HAMILTON, N.Y. - Despite owning a 17-12 shot advantage, Lehigh could only covert that into one goal in dropping a tough 2-1 final at Colgate on Sunday. The Mountain Hawks (6-8-2, 2-3-1 Patriot League) controlled play in the early going, but it was the Raiders who jumped out to a two-goal lead, which was the difference. Lehigh mounted a furious comeback attempt, scoring with just 1:14 remaining in regulation, but it proved to be too little, too late.
“We started really strongly and had a number of really good chances,” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “In Patriot League games and big games, it comes down to moments. We didn’t execute, then came back and gave up two goals, which put ourselves into a hole.
“It wasn’t because of effort or energy, just execution,” he continued. “We battled and fought hard through the second half, but couldn’t get an early goal. It came down to finishing.”
With the loss coupled with scores from other Patriot League games, the Mountain Hawks were eliminated from postseason contention.
Lehigh began strongly with a shot on goal just 1:19 into the game by sophomore Murphee Greeley. The Mountain Hawks had another shot on target at the 8:57 mark from sophomore Paige Dyrek, but Colgate goalkeeper Ashley Walsh made her second save in as many tries.
A shot from the Raiders’ Jenna Gibney from 25 meters out found the back of the net to make it 1-0 at 18:12. Lehigh came back with more and more chances, but it was Colgate who made it 2-0 at 42:26 as Alyssa Manoogian beat freshman goalkeeper Ashley Blanks for an insurance tally.
That proved to be significant as the Mountain Hawks came out firing in the second half, outshooting Colgate, 9-6, including a 4-1 advantage on goal. Lehigh was able to beat Walsh once with just over one minute remaining as junior Isabelle Li made a service into the box, where senior Ali MacLeod made a touch to Greeley, who buried her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
“It was the thing we’ve been looking for the last three-to-four games,” said Lambinus. “It was a really good play - really good execution - and a good finish.”
However, it was too little, too late as Lehigh was unable to get another shot off before the final horn.
Final shots were 17-12 in favor of Lehigh while the Mountain Hawks had five corner kicks to Colgate’s two, including a 4-0 advantage in the second half. Blanks finished with four saves while Walsh made seven.
Lehigh returns to the Ulrich Sports Complex for its final home game of the season Wednesday when it hosts defending Ivy League Champion Penn at 7 p.m. The Mountain Hawks will then wrap up the 2011 campaign at Holy Cross next Saturday at 1 p.m.