BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a pair of tough defeats last weekend, the Lehigh field hockey team will look to even its Patriot League record when it hosts perennial power American on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Mountain Hawks look to bounce back after a heartbreaking 5-4 overtime defeat to Holy Cross before dropping a nonleague contest at Rider. American also comes in at 0-1 in league play after falling to Lafayette at home, 4-1.
Winners of eight of the last nine Patriot League Championships, the Eagles have struggled so far this season as they enter with a 4-7 record. Most recently, they came back to beat Monmouth on Sunday, 2-1, the identical score Lehigh beat the Hawks exactly one week prior.
The Mountain Hawks enter Saturday’s matchup with a 3-9 record, looking to end a two-game losing streak and pick up their third home victory of the season.
Lehigh is led offensively by senior Kim Eng and sophomore Lindsay Metzger. Eng is first on the team (and tied for second in the Patriot League) with 18 points, including seven goals and four assists. Metzger is second on the team (and fifth in the league) with 15 points and tied for first on the team (and league) with seven goals. She’s also tallied a game-winning goal to go along with two for Eng.
Freshman Sophie Fitzpatrick and sophomore Sydney Maltinsky-Wilson continue to share time in the cage. Maltinsky-Wilson made five saves in the final 54 minutes vs. Holy Cross Saturday before making 14 in the first 53:38 at Rider Sunday.
The Mountain Hawks will be looking for their first-ever win against the Eagles. Lehigh’s all-time record against American is 0-14, with the first matchup coming in 2001. Lehigh came close on numerous occasions with three one-goal losses, including an overtime defeat in 2006.
American dropped its first league game on Saturday vs. #14 Lafayette, 4-1. It was the Leopards who ended the Eagles’ run of eight straight Patriot League Championships last season. The Eagles are led offensively by senior midfielder Shelly Montgomery and senior defender Gina Hoffman. Shelly leads the team with 12 points, including five goals, while Hoffman is second on the team in points (8) and leads the team in assists (4).
The Eagles are coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Monmouth to capture their first home win of the season. Monmouth capitalized on a goal in the 25th minute off a breakaway give-and-go. The Eagles would later respond in the 52nd minute off a penalty corner; Hoffman had the goal as Julie Fosseprez and Kati Rothenhoefer registered the assists. American took the lead in the 60th minute, when Montgomery trapped it in the center of the circle and was able to turn and send it into the back of the cage for the 2-1 advantage, which stood as the final.
The 2-1 win over Monmouth came exactly one week after Lehigh defeated the Hawks by the same final.
Following Saturday’s game, the Mountain Hawks will travel to Colgate on Saturday, Oct. 13 for a crucial league tilt vs. the Raiders. They then head to #22 Albany on Sunday to face the Great Danes.
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Lehigh field hockey team is organizing the First Annual Lehigh Valley Fox Trot 5K for Parkinson’s Research. The event will take place on Sunday, Oct. 28 at 11 a.m. Please click here to make a donation and sign up today.
Story by C.J. McCollum ‘13