BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team will look to rebound from a midweek loss when it hosts Holy Cross in a big Patriot League showdown, Saturday at 1 p.m. The Mountain Hawks are seeking their fourth consecutive victory against their Patriot League rivals. Saturday’s game is huge for both teams; they enter with identical 2-2 league records, in a four-way tie for third place with just two games remaining.
Saturday’s winner will have a leg up for a potential Patriot League Tournament berth. The Mountain Hawks are eying their sixth straight league tournament, having made it every year since 2007.
Lehigh scored a season-low three goals in its most recent outing against #13 nationally-ranked Penn State. The Mountain Hawks went down 10-2 at the half and struggled to rebound. Juniors Julie McBrien, Megan Kelly, and Alissa Hardiman scored the team’s goals while classmate Anna Patterson added an assist. McBrien and Kelly have each scored three goals over the last two games.
Lehigh will be playing its first league contest since a late March defeat at American. The Mountain Hawks have played well during league play, averaging more than 13 goals per game against league opponents. In four games, Sukonik has scored 17 goals and registered 19 points, with both tied for the league lead. The Pennsylvania native has scored 36 goals on 80 shots this season while registering 42 points in the process.
In addition, Lehigh has posted more points during league play at 18.5 per game compared to 15.36 overall. Leigh Ann Torcivia’s 42 points leads the team with 17 of those points coming during league play. Sukonik, McBrien (34) and senior Lauren Murray (22) are the other Mountain Hawks with over 20 points this season.
After losing four of its first five to open the season, Holy Cross has won five of its last eight to get back on track. Holy Cross dominated in its most recent outing, posting a 20-5 victory over Bucknell. The Crusaders average 11.38 goals and have scored at least 12 goals seven times.
The Crusaders are led by freshman Laura Ryan, one of the top rookies in the Patriot League. Ryan is tied for the team lead in points (36), is second in goals (31) and first in draw controls (51). Ryan’s 3.92 draw controls per game is third in the league. The Crusaders also depend on sophomore Sara Hennessey, who leads the team in goals (32) and is second in points (33). Hennessey was named the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for her seven-goal performance against Bucknell. Hennessey’s 2.46 goals per game rank ninth in the league; she scored two of Holy Cross’ four goals in last year’s meeting with Lehigh.
Sarah Weber has been solid in goal this season. Recording 87 of the team’s 90 saves, Weber owns a .370 save percentage and 11.94 GAA.
Lehigh is 14-7 all-time against Holy Cross, which includes three straight wins. The Crusaders won four straight from 2004-07, but the Mountain Hawks have come back with a vengeance, winning four of the last five. Lehigh dominated last season in a 15-4 win at Holy Cross to clinch a Patriot League Tournament berth. The sides first met in 1992 to begin league play, with Lehigh winning the first seven meetings.
The Mountain Hawks will wrap up the regular season next Saturday (Apr. 21) for Senior Day vs. Navy. Opening draw is set for 1 p.m.