Posted: 10/29/2011 | Last updated: October 29, 2011 at 11:11 PM
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With first place on the line, Lehigh and American battled it out Saturday afternoon in snowy conditions. Lehigh fell 1-0 to American as the Eagles found the game-winning goal in the 90th minute. Seniors Jordie Ciuffetelli and Daniel Odenwelder combined for six of the Mountain Hawks’ seven shots, but Lehigh was unable to find the back of the net in less than ideal conditions.
“The conditions were sloppy and wet,” said head coach Dean Koski. “It made for a sloppy game. They did a better job of playing balls in behind us. That’s the only way you can create chances in that kind of weather and because of that, we were defending more than we wanted to. We were unable to execute our game plan in order to be successful.”
In the first half, Lehigh managed two shots while holding American to just five. In the 20th minute, simultaneous red cards were given to sophomore James Meyerkord and American’s Conor Osborne as the remainder of the game was played 10-on-10.
In the second half, it was American which had a majority of the chances as it took 11 second-half shots to Lehigh’s five. The Mountain Hawks’ best opportunity came early in the second off a corner kick in the 55th minute. Odenwelder took a shot that looked to be going in, but Eagles’ defender Cristobal Soto was there on the line for the defensive save.
Looking like the match would head to overtime, American managed to keep the ball on Lehigh’s end as Alassane Kane found Jack Scott for the game-winning goal with just 48 seconds to go in regulation.
“They got the ball in our end and they just kept the ball in our box,” said Koski. “We did a poor job of clearing; it was a poor job of marking, execution and decision-making in a critical moment.”
American led the final shot count, 16-7 while Lehigh held a 5-2 edge in corner kicks. Sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Nugent made three saves across Eagles’ keeper Matt Makowski, who made two.
Lehigh will look to rebound when it travels to take on Ivy League opponent Princeton Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Mountain Hawks’ will then return home on Saturday at 7 p.m. for their final match of the regular season, hosting Army on Senior Night.