Posted: October 12, 2007
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Faced with a 2-0 halftime deficit, Lehigh made a valiant attempt at a second half comeback, but could get no closer than a goal, as the Mountain Hawks fell to American 2-1 Friday night at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Siobhan Gillan scored both goals for the Eagles, who improve to 8-5-0 on the season, and 2-0 in the Patriot League. Lehigh falls to 5-5-2, and the Mountain Hawks are 0-2 in the Patriot League for the first time since 1999.
The Eagles opened the scoring just over nine minutes in as Kelly McLaughlin floated a perfect cross that Gillan headed just over the out stretched fingertips of junior Julie Kafka for her first goal of the season. The combination struck again six minutes later, as McLaughlin’s cross found Gillan wide open at the far post, and Gillen headed the ball back into the right corner of the net to give American an early 2-0.
Lehigh only mustered three shots in the opening half, with Liz Carlos shooting over the crossbar from just inside the 18-yard box, in the Mountain Hawks best scoring chance of the half.
In the second half, Lehigh picked up its attacking, and cut into the deficit off of a free kick situation in the 59th minute. Carlos re-directed Michaela Pawlewicz’s free kick to senior Melissa Montalvo, who found herself wide open at the top of the six-yard box. Montalvo fired a shot just under the crossbar for her third goal of the season, which made it 2-1.
Lehigh continued pressing for an equalizer, even going as far as moving Pawlewicz from her customary central defense position up top into the attack. The Mountain Hawks out shot American 5-2 for the half, and 8-7 for the game, but were unable to pull even.
“In the first half we seemed to get content keeping the ball in possession,” said Lehigh head coach Manny Oudin. “We have to get more chances, and we did more of that in the second half, which resulted in a goal and several other scoring opportunities. We can’t wait 45 minutes to start looking for scoring chances.”
Kafka and freshman Lauren Mains each made two saves in 45 minutes of action, while Kelsey Wiggins earned the win in goal for American, making a pair of saves as well.
The Mountain Hawks will return to the pitch on Sunday when they host defending Patriot League Champions Navy. Game time is set for 1 p.m. and the game will be broadcast online at Lehighsports.com with streaming video powered by Yahoo! Sports.