WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lehigh outshot American 7-3 in the second-half, but the Eagles scored the game’s only goal in the 50th minute to hand the Mountain Hawks a 1-0 loss on Friday afternoon. Lehigh earned a number of chances, but couldn’t beat goalie Charlene Belanger who finished with four saves. The Mountain Hawks will look to bounce back at Navy Sunday as they eye their first Patriot League victory.
“I thought the effort was great,” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “I’m disappointed that we didn’t get a result, and I’m frustrated, but I feel for the girls because they’re pouring everything they’ve got into it and we’re coming up empty. We’re frustrated, but not quitting and we’re continuing to work hard.”
Lehigh’s shots on goal came from juniors Paige Dyrek and Murphee Greeley along with freshman Emily Korber and senior Isablle Li. The Mountain Hawks were outshot 9-5 in the first half, but two of those were on goal, forcing Belanger to make a pair of stops.
Early in the second half, American converted on the game’s only goal as Jasmine Mohandesi made a cross to Shaena Alfonsi who found the corner of the net at the 49:17 mark.
Lehigh put on the pressure, posting five shots the rest of the way, including a number of strong chances. Perhaps its best chance came in the 62nd minute when freshman defender Paige Elliott got on the attack, but her shot from near the top of the box went wide.
The Mountain Hawks had a pair of chances in the 87th and 88th minutes, respectively. First, Korber had a shot on goal before a Dyrek chance went high about a minute later. Lehigh couldn’t generate any more chances as American held on for the 1-0 final.
“I think it was a pretty even game,” said Lambinus. “We had the ball in good position, especially in the second half. We created enough shots to get a result, but we need to create more and finish more. We created some good opportunities yet had some chances that could’ve been better.”
Junior goalie Ali Griffin finished with a pair of saves in her second straight start.
“Ali was solid. She did some good things for us and was organized,” said Lambinus. “Our defense was pretty strong. Paige Elliott had a good game, she defended well and got on the attack and created some chances. Our whole team effort was pretty solid, but we have to be a little better and results will start coming.”
Final shots were even at 12 while American had a 7-5 edge in corner kicks. Griffin finished with two saves to Belanger’s four.
The Mountain Hawks now travel to Navy on Sunday to face the Midshipmen at 1 p.m. They’ll return to action next week when they travel to Princeton on Wednesday for their final nonleague contest. They then head to on Sunday (Oct. 15) for a big Patriot League tilt against the Black Knights.
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