Lehigh opens 100th season against Hofstra on Saturday
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team seeks to continue its home success as it opens the 100th season of men’s soccer when Hofstra travels to the Ulrich Sports Complex for the season opener on Saturday at 3 p.m. This will be the sixth meeting between the schools, the first since 1989, with Lehigh holding a 3-1-1 all-time advantage over the Pride.
The Mountain Hawks will look to rebound after falling to Colgate in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament last November. The scoreless tie was broken on penalty kicks in which the Raiders prevailed, 5-4.
Lehigh returns junior goalkeeper Ciaran Nugent. The 2011 All-Patriot League selection and Goalkeeper of the Year will seek to protect the Mountain Hawks’ eight-game home unbeaten streak. Lehigh finished last season 5-0-3 at home and have not lost a home match since November 6, 2010 which came at the hands of the Bucknell Bison, 1-2. Nugent led the Patriot League in 2011 with 11 shutouts and anchored a defense that allowed a league-minimum 0.44 goals per game, which was good for third-lowest in the nation.
Senior midfielder and team captain Cameron Omsberg will be looked upon for leadership as Lehigh is carrying 10 freshmen on a 22-man roster. Omsberg started 17 games in 2011 and finished with three points (one goal and one assist).
The Mountain Hawks hope to continue their success in home openers as Lehigh has not dropped a home opener since September 1, 2007 (3-0-1).
Saturday’s match will be Hofstra’s season opener as well. The Pride finished 2011 in 10th place in the Colonial Athletic Association but ended their season with a 3-0 victory over nationally-ranked James Madison University. 2012 Preseason All-CAA selection Shaun Foster returns for Hofstra and the 2010 and 2011 CAA Defensive Player of the Year will anchor an experienced squad that is carrying five seniors and eight juniors. Foster led Hofstra’s scoring attack in 2011 with a team-leading five goals.
Live broadcast of Saturday’s game will be available on Lehighsports.com along with Live Stats. Also, check the page for live in-game updates.