Comeback gives Mountain Hawks a postseason berth
Posted: November 8, 2003
Bethlehem, PA – The Mountain Hawks knew they needed to score goals to win Saturday night against Navy.
After just 90 seconds, they knew they really
needed to score goals.
With their backs against the wall, Lehigh dug deep and earned a spot in the Patriot League tournament, coming from behind to beat Navy 3-1 at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
Navy got a counter-attacking goal in only the second minute of the game, just the Midshipmen’s second goal in the last six games, to give them an early lead. But Lehigh rebounded, playing an aggressive attacking style previously unused this season. In the nineteenth minute, Maciek Serafin took a ball towards the left side of the penalty box and zipped a perfect pass over to Kyle Hartman, who blasted a shot into the right corner to even the score at one.
The score remained tied until right before the end of the first half, when Dustin Monahan ripped a shot from 25 yards out, right through the hands of Navy keeper Frank DiFilippo to give the Mountain Hawks a 2-1 lead going into halftime. Lehigh played a much more defensive style in the second half, and maintained the lead until late, when Jim Stevens scored his first goal in a Mountain Hawk uniform on a breakaway, giving the team an all-too-important insurance goal.
Coach Dean Koski spoke to the team’s resiliency. “They did what they’ve done all season,” said Koski. “They got an early wake-up call, and they responded. I can’t say enough about how they kept their poise. We knew coming in we had to get a win tonight, and the guys went out and did what they had to do. Giving up the early goal was tough, but we were able to overcome it. Of course, we can’t afford to do that from here on out.”
After Holy Cross tied Bucknell earlier in the day to clinch a playoff berth, both teams came into tonight knowing this game would decide the fourth entrant. Navy ends their season 5-10-1, 3-4 in Patriot League play. Lehigh improves to 8-3-7, 2-1-4, and gets their first win in over a month. The Mountain Hawks end up with the same Patriot League record as Holy Cross, but end up with the fourth seed due to the tiebreaker. They face a tough opponent in the Patriot League tournament, as they draw conference champion Bucknell at their home field.