EASTON, Pa. - The Lehigh field hockey team couldn’t overcome an early deficit, falling at Lafayette, 4-0 on a chilly Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, the Mountain Hawks did clinch their second Patriot League Tournament berth in the last three years due to Colgate’s win over Holy Cross. Lehigh will now head to Holy Cross next Saturday with a 2-2 league mark, with the tournament’s No. 3 seed on the line.
Lehigh Field Hockey at Lafayette
“I think our midfield stepped up really well today,” said Lehigh head coach Stacey Blue. “Carly [Smith] and Marie [Mignogna] also played very well on defense. I don’t think the score was reflective of how well we can play, but at the same time, I think we can obviously play better.”
Lehigh did learn, however, that it had clinched a Patriot League Tournament berth as Colgate wrapped up a 3-1 win over Holy Cross around the same time as the Mountain Hawks’ game concluded.
“I’m really excited about making the tournament,” said Blue. “Our team has worked really hard during the preseason and season. It was a goal of ours from the beginning, so I’m glad we accomplished it.”
Lehigh hung tough in the early going, but Lafayette converted its first penalty corner, and first shot, into the game’s first goal at the 3:21 mark. It was Deanna DiCroce who made a deflection off the corner to make it 1-0. The Leopards went on to finish their second shot into another score less than three minutes later at 6:07.
The Mountain Hawks settled down, holding Lafayette scoreless for the next 26:03 before the Leopards capitalized off another corner at 32:30 of the first.
The teams played through 22:09 of scoreless field hockey in the second half until Lafayette converted a rocket off a corner to make it 4-0. Lehigh began to earn more and more offensive opportunities, firing two shots on goal which Lafayette keeper Jessica Deutsch stopped to keep the Mountain Hawks off the scoreboard for the first time in six games (since Oct. 1 at American).
Lafayette led the final shot count, 15-2, and held an 11-1 edge in penalty corners. Sophomore Sierra Seagear finished with six saves in goal before being relieved by freshman Sydney Maltinsky-Wilson, who made two in 8:17 of action.
Lehigh will look to gain momentum, and the No. 3 seed, heading into the Patriot League Tournament as it travels to Holy Cross next Saturday for an 11 a.m. showdown against the Crusaders. The Mountain Hawks will then play in their first league tournament since 2009 with the semifinals set for Friday, Nov. 4 and the championship game being played the following day.