LEWISBURG, Pa. - Despite firing five second-half shots on goal, the Lehigh women’s soccer team was unable to come back from an early deficit, snapping a three-game Patriot League unbeaten streak with a 1-0 loss at Bucknell, on a chilly Friday evening. The Bison took a quick 1-0 lead at the 14:00 mark for the game’s only goal. Lehigh responded with a number of glittering scoring opportunities, but goalkeeper Sandita McDermott stood tall with eight saves for the shutout.
“We got Bucknell’s best game,” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “I thought they came out in the first half with tons of urgency; they put us under pressure and got rewarded with a goal. It was a good goal, a well-taken goal. We reacted pretty well to it, but we didn’t play for 90 minutes and in Patriot League games, you have to play for 90 minutes.”
Not to be forgotten, Lehigh freshman goalkeeper Ashley Blanks also impressed with eight saves to tie a career high.
“Both goalkeepers played well,” said Lambinus. “Their keeper kept them in the game. She made about 5-6 six saves that I thought were tremendous.”
Bucknell got off to a quick start, controlling play in the early going which led to the game’s first goal at the 14:00 mark. A nifty set of passes set Evelyn Nicinski up in front of the net as she finished low past Blanks to make it 1-0.
The Mountain Hawks began to earn more chances towards the end of the half, none better than a shot from the top of the circle by sophomore Murphee Greeley. McDermott made a tremendous save while sophomore Paige Dyrek had an odd-angle chance, which rolled across the goal line before being cleared by a Bison defender.
Lehigh came out of halftime firing, earning a number of strong opportunities, but McDermott stood tall, making five stops after the half. The best chance came off the foot of junior Isabelle Li in the 54th minute, with McDermott making a leaping stop. Dyrek went on to unleash a shot less than two minutes later, which was also saved.
The Mountain Hawks continued to pressure, but were unable to net the equalizer in dropping the 1-0 final.
Bucknell led the final shot count, 19-13, while Lehigh held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.
The Mountain Hawks return to action in two days when they travel to Colgate to face the Raiders at 1 p.m. Lehigh will then head home for a nonleague matchup against defending Ivy League Champion Penn at 7 p.m. Wednesday.