Posted: 03/09/2012 | Last updated: March 10, 2012 at 12:07 PM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a strong effort at #2 North Carolina, the Lehigh women’s lacrosse team heads to Colgate Saturday for its Patriot League opener. Opening draw against the Raiders is set for 1 p.m. The Mountain Hawks look to win their league opener for the second time in the last three seasons. Lehigh looks to build off its effort Tuesday, when it trailed by only two at the half.
Following a tough loss to Temple, Lehigh has bounced back with a vengeance, defeating Robert Morris last Saturday before its valiant effort against the Tar Heels. In that game, the Mountain Hawks dominated draw controls (19-7), which included six from both junior and reigning Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week Julie McBrien and freshman Kelsey Yenco, who also scored a career-high two goals.
The effort was against the second-ranked Tar Heels, who toppled #7 Penn, 15-6, one game earlier, a game in which UNC dominated nearly every statistic. In fact, Lehigh’s eight-goal defeat was the Tar Heels’ fewest since their season-opening 11-9 win against #4 Florida. Since, North Carolina has defeated Liberty by 16, Richmond by 11, and Albany, Vanderbilt and Penn, all by nine.
A balanced offensive attack is led by co-captains McBrien and senior Leigh Ann Torcivia. Each has double-figure points: Torcivia 13 (eight goals, five assists) and McBrien 10 (five goals, five assists). A number of freshmen have impressed, including defending PL Rookie of the Week Carli Sukonik (four goals, two assists), Scarlett Nawrocki (five assists) and Yenco (three goals, one assist, 10 draw controls, four groundballs), to name a few.
Colgate has struggled through the beginning stages, going 0-5 thus far in dropping a number of close games against Stony Brook (13-10), Hofstra (9-8), Vermont (18-12), Drexel (12-6) and Cornell (15-10). Courtney Miller leads the way with 19 points (14 goals, five assists) while Amanda O’Sullivan has 10 (eight goals, two assists). Twelve others have also recorded a point. Jenna Frost leads the team in groundballs (22) while Miller and Monica White are tied for the team lead in draw controls (13). A pair of goalkeepers has started games, led by Christina Roa, who owns a 13.95 GAA and 39.5 save percentage. As a team, Colgate has struggled in goal, posting a combined GAA of 13.40 and save percentage of 40.7
The Raiders hold a 19-11 advantage in the all-time series which dates back to 1981. Colgate won a high-scoring tilt last season, 19-16, which snapped a two-game Lehigh winning streak. Prior to that, the Mountain Hawks had won in 2009 (15-11) and 2010 (15-12). Colgate won three of the first four and four of the first six all-time meetings, but the Raiders won 10 in a row from 1998 through 2006.
Lehigh returns to action on Wednesday when it hosts Binghamton at 3:30 p.m.