BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Lehigh men’s soccer team will look to take advantage of its home field as it faces-off against the La Salle Explorers in a mid-week match-up at the Ulrich Sports Complex on Wednesday night. Lehigh will be in search of its first win of 2012, following a hard-fought 1-0 loss at Drexel on Friday night. The Mountain Hawks are 9-14-3 all-time against La Salle after playing to draws in 2010 and 2011.
Under head coach Dean Koski, the Mountain Hawks are 1-0-2 against the Explorers, with the win coming in 1995 when Lehigh took the match by a final score of 3-1. La Salle comes into tomorrow night’s game 3-1-1 following a 1-1 draw with Lafayette on Sunday. The Explorers started the season by winning their first three games but have scuffled lately, falling to Bucknell on Friday, 2-1, before Sunday’s draw. Lehigh will be La Salle’s third straight Patriot League opponent after hosting both Bucknell and Lafayette this past weekend.
In their last game, the Mountain Hawks fell to Drexel, 1-0, despite an outstanding defensive performance. Lehigh was given a golden opportunity to break the scoreless tie in the 55th minute when the Drexel defense misplayed a ball in its own box and freshman midfielder Shane Mulcahy was able to gain possession, but the Dragon keeper dove behind himself and stole the ball back before a shot could be taken. After that, the Mountain Hawks were held to one shot that occurred in the 82nd minute but was blocked from about five yards out.
The Dragons were able to get off 15 shots but of the eight that were on-goal, junior goalkeeper Ciaran Nugent was able to stop seven of them and wasn’t beaten until the 63rd minute. Nugent now ranks third in the Patriot League with 19 saves this year.
On the season, sophomore forward Brian Suchoski has scored both of the Mountain Hawks’ goals, giving him a team-leading four points. Freshman Dilan Casanovas Mack and junior Ben Wysocki each have recorded an assist, while sophomore back Ali Famili is tied with Suchoski with a team-best seven shots. Nugent has played all 373 minutes in goal for Lehigh, producing .731 save percentage and averaging 4.75 saves per game.
La Salle is led by junior midfielder Jason Plumhoff who has scored three times this season, while also registering an assist for a team-leading seven points. He is followed closely by freshman Joe Farrell, who’s two goals and two assists give him a second-best six points. Junior John McCarthy has played all five games in goal for the Explorers, collecting 28 saves and a .848 save percentage, including two shut outs.
After tomorrow’s match, Lehigh will break for three days before hosting Brown on Sunday at the Ulrich Sports Complex with a game time slated for 1 p.m.