Posted: 09/27/2012 | Last updated: September 28, 2012 at 11:10 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Winners of three of its last five games, the Lehigh field hockey team will open Patriot League play Saturday when it hosts Holy Cross at 11 a.m. The Mountain Hawks look to ride the momentum from their 2-1 win over Monmouth to win their league opener for the first time since 2009. Lehigh will then head to Rider Sunday for a nonleague matchup with the Broncs.
Freshman goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick and senior forward Kim Eng turned in a pair of impressive performances to lead Lehigh to the win over Monmouth Sunday. Fitzpatrick made six saves to stymie the Monmouth attackers while Eng scored both Lehigh goals; the Mountain Hawks went on to beat the Hawks for the first time since 2005.
For her efforts, Fitzpatrick was named the Patriot League Rookie of the Week for the first time in her career while Eng earned Honorable Mention recognition on the Patriot League Weekly Honor Roll.
Junior defender Marie Mignogna also made a huge play late in the game to preserve a Mountain Hawks’ victory. With less than 15 minutes remaining, Monmouth was awarded a penalty corner and got off a shot that looked ticketed for the back of the cage, but Mignogna made the stop on the goal line and cleared it out of danger to preserve the 2-1 Lehigh lead.
Fitzpatrick improved her season goals against average to 3.50 and save percentage to .613 in the victory. She became Lehigh’s first Rookie of the Week since Steph Fratoni last October. Meanwhile, Eng’s two tallies brought her team and league-leading goal total to seven and her point total to 17.
Holy Cross enters the game with a 1-8 record after suffering five straight losses. Offensively, they are led by junior Carly Grimaudo, who’s posted four goals and an assist for nine points. Sophomore goalkeeper Kat Matchett has started all nine games for the Crusaders and holds a 3.65 GAA.
The Crusaders lead the all-time series, 15-8, but Lehigh has won the past three matchups. The most recent encounter was a 3-1 Mountain Hawk victory a season ago while the first-ever meeting was in 1990, a 3-0 Holy Cross win.
Following the Holy Cross game, Lehigh will travel to Rider Sunday to face off against the Broncs at 12 p.m.
Rider enters Sunday with a 6-3 record coming off a superb 2011 season which saw it go 19-2. The Broncs won the NEC Championship before dropping a 1-0 double overtime to Princeton in an NCAA Play-In Game. Rider is riding two straight defeats, falling to Lock Haven (5-2) and Lafayette (3-1). Sandra Penas leads the team with six goals and 14 points while Gabby Burgo has five goals and 10 points. A pair of goalkeepers has split time in the cage, led by Alicia Carthan, who owns a 1.53 GAA and .653 save percentage.
Lehigh is 17-14-1 all-time against Rider, but the Broncs have won three straight. The teams first met in 1981 while the Mountain Hawks’ last win came on Oct. 10, 2007, a 4-2 home victory. Lehigh’s last win at Rider came in the 2000 season opener.
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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 Cameron Omsberg '13.