Lehigh falls 1-0 to Princeton in tough conditions
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh women’s soccer team fell 1-0 Wednesday night to Ivy League opponent Princeton at the Ulrich Sports Complex as hard rain fell for most of the second half. Four of Lehigh’s six shots were on goal, but the Mountain Hawks couldn’t find the back of the net. Princeton connected on the game-winning goal in the 52nd minute as Lehigh put up a good effort against a very strong Tigers team.
“They put a lot of numbers in the box and put us in a tough position,” said Lambinus. “We had one player trying to cover two of theirs and it was a matchup problem. It was just a well-executed play.”
The Mountain Hawks fought to find the equalizer, but struggled between the elements and fighting off a consistent Princeton attack. The Tigers had 14 shots on the game as Lehigh spent a lot of time on the defensive end of the field which affected its offense.
“I think [the weather] definitely affected things,” said Lambinus. “We were working so hard defensively, but if you don’t want to chase and defend, you have to keep possession of the ball better. That’s something we need to improve on. We’ve worked on it and are getting better and going in the right direction.”
“The conditions definitely affected the way the game was played,” said head coach Eric Lambinus. “We struggled with the speed of play. Princeton was a drastic difference from our previous two games. They played quickly and we were chasing, but we did defend them well and kept them out for most of the game.”
Lehigh had a couple opportunities in the first half as all three of the Mountain Hawks’ first half shots were on goal. Genna Pepe had a shot on goal when she made a deep run into the box as Murphee Greeley had two on goal, one a real good look from in close but the Princeton keeper Kristin Watson made one of her four saves on the night. Greeley added a third shot on goal in the second half.
Princeton broke the scoreless game in the 52nd minute when Gabrielle Ragazzo scored her first goal of the season. After a free kick, the ball came back out but was sent back in by Kacie Kergides who found Ragazzo in the box for the goal. It was Kergides’ first assist on the season.
Lehigh will look to rebound when it continues its conference slate as the Mountain Hawks host Army Saturday at the Ulrich Sports Complex at 7 p.m. It will be Senior Day for six Lehigh players who will be honored before the game. The match will be streamed LIVE on Lehighsports.com.