Posted: 10/20/2011 | Last updated: October 20, 2011 at 09:53 AM
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Coming off a tie against Army, the Lehigh women’s soccer team looks to get back into the win column when it heads to Bucknell (Friday) and Colgate (Sunday) for a pair of crucial Patriot League contests. Kickoffs are set for 7 p.m. and 1 p.m., respectively. The Mountain Hawks stand 2-1-1 in league play, with three road tilts remaining as they could clinch a postseason berth as early as Friday, depending on out-of-town scores.
The Mountain Hawks controlled play against Army, especially after halftime, as they held a 19-10 total shot advantage, 16-4 in the second half and overtime. Lehigh gained momentum after senior Hannah Cochran made a stellar defensive play, clearing the ball off the goal line in the 47th minute. The squad went on to fire 16 of the game’s final 18 shots, pressuring the Black Knights, but unable to find the back of the net.
The result marked the third straight time Lehigh and Army played to a scoreless draw in Bethlehem. The sides have played to a different result in the last three meetings overall; the Black Knights won last season’s regular season meeting (in overtime) while the Mountain Hawks captured the postseason contest to win the Patriot League Championship, before Saturday’s tie.
Freshman Ashley Blanks continues to impress between the pipes, earning her fifth shutout of the season Saturday and fourth in her last five games. Overall, Lehigh has only allowed one goal in its last five games, with Blanks stopping 22 of 23 shots in that span for an impressive 95.7 save percentage. Her shutout streak snapped at 357:29 against Princeton, but she has since put together a streak of 148:33 (and counting), beginning with the end of the Princeton game, running through Army and into this weekend’s contests.
Bucknell has suffered through a tough season thus far, entering with a 3-9-1 record, 1-3-0 in the Patriot League. The Bison need to win Friday to keep their Patriot League Tournament hopes alive. The squad’s lone league victory came at Holy Cross while it’s also beaten Cornell and UMBC. Leading the offense is Taryn Boucher with five points (two goals, one assist) while three others have three points apiece. Sandita McDermott has seen the majority of time in goal, posting a 2-7-1 record, 1.28 GAA and .811 save percentage, with three shutouts.
The Bison hold a slim 11-9-2 lead in the all-time series, but Lehigh has come back to win two in a row and four of the last six. The Mountain Hawks are 6-2-1 overall in their last nine against Bucknell. Lehigh won a pair of contests last season, winning 2-1 in the regular season and 1-0 in the Patriot League Semifinals.
Colgate enters the weekend with a 9-4-2 record, 2-0-2 in Patriot League play, defeating Bucknell (3-0) and Holy Cross (2-1) while tying Army (1-1) and Navy (1-1). Jillian Kinter leads the offense with 19 points (seven goals, five assists) while Jenna Raepple isn’t far behind with 15 (six goals, three assists). Two others have eclipsed double-digit points. Ashley Walsh has started all 15 games in goal, posting a 1.24 GAA and .765 save percentage.
The Raiders lead the all-time series, 14-6-1, but Lehigh has won the last two, winning in 2009 (4-1) and last season (3-1). The Mountain Hawks dropped the first 10 all-time meetings before coming back by posting a strong 6-4-1 mark.
Following this weekend, Lehigh returns to Bethlehem for its home finale when it hosts defending Ivy League Champion Penn on Wednesday night. The Mountain Hawks then wrap up their regular season at Holy Cross on Saturday, Oct. 29.