Posted: November 11, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Lehigh saw its season come to a tough close on Friday afternoon falling to archrival Lafayette in a shootout at Reeves Field in the semifinals of the 2005 Patriot League Tournament.
The Mountain Hawks connected on three of their kicks in the shootout, while the Leopards made all four of theirs, to advance to Sunday’s championship game versus American.
The game officially goes down as a tie, so Lehigh ends its season with a record of 10-4-2, while Lafayette
sits at 12-4-2.
Head Coach Dean Koski, who has taken Lehigh to six consecutive appearances in the tournament, offered his thoughts following the match. “I think our guys played hard, and they battled for the entire time today. We really need them (Lehigh’s players) to battle because Lafayette is such a tough team. I really feel for these seniors, because they’ve worked so hard, advancing to the playoffs in all four seasons, and three championship game appearances.”
In the shoot out, Lehigh elected to go first, and John O’Reilly connected to put the Mountain Hawks ahead. Buster Wiand then tied the score at one with his goal. Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Adam Williamson went next for Lehigh, but Leopard keeper Mike Tortora stopped the shot, keeping the score even at one. Scott Hawkins made his kick for Lafayette, pushing the score to 2-1 in favor of the Leopards.
Junior Matt Franz went next for the Brown and White, and found the back of the net to tie the score at two, but Justin Esposito put the Leopards back up by one when he scored. Peter Classi then scored, making the score even at three, but Thomas Harju scored for Lafayette, making the score 4-3. Jim Stevens was up next for the Mountain Hawks and despite totally fooling Tortora hit the cross bar, unfortunately ending the match.
Lehigh was out shot 16-15 on the afternoon, and had only four corner kicks to the Leopards nine. Charlie Sales recorded six saves in goal for the Brown and White, while Tortora sent back eight Mountain Hawk shots.
There were 23 fouls called in the match, and five yellow cards handed out, four of which went to the Leopards.