after a Lehigh hand ball from 28 yards out and curled it inside the left post for his fifth goal of the season.
The Mountain Hawks finished with 13 shots (six on goal) and had a great chance for the game-winning goal with just 39 seconds left in the first overtime. Senior Neal Melchionni left the ball for freshman Brian Suchoski who had a step on the defender. After a couple dribbles in the box, Suchoski fired one at goal but Penn keeper Max Kurtzman made one of his five saves on the night to send the match to double overtime.
Penn had 14 shots, five on goal, while Barreiro led the team with five shots.
Omsberg had four shots while James Meyerkord, Suchoski and Kevin Strunk each had two shots apiece. After sophomore keeper Ciaran Nugent made three saves in the first half, the Lehigh defense limited Penn’s fast attack to just one shot on goal for the rest of the match. Entering the match, the Mountain Hawks defense was ranked No. 3 in the nation in three categories – save percentage (0.933), shutout percentage (0.70) and GAA (0.27).
Lehigh returns to conference play when it hosts Navy Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Both teams are tied for third place in the league with four points.
The game will be a Summit Series contest. Tickets are five dollars for the general public while Lehigh students and staff are admitted free of charge with a valid ID. For more information on Summit Series games, please click here.
There will be LIVE stats and LIVE streaming video of the match on Lehighsports.com.