Mountain Hawks host Army Saturday in PL Championship Game rematch
BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Looking to extend its Patriot League winning streak to three, the Lehigh women’s soccer team hosts Army Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex. It will mark the first meeting between the Mountain Hawks and Black Knights since last year’s Patriot League Title Game, a 1-0 Lehigh victory at West Point.
Army enters the weekend with a 2-0-1 league mark, one point ahead of Lehigh who stands at 2-0-1. Currently in fourth place in the league standings, a Mountain Hawks’ win would propel them into at least third place by the end of the weekend.
It will be Senior Night, marking Lehigh’s final home league game of the season. Seniors Jana Basubas, Megan Cain, Hannah Cochran, Leah Kulp, Ali MacLeod and Genna Pepe will all be honored for their hard work and dedication to the program in a special ceremony approximately 10 minutes prior to the game. To read a complete senior tribute, including a special Q&A with all six student-athletes, please click here.
The Mountain Hawks are coming off a 1-0 nonleague loss to Princeton in rainy conditions Wednesday. Four of Lehigh’s six shots were on goal, but Tigers’ goalkeeper Kristin Watson stopped them all for the shutout. Freshman Ashley Blanks made three saves for the Mountain Hawks, extending her shutout streak to 357:29 before Princeton scored at the 51:27 mark for the game’s only score.
Blanks is not only the reigning Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week, but also the ECAC Defensive Player of the Week, as announced on Tuesday. She becomes Lehigh’s second player to be honored by the ECAC this season, along with sophomore Murphee Greeley, who won offensive honors last month.
The Black Knights have left off much how they finished 2011, coming in with a 9-2-3 overall record, 2-0-1 in Patriot League play. Army’s only two losses have come to Duke and Delaware while it’s tied Central Connecticut, Sacred Heart and Colgate. The defense continues to be stingy, allowing only six goals through 14 games, spearheaded by Monica Lee in goal with a 0.41 GAA and .912 save percentage. Overall, the six goals have been scored over four games, with the Black Knights owning 10 shutouts. Kim An leads the offense with 15 points (seven goals, one assist) while Erinn Helbling has seven (three goals, one assist). Three others have recorded five points.
Army holds a 14-5-3 edge all-time over Lehigh, due in large part to a 10-game winning streak from 1991 through ’99. The Mountain Hawks have bounced back as of late and gone 5-4-3 since, including 2-1-3 over the past six meetings. The sides have played two scoreless draws each of the past two games in Bethlehem.
Lehigh hits the road next weekend for a pair of big Patriot League contests - at Bucknell on Friday and Colgate Sunday. The Mountain Hawks return home on Wednesday, Sept. 26 for their home finale against Ivy League Power Penn.