Lehigh field hockey bounces back after a tough season start

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With just eight games left before the Patriot League Tournament, the Lehigh University field hockey team has an overall record of 4-6.

The Mountain Hawks have competed against a number of challenging teams so far as the team is slightly past their mid-season point. Lehigh’s games against American University and the College of Holy Cross have been their only Patriot League games this season. American defeated the Mountain Hawks 4-0, while Lehigh defeated Holy Cross 3-1. Highlights of the season include two very strong wins against both Towson and Georgetown universities, defeating Towson 2-1 and Georgetown 4-2.

“Our goal is to be above .500 in the Patriot League,” senior Natalie Tacka said. “As far as this season, our team chemistry has definitely improved from earlier in the season.” Tacka had one goal in the game against Georgetown, which helped the Mountain Hawks defeat the Hoyas.

So far this season, the Mountain Hawks have had a total of 18 goals (by period), 139 shots, 90 saves and 39 fouls so far this season. Last year the Mountain Hawks had a total of 29 goals, 207 shots, 167 saves and 158 fouls. The team also finished with an overall record of 3-15 and a conference record of 0-6. With four wins, they have eclipsed last year’s win total already.

“Although we’ve had a rocky start this season, I think our team has the potential to do really well,” junior Kat Kneizys said. “We are starting to believe in one another and we are prospering from those beliefs.”

In terms of individual statistics, junior Lindsey Schott and sophomore Gabby Tofig lead the Mountain Hawks in goals this season. Tofig leads the team with seven goals and has a total of 14 points. Schott has scored four goals and has three assists, and trails just behind with 11 points.

“We had a rough start this season, but we have won three of our last four games, so we’re looking for this momentum to carry on for the rest of the season,” junior midfielder Erin Ricker said after the Holy Cross game. “We’ve come together as a team and are connecting a lot better on the field than we were in the beginning of the season.”

The next game will be against  Colgate University on Oct. 4 at Ulrich Sports Complex. Colgate will be Lehigh’s third Patriot League game of the season. They have current record of 3-6 and a conference record of 2-0. Like Lehigh, Colgate defeated Holy Cross 3-0.

“It’s always hard in the beginning to play to the teams’ full potential when we have to learn how to mesh on the field with a new line up,” junior Taylor Mygatt said. “That being said, our connection has gotten so much better leading to our huge Patriot League win against Holy Cross. We’ve been improving together every day, which has really impacted our entire team morale. The main points we need to focus on are executing in the circle and communication on the field.”

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