BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh played neck-and-neck against perennial Patriot League power American, playing scoreless field hockey through the first 24 minutes, but the Eagles responded with a vengeance to down the Mountain Hawks 9-2 on Saturday. Lehigh allowed only two shots in those first 24 minutes before the Eagles’ offense came alive. Junior Emily Torcivia and freshman Erin Ricker scored second-half goals as the Mountain Hawks hung tough until the final horn.
“We came out strong in the first half,” said Lehigh assistant coach Susan Ciufo. “We worked on some new systems this week, which we implemented really well in the first 20 minutes. Once they scored on us, it got in our heads a little bit and we starting playing a little flustered. I don’t think the score really reflects how we played the entire game; our field presence was good.”
Lehigh sophomore goalie Sydney Maltinsky-Wilson made a pair of saves over the first 20 minutes, but that was it as the Mountain Hawks’ defense held a strong American offense at bay. The Eagles did convert at 24:31 off a penalty corner. Jaclyn Anspach had a pair of shots, which were stopped by Maltinsky-Wilson, but Anspach finished the third.
The Mountain Hawks came right back, though, as freshman Caitlin Bryan was sprung in all alone. American goalie Ashley Dalisera came out strong before a shot got off, but sophomore Lindsay Metzger was there and backhanded a shot towards cage. However, American’s Gina Hoffman was there for the defensive save.
Within minutes, Cannon Hirschler made it 2-0 less off a similar sequence which saw Maltinsky-Wilson make two stops before the third attempt found the back of the cage. Alex McMackin made it 3-0 at 31:20, which stood as the halftime score.
The Eagles added two early second-half goals, but Lehigh came back off a penalty corner as Eng unleashed a shot which Torcivia tipped past Dalisera to make it 5-1 at 40:31.
American responded to take a 9-1 lead following Anspach’s third goal, but the Mountain Hawks continued to play hard, scoring off their seventh corner of the game. Ricker took a feed from Eng and fired a hard shot into the back of the cage at 68:33.
American held a 27-10 edge in shots and 12-7 advantage in penalty corners. Stephanie Burry came in late to make three saves for the Eagles while Maltinsky-Wilson made 13 in 62:21 and freshman Sophie Fitzpatrick had three in 7:39.
“We had some unfortunate goals go in,” said Ciufo. “American is a great team. They had some really nice shots, but we didn’t let up and still had some late second-half goals. I think that says a lot about the team moving forward into next week.”
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.
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 sign up today.