BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Lehigh looks to close out its regular season on a high note when it takes on the Holly Cross Crusaders Saturday at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Senior Day. The Mountain Hawks will look to ride a two-game winning streak in a must-win tilt. A Lehigh victory, coupled with some help, could lead the squad into the Patriot League Tournament for the second time in the last three years.
Prior to kickoff, Lehigh’s four seniors will be recognized (Mary Grace Doyle, Ardyn Olszko, Jaime Townsend and Isabelle Li) before the final regular season game of their careers.
The Mountain Hawks entered last weekend winless in Patriot League play. However, a dramatic 2-1 overtime win over Bucknell (Friday) and 1-0 victory over Colgate (Sunday) put Lehigh back into the postseason picture. A win Saturday over the Crusaders could lead Lehigh into the fourth and final Patriot League Tournament spot. Along with a win, the Mountain Hawks also need Bucknell to lose at Navy and either Colgate to beat American or Lafayette to beat Army.
Lehigh handed Colgate its first Patriot League loss on Sunday and first loss (league or nonleague) in over a month. Sophomore Darby Dustman scored the game’s only goal the 46th minute of the game. The Mountain Hawks posted the game’s first two shots, but Colgate responded with seven in a row. Freshman Ani Nahapetian spearheaded a Lehigh defense which became only the second team to shut-out the Raiders this season (along with Washington). She recorded two saves in the first half before finishing the game with five to wrap up her first-career shutout. Colgate entered averaging three goals per league contest, boasting the league leader in points, goals and assists.
Two days prior, the Mountain Hawks gave up the first goal to Bucknell just 30 seconds in, but responded when Dustman scored in the 12th minute before Li eventually won it in overtime.
The strong weekend led to numerous accolades for the Mountain Hawks as Nahapetian was named Patriot League Goalie of the Week, Dustman earned Offensive Player of the Week and freshman Paige Elliott earned a spot on College Soccer 360’s Primetime Performers as one of only 18 players in the nation recognized.
Holy Cross enters Saturday 6-10-1 overall, including 2-4-0 in league play. The Crusaders are in a three-way tie for fifth in the Patriot League with Lehigh and Army; all three squads sit just three points below fourth place Bucknell. However, Holy Cross (along with Lafayette) has been eliminated from postseason contention due to tiebreakers.
The Crusaders are coming off back-to-back one-goal losses to American and Navy. They’re led offensively by Gina Righini, who leads the team with five goals and 12 points. Defensively, goalkeeper Carlie Mccabe has played in 13 games for the Crusaders, starting 12, and holds a 0.99 goals against average and a .852 save percentage.
Holy Cross holds a 12-7-1 all-time advantage over Lehigh. The two teams have not played since a 3-0 Lehigh win in 2010 after last year’s match was cancelled part of the way through due to snow.
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