Posted: September 6, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh picked up its first win of the season, in a thrilling 1-0 victory over the Delaware Fightin’ Blue Hens Thursday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The lone goal of the game came from junior back Vinny Devine in the 88th minute. The goal, assisted by Jim Taranto, was Devine’s first collegiate score. The Mountain Hawks were able to hold off a fierce Delaware attack in the final two minutes to secure the victory.
“It’s always good to get that fist victory under the belt,” said head coach Dean Koski. “Delaware was a very good team, but our guys stuck to the game plan of committing to defense and it paid off for us.”
The Fightin’ Blue Hens and Mountain Hawks played to a scoreless first half, but it did not go without its share of exciting moments. Lehigh out shot Delaware, six to three, with the Mountain Hawks recording the only two shots on goal in the half. The Mountain Hawks best scoring opportunity came in the 23rd minute, when freshman James Graf’s header was stopped by Delaware goalkeeper Taylor Thames.
“Delaware’s goalkeeper played a tremendous game in net,” said Koski. “He did a great job of coming up the line to thwart our attack and keep them in the game.”
Jim Taranto had a couple of great scoring chances, including a two-on-two in the 43rd minute, however, the ball just slipped out of his reach and Thames was able to put an end to the Mountain Hawk threat. Delaware nearly got on the board in the 20th minute when senior forward Sobhan Tadjalli’s shot sailed just wide of the net.
In the second half, Lehigh started to break away from Delaware, as they out shot the Fightin’ Blue Hens, six to one and seemed to control the ball for most of the half. Koski’s plan of using fresh legs seemed to pay off, as Lehigh used 12 substitutions throughout the game, and they were able to run with Delaware all game.
“That was our plan coming into this game,” said Koski. “After last game we really wanted to pace our guys and keep everyone on the field fresh.”
Junior goalkeeper Brian Lee played a great game in net, stopping one shot, to earn his first victory as a member of the Mountain Hawks.
The Brown and White return to action on Friday September 14, when they host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights, in what should be a great battle between two NCAA tournament qualifiers from 2006. The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex and will be televised live on Lehighsports.com with streaming content provided by Yahoo! Sports.