BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team jumped out to a 6-0 halftime lead before holding off a Marist charge to win its season-opener, 8-5 on Saturday afternoon. The Red Foxes pulled as close as 6-5 with less than 10 minutes remaining, but the Mountain Hawks added two late insurance goals to erase any doubt. Senior Leigh Ann Torcivia shattered her career-high with five points via two goals and three assists in the victory.
“We’re thrilled to get a win, first of all,” said Lehigh head coach Jill Redfern. “It’s exciting for that. We played exactly according to our game plan in the first half, then in the second, we had a bunch of unforced errors which they capitalized on.”
Sophomore Julie Tatios tied a career-high two goals while seniors Lauren Murray and Kelly Draper scored a goal, as did freshmen Carli Sukonik and Kelsey Yenco. Sophomore Alexandra Fitzpatrick was stellar with 11 saves, including six stops without allowing a goal in the first.
“We were really patient on attack and that’s sort of new for us, to not go down and shoot right away,” said Redfern. “I thought our defense played well and Alex was a total difference maker back there.”
After over eight minutes of scoreless action, Tatios scored the first goal of the season at 21:45 off a free position shot. Torcivia added her first less than two minutes later before the Mountain Hawks used a surge of three goals in a 3:01 span to open a 5-0 advantage at the 9:49 mark. Tatios and Torcivia both scored their second of the game, while Sukonik added her first collegiate goal with one second on the clock to make it 6-0 at the half.
Marist slowly chipped away, pulling within 6-3 at 17:21, then as close as 6-5 following an Ariel Kramer goal with 7:24 remaining. But the Mountain Hawks responded with goals from Yenco and Draper in the final five minutes to wrap up the victory.
Final shots stood even at 18 while Marist held a 20-19 edge in groundballs. Lehigh finished with eight draw controls to five for the Red Foxes while their goalkeeper Ashley Casiano had six saves across Fitzpatrick’s 11.
“[Our team] grew up a lot, just getting through that game and coming out with a win - not letting it get away from them,” said Redfern.
The Mountain Hawks will return to action next Saturday (Feb. 25) at Delaware. Opening draw is set for 3 p.m.