BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a 17-10 win over Binghamton on Wednesday, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team will look to stay in the win column when it visits Bucknell for a Patriot League showdown Saturday. Opening draw is set for noon at Graham Field in Lewisburg.
Lehigh (3-4, 0-1 PL) ended a two-game losing streak by upending the Bearcats behind an eight-goal performance by freshman standout Carli Sukonik. The Penn Valley, Pa. native doubled her career goal total, and now leads the team in scoring with 18 points (16 goals, two assists). It was also the most goals by a Mountain Hawk since Lauren Dykstra had eight in 2009.
Seniors Lauren Murray and Kelly Draper contributed five points each in the victory - three goals and two assists for Murray, two goals and three assists for Draper. Four other Mountain Hawks contributed points on a breakout afternoon for an offense that had been struggling.
Lehigh won 23-of-29 draw controls against Binghamton, and has now won 67.8 percent of the draws this season. Sukonik leads the team with 22 controls, followed by fellow freshman Kelsey Yenco (17), and co-captains - senior Leigh Ann Torcivia (16) and junior Julie McBrien (13).
Torcivia leads the team in groundballs with 17, is second in scoring with 15 points (nine goals, six assists) and is tied for second in caused turnovers with six. McBrien is fourth in scoring with 13 points (eight, five), and has added 11 ground balls and a team-high 10 caused turnovers to solidify the midfield. Yenco continues to impress as a well-rounded rookie, adding 13 ground balls, good for second on the team, six ground balls (tied with Torcivia) and eight points (four, four) with her 17 draw controls.
The Mountain Hawk defense is coming around following the loss of starting goalkeeper Alex Fitzpatrick, as junior Mary Leah DiNisco recorded seven saves in the win against Binghamton. DiNisco and the defense held the Bearcats scoreless for a span of 14:49 to pull away 15-6, and allowed just one goal in the final 12 minutes of action to secure the victory.
Bucknell (2-6, 0-1 PL) is coming off of a convincing 21-8 win over Saint Francis (Pa.), and are 2-1 since opening the season on a five-game losing streak. In the Bison’s only Patriot League action so far, they fell to Navy 21-11 in Annapolis. Emily Kookogey and Madison Hurwitz lead the way with 21 points each; Kookogey recording 17 goals and four assists, while Hurwitz adds 14 goals and seven assists in eight games thus far.
In all, 10 Bison have reached double-digit points on the season, with five of those six having at least ten goals. Lehigh, in comparison, has five players with at least 10 points, though Sukonik is the only double-digit goal scorer.
Katherine Fraile and Caroline O’Neill have split time in goal for the Bucknell, with each playing over 215 minutes over the first eight games. O’Neill recorded eight saves and allowed only five goals in 51:15 against Saint Francis, while Fraile played the majority of the game and earned the loss against Navy.
The Mountain Hawks lead the all-time series 24-12, including wins in three of the last four contests. Lehigh dominated the Bison last season, taking a 19-2 victory in Bethlehem.
After Bucknell, Lehigh will travel to Connecticut to take on Fairfield next Wednesday before returning home to clash with archrival Lafayette on Saturday, March 21 at the Ulrich Sports Complex.