Posted: 09/23/2012 | Last updated: September 23, 2012 at 06:51 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh field hockey team impressed from the opening whistle and carried the momentum as the Mountain Hawks defeated Monmouth, 2-1 on Sunday afternoon. Senior Kim Eng scored both Lehigh goals while freshman goalkeeper Sophie Fitzpatrick played her strongest, making six saves, three in each half. Junior Marie Mignogna also made a big defensive save late in the second half to preserve the victory.
“Monmouth’s a great team and they always play competitively,” said Lehigh head coach Stacey Blue. “It’s a great win for us. We focused on what to bring into this game and as a team, we definitely did that. It’s exciting.”
Despite being outshot, 20-13, Lehigh did hold an 11-7 edge in shots on goal, taking advantage of its opportunities. Eng gave the Mountain Hawks the early 1-0 lead just 7:03 into the game when she took a feed from freshman Abigail Bakke and made a move to cage before beating Monmouth Teresa Mathews low.
“Kim was amazing today,” said Blue. “She took care of the ball and got it done. She knew how to finish. She was looking for her teammates and her teammates were looking for her.”
The Hawks tied the score just over eight minutes later as Amanda Schoenfeld made a nifty centering pass to Trish O’Dwyer, who backhanded a shot into the cage at 15:32.
Lehigh had an answer. Less than 13 minutes later, Eng and freshman Erin Ricker had a two-on-one up field. Ricker fed Eng, who made a move towards goal and blasted a shot past Mathews to make it 2-1 at 23:38, which stood as the halftime score.
The Mountain Hawks’ defense tightened up early in the second, not allowing a single shot for the first 16:11 while the offense continued to generate chances. Monmouth did respond with a final surge, blasting seven shots over the final 18:49, but Lehigh had an answer each time. Fitzpatrick made three saves while Mignogna made a big stop at 56:20 off a penalty corner, stopping an Alex Carroll blast on the goal line, which would have tied the score.
Lehigh held strong the rest of the way for the 2-1 victory, its third win in as many Sundays, while defeating Monmouth for the first time since 2005.
Monmouth held a 20-13 edge in shots and 10-3 in penalty corners. Fitzpatrick made six saves across Mathews, who posted nine.
“I definitely think that [momentum heading into league play] is important,” said Blue. “We take one game at a time, so we’ll think about this today and get back to work on Monday.”
Like Lehigh field hockey on Facebook and follow on Twitter for continued updates on the Mountain Hawks throughout the 2012 season.
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 1sign up today.