BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh ran its record to a perfect 4-0 as the Mountain Hawks blanked La Salle by a 2-0 score at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Wednesday evening. The loss drops the Explorers to 1-4 in 2005. The Lehigh defense pitched its fourth consecutive shutout to start the season, as the Mountain Hawks have not allowed a goal in over 365 minutes played so far in 2005.
“We were a little slow early on, but the girls worked hard and were able to get more good scoring chances,” said head coach Manny Oudin. “We can still do better though; we need to finish more when we get the kinds of chances we got tonight.”
The Mountain Hawks had a golden opportunity to take an early lead when junior Daniela Molina was taken down in the penalty area in the 15th minute, but junior Gina Lewandowski’s penalty kick hit the crossbar. Three minutes later Lehigh would strike first, as sophomore Jen Fetsick corralled Melissa Montalvo’s cross and beat La Salle keeper Lauren Malizia upstairs to give the Mountain Hawks a 1-0 lead, which they took into halftime.
The second 45 minutes featured more physical play with a number of fouls whistled on each team. The Mountain Hawks increased their lead in the 58th minute when senior Megan Edwards found an open Molina, who beat Malizia from the top of the 18-yard box to give the Brown and White a two goal advantage.
From there the Lehigh defense turned aside several La Salle chances and was able to keep the Explorers off the scoreboard. Freshman goalkeeper Julie Kafka made seven saves to notch her third shutout and increase her personal shutout streak to 270 minutes.
“It’s a collective effort,” said Oudin about his team’s so-far stellar defense. “It starts with the forwards and works its way back. If everyone is doing their jobs, good things will happen.”
Lehigh out shot La Salle 19-9 on the evening and had three corner kicks to the Explorers two. Lauren Malizia made 13 saves for La Salle on the evening.
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Sunday, September 11, when they visit Stony Brook at 1:00 p.m.