Posted: September 26, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa.- The Mountain Hawks and Fordham Rams played to a 2-2 tie Wednesday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The game was called after the first overtime due to lightning in the area. Lehigh’s record goes to 4-1-2 on the season, while the Rams are now 1-4-2.
“I believe it was a fair result for both teams,” said head coach Dean Koski. “Our game plan coming in was to limit our starters playing time to about a half. We were able to do that and I was very pleased with the play of our second teamers.”
In the first half, the Rams had an early scoring opportunity, when Fordham had a man open on a crossing pass coming into the box; however, Mike Hessemer made a heads up by knocking the ball out of play to end the threat. The Mountain Hawks had its first scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute when they were given a free kick at the top of the box. Jim Taranto tried to get catch the Rams off guard by taking a quick shot, however, the shot went just wide.
Lehigh found the back of the net in the 27th minute, when Patrick Starsinic sent a long cross into the box that was headed by Matt McNeil over Fordham goalkeeper Dan Hajducky for the goal. It was the first goal of the season for McNeil, while Starsinic picked up his second assist of the season.
The Brown and White controlled the ball for most of the first half, until the final minute when Einar Oddsson found the ball in the box and headed it past Brian Lee to tie the game at 1-1 with just 28 seconds left.
The Mountain Hawks tried to erase the late goal early in the second half when Jim Taranto pushed a header just wide in the 49th minute. Just seven minutes later the Rams struck again, this time it was Abe Chehebar picking up his first goal of the season. Fordham got the ball in the box on a corner kick and the Mountain Hawks were unable to clear the ball out when Chehebar was able to kick in the loose ball for the goal.
Lehigh was able to tie the game in the 77th minute on a Patrick Cucci goal. Cucci took a shot from inside the box and the ball deflected off a Fordham player past Hajducky for the goal.
The Rams made one last push at the end of regulation when they had an odd man rush with less than a minute to play, however, McNeil made a great play to break up the rush and put an end to the threat.
In the first overtime, both teams let their defense take charge, with neither wanting to give up the game winning goal. Lehigh had the only good scoring opportunity in the final minute of play, when Cucci found the ball with just the goalie in front of him; however, he was unable to pull the trigger in time.
Despite the tie Koski was very pleased with the effort of his players.
“The most positive outcome of this game was that both goals came from our second team players. I was really pleased with the effort of our bench. Our starters were able to get plenty of rest, so they can be fresh and ready to go on Saturday.”
Lehigh returns to action on Saturday at 7 p.m. when it travels to Easton to take on Lafayette.