Posted: 03/10/2012 | Last updated: March 12, 2012 at 09:00 AM
HAMILTON, N.Y. - Despite a strong start, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team fell at defending Patriot League Regular Season Champion Colgate, 13-9, on Saturday in the league opener for both squads. Freshman Carli Sukonik was stellar, posting a career-high four goals and nine draw controls, but the Raiders scored the game’s final two goals to erase any thoughts of a comeback.
“I thought we played hard throughout the game,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “We had some unforced errors that Colgate really capitalized on. We didn’t finish as many opportunities as we needed to We gained a lot of experience in a close, hard-fought game.”
Sukonik’s nine draw controls were the most by any Lehigh player in the last six years and within three of the top five in NCAA history for draw controls in a single game. She also added four goals, two in each half, including one to pull Lehigh within 9-8 before Colgate surged for four of the final five goals.
“Carli was dominant on the draw, which was key for us,” said Redfern. “We thought we dominated time of possession in the first half; the draw was crucial. As we got behind and started to press to close the gap, it became harder to generate quality opportunities. And when we did earn opportunities, they didn’t go in.”
Three others added multiple points, including seniors Lauren Murray (two goals) and Leigh Ann Torcivia (one goal, one assist), and freshman Scarlett Nawrocki (two assists).
The Mountain Hawks jumped out to an early 3-1 lead after goals from Torcivia, Sukonik and Murray. Murray’s goal came less than five minutes into the game. Colgate responded with three in a row before freshman Kelsey Yenco continued her hot play with a big goal to tie the score with 12:41 remaining in the first.
The Raiders came right back with three consecutive scores, but Lehigh scored two goals over the final 56 seconds - by Sukonik and Murray - to pull back within 7-6 at the half.
Colgate scored two straight in the second before Sukonik answered just 42 seconds after Courtney Miller made it 9-6. Sukonik then converted a free position shot at the 19:26 mark to pull the Mountain Hawks back within a goal at 9-8. However, Lehigh went nearly 16 minutes without a goal, which allowed Colgate to extend its lead to 11-8. Junior Julie McBrien ended the drought with 3:42 remaining to make it 11-9, but the Raiders scored the game’s final two goals, all in the final minute.
Lehigh held the final shot advantage, 25-22, while also dominating draw controls for a second-straight game, 18-6. Groundballs were 20-14 in favor of the Mountain Hawks. Freshman Allison Fayans made three saves in goal while Jennie Berglin was stellar in finishing with 13 stops for the Raiders.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Binghamton on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.