BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s soccer team will return home on Friday for the first time in nearly a month following a six-game road trip. The Mountain Hawks welcome Bucknell on Friday (7 p.m.) in their fifth Patriot League game of the season before hosting Colgate on Sunday (1 p.m.). It will mark Lehigh’s first game at the Ulrich Sports Complex since Sept. 23 vs. La Salle.
Lehigh is coming off a hard fought 2-1 loss at Army on Sunday while Bucknell fell to American last time out and holds a 2-2-0 league record.
In the Mountain Hawks’ loss to Army, sophomore Darby Wiegand scored their lone goal in the 30th minute off a rebound. Freshman goalkeeper Ani Nahapetian finished with eight saves, including seven in the second half. Army was strong out of the gates, launching the first shot of the game just under 40 seconds into the contest.
A back-and-forth first half also included the Black Knights knotting the score at one when Candace Stewart blasted a shot into the top right corner of the goal in the 33rd minute. Army continued to test the Mountain Hawk defense with an array of shots in the second half, connecting on a shot in the 77th minute which proved to be the difference.
The loss gave the Mountain Hawks their fourth straight on the road and their fourth league loss by one goal, as each game has been extremely competitive.
Bucknell will enter Friday with an overall record of 9-7-0, but only 1-4-0 on the road. The Bison are led by junior forward Chelsey Garowski and sophomore defender Courtney Nelson. Garowski leads the team in shots (35), goals (7) and points (17) while Nelson is tied for first in assists (5) and second in points (15), shots (33) and goals (5). Senior goalkeeper Sandita McDermott has started all 16 games for the Bison and holds a 1.35 goal against average with 83 saves and six shutouts.
Bucknell leads the all-time series, 12-9-2 and won the last meeting (1-0) on Oct. 21 of last year.
On Sunday, the Mountain Hawks will face Colgate who enters the weekend with an overall record of 8-4-3 and 3-0-1 in Patriot League play (tied for first in the standings). The Raiders are coming off a 1-1 tie at home against Navy.
Colgate is led by senior forward Jillian Kinter and freshman forward Catherine Williams. Kinter enters the weekend as the league leader in points (28), goals (10), assists (8) and shots (51). Her teammate Williams is second in the league in points and goals with 24 and nine, respectively. Their senior goalkeeper Ashley Walsh has started 15 games, owning a 1.64 goal against average with 84 saves on the season.
The Raiders lead the all-time series with Lehigh, 15-6-1, winning last year’s meeting, 2-1.
Following this weekend, Lehigh will close out its regular season next Saturday (Oct. 27) vs. Holy Cross.
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Story by C.J. McCollum ‘13