BETHLEHEM, Pa. - The Lehigh women’s soccer team will play a competitive five-game spring slate which kicks off on Saturday, Mar. 24 at Rider. The Mountain Hawks will then head home for three games at the Ulrich Sports Complex before their Alumni Game on Apr. 21. Lehigh finished 6-9-2 in 2011, but did have its highlights, which included a tie against eventual Patriot League Champion Army and win over league finalist Navy.
“Part of the learning development is to be competitive [in the spring],” said Lehigh head coach Eric Lambinus. “One of our goals is to be competitive in these games and look to win them. We’ll do some things with our lineup and play some different formations. But our goal is to definitely go out and win each one of the games.
“In the spring of 2010, we didn’t lose a game; it carried over and we had a pretty good year,” he continued. “We want to make sure we are ultra-competitive in each one of these games.”
Lehigh heads to Rider on Saturday, Mar. 24 for a 3 p.m. kickoff game against the Broncs. The Mountain Hawks then host St. John’s on April 1 (1 p.m.), Temple on April 14 (11 a.m.) and Delaware on April 17 (8 p.m.).
“Having these highly-competitive games at home is great,” said Lambinus. “It allows us to play in a nice and comfortable atmosphere, but then go out there and play some really good teams as well.”
The Mountain Hawks are a young squad, having graduated 12 players over the past two seasons. The spring is an important time for a younger group to learn and gel together.
“We’ve lost a lot of really good players, but I think they’ve taught our younger girls a lot,” said Lambinus. “This spring has been really important to develop competitiveness, develop a work rate and develop chemistry within the group… basically set ourselves up for next fall. We’re working really hard to set the tone and have the right attitude about every day so when we go into the fall season, we are fully prepared and all we’re trying to do is integrate the freshmen at that point.”
Lehigh will wrap up the spring with its annual Alumni Game on Saturday, April 21 at 1 p.m.
“It’s always good to see all the girls who’ve graduated,” said Lambinus. “It’s good for all them to come back and see the progress the team has made and see how we’ve progressed through the entire spring. We’ve made some huge strides in a lot of different areas. I think they’re going to enjoy watching the team play.”
Overall, the Mountain Hawks have their eyes set towards next fall where they hope to get back to the Patriot League Tournament and compete for their second league title in the last three seasons.
“We’d be lying if we said we weren’t disappointed in not making the playoffs last year,” said Lambinus. “I think there’s an excitement about the team, about fulfilling our potential and getting back to the point where we can compete for a championship. They’re anxious to get back out there.
“Training has been tremendous,” he continued. “We’ve been working with Julie Sterrett (director of leadership) on a regular basis to get our chemistry and leadership to the right place. We’ve made some huge strides.”
The Mountain Hawks are anxious to hit the field and see game action since the last time they saw a different-colored jersey was in October when their regular season finale at Holy Cross was snowed out.
“We’ve put all this work in over the last five-to-six months, so we want to see where we are right now,” said Lambinus. “We’re really excited about our first game, then taking that, advancing and making it better over the next couple of weeks.”
Spring 2012 Schedule
Saturday, March 24, at Rider, 3 p.m.
Sunday, April 1, vs. St. John’s, 1 p.m.
Saturday, April 14, vs. Temple, 11 a.m.
Tuesday, April 17, vs. Delaware, 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 21, Alumni Game, 1 p.m.
*All Bold games are at the Ulrich Sports Complex