The Lehigh field hockey team snapped its 13-game losing streak with a 1-0 sudden death overtime victory Friday night against Lafayette College at Ulrich Sports Complex.
At the end of a 7-on-7 sudden death overtime period, junior forward Teresa Carotenuto scored a goal on a penalty corner as, ending the offensive drought on both sides and giving Lehigh the victory.
Carotenuto said that while she knew she had an opportunity to score at the start of the last corner, she could rely on any one of her teammates to step up.
“We had a lot of close calls back there,” Carotenuto said. “But I think we’ve been working hard on our discipline and I think that’s what helped us get to overtime.”
The Mountain Hawks, who have not defeated Lafayette since 2005, picked up their first Patriot League win, bringing their league record to 1-3 and overall mark to 3-9.
Lehigh coach Caitlyn Dallmeyer said that this victory over the Leopards was a key win if her team wants any hope of making it to the Patriot League tournament.
“This win really helps keep Patriot League tournament goals alive for us,” Dallmeyer said. “So we need to make sure that we are working really hard, staying disciplined, and staying consistent.”
The two teams went back and forth for the majority of regulation, playing most of the game in the midfield. Both senior midfielder Jackie Renda and freshman forward Drew Pecora had solid games in the middle of the field, carrying the ball through defenders and making key passes into the circle.
Carotenuto gave credit to the defense standing behind her, saying that the Mountain Hawks would not have been able to pull off the victory without the outstanding goaltending from sophomore Paige Innarella.
Innarella had 12 saves in the shutout victory, making plenty of key stops on what looked like clear chances for the Leopards, including four saves during the overtime period.
The Mountain Hawk defense made small errors from inside the circle, facing eight defensive penalty corners, but not giving up a score throughout the match.
Dallmeyer said going into the overtime period, she kept telling her team “not four more,” referencing not having four more seniors graduate from Lehigh and the field hockey program without beating Lafayette.
“Whenever it’s Lafayette, it’s a completely different game,” said Carotenuto. “Records don’t matter, both teams always show up.”
Innarella and Carotenuto said their emotions were running high before, during, and after the victory, but that they were able to remain composed because they felt prepared going into the matchup.
“We prepared a lot for this game, throughout our whole season it was one of our goals to beat them since we haven’t in over 10 years,” Innarella said. “It felt really great.”
The Mountain Hawks have a week-long break in game action before returning to the turf to face Lock Haven University on Saturday, Oct. 14.