Posted: October 6, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Kyle Evans scored three goals to lift the Mountain Hawks over Navy 3-0, Saturday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. All three of Evans’ goals came in the second half and he now has a league leading nine goals on the season. The Brown and White improves its record to 5-2-2 (1-1-0) while Navy falls to 5-3-1 (0-2-0).
“It’s really important for us to get that first conference win,” said head coach Dean Koski. “I was really happy with the way we played; I thought we played very well.”
The Mountain Hawks and Midshipmen played to a scoreless first half, with Lehigh out shooting Navy 4-1. Jim Taranto provided the first scoring opportunity of the game in the sixth minute, when he headed a crossing pass towards the net, but it was smothered by Navy goalkeeper Evan Barnes to keep the game scoreless.
The two teams battled defensively for the rest of the half, with neither team giving up any great scoring chances until the final minutes of the half. In the 34th minute, Navy midfielder Travis King almost got his team on the board when his diving header just missed the net.
Five minutes later Navy had another great chance when Lehigh goalkeeper Brian Lee came out of the net to knock down a ball. Lee ended up knocking the ball right in front of a Navy attacker; however, Mike Hessemer was able to kick the ball out of the box and prevent the easy scoring opportunity.
In the final minute of play, Vinny Devine had an open shot in front of the net but he put it just high, as the teams entered the half tied.
Evans would put the Brown and White on the board in the 50th minute when he knocked home the rebound of James Graf’s shot. Graf did a great job to set up the goal, by controlling the ball low in the box and putting a great shot on net that Barnes had to dive to stop.
Taranto had a couple of scoring opportunities in the 70th minute, when his first shot on goal deflected off the back of a Navy defender and just a couple of seconds later Barnes had to make a great diving stop to prevent a second Lehigh goal.
Evans would find the back of the net for the second time in the 66th minute. Taranto made a great pass falling backwards to find a wide open Evans in the box. With nothing but the back of the net in front of him, Evans easily knocked in his eighth goal of the season. It is the fifth time this season the duo has connected on a goal.
“They’re a handful when they’re left alone out there,” said Koski.
Evans and Taranto tried reversing their roles in the 83rd minute when Evans fed Taranto with a great pass that Taranto put on net and caught Barnes guessing the wrong way; however, Barnes reached back and was able to prevent the shot from finding the goal.
Evans added the hat trick in the 84th minute on a penalty kick. Evans was awarded the penalty kick after Barnes charged out of the net and ran over Jesse Schram in the box.
Brian Lee faced four shots in net to pick up his fourth shutout in nine games this season. The Mountain Hawks out shot Navy 15-4 in the game, including 11-3 in the second half.
“We were able to settle in and find the spaces we needed to find and we were able to take advantage of that,” said Koski of his team’s play in the second half. “Navy also had to make some changes defensively and that created some holes in their defense that we were able to take advantage of.”
The Mountain Hawks return to action on Tuesday when they travel to national powerhouse Maryland. The Terrapins were ranked as high as No. 6 in the country this season. The game is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. from College Park, Md. The game will also be broadcast live on Lehighsports.com with streaming audio provided by Yahoo! Sports.