WEST POINT, N.Y. - Lehigh and Army played neck-and-neck through most of regulation, but a late Black Knights’ goal proved to be the difference as the Mountain Hawks dropped a tough 2-1 final on Sunday afternoon. All four of Lehigh’s Patriot League losses have been by one. Sophomore Darby Wiegand scored a first-half goal while freshman Ani Nahapetian made eight saves, including seven in the second half.
“We have [strong] moments, but I think we’re too content with moments and we’re not urgent enough,” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “We haven’t taken initiative to say we want to really get better. We’ve seen moments, but we’re not good enough right now to win these games. Honestly, I don’t know if we want it enough.”
The Black Knights were strong out of the gates, firing a shot just 34 seconds in. Then in the fourth minute, Kim An took a centering pass from the left side and shot one just high. The teams went back and forth, leading into another glittering chance from An in the 18th minute when she took another centering feed, this time from the right side, but her shot again went high.
The Mountain Hawks began to turn up the pressure, which led into their first goal of the game (and Patriot League season). Juniors Paige Dyrek and Murphee Greeley made a hard run down the right side and put one towards goal. Wiegand was there to clean it up to make it 1-0 at 30:41.
Off the ensuing whistle, Nahapetian came out strong on an odd-man break, stopping An before she could get a shot off. However, just minutes later, Army capitalized on its first goal to quickly tie the score as Candace Stewart fired one into the top right corner at 33:28.
Lehigh generated the game’s first corner in the 41st minute, which led to a header from senior Isabelle Li, but Army goalie Linda Rosas was there to make the save.
Nahapetian was the story early in the second half, making three saves in a 2:09 span to keep the score deadlocked at one. The first was a nifty stop off the Black Knight’s first corner kick before following with two more saves.
Lehigh came back with a corner of its own. The initial ball was cleared, but sophomore Jordan Goodwin fired a shot from distance which nearly snuck in under the crossbar.
Army continued to put on the pressure as the Black Knights finished with 14 second-half shots. They finally converted at 77:00 as An fed Joey Molacek who found the top-right corner of the goal to make it 2-1.
Nahapetian made another big save just moments later to keep it 2-1. The Mountain Hawks pressured for the equalizer, which included a strong attack with about one minute to go. However, it wasn’t enough as Lehigh suffered its fourth straight Patriot League loss to start the season (all on the road).
“It’s never good when the goalie’s our best player on the field and I thought she was our best player today,” said Lambinus. “Ani was solid; she came into a tough environment and did some great things.”
Army led the final shot count, 22-5 and in corner kicks, 5-3. Nahapetian’s eight saves came across Rosas, who made two.
The Mountain Hawks now return home for their first Patriot League home game and final three regular season contests of the season. Lehigh begins on Friday when it welcomes Bucknell at 7 p.m.
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