Junior midfield Erin Ricker makes a pass in the game against Monmouth on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. Lehigh fell to Monmouth by a score of 2-1. (Christina Mueller/B&W photo)

Lehigh field hockey falls to Monmouth, looks to improve for this week’s home games

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In a battle of the Hawks, the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (0-4) lost to the Monmouth Hawks (2-2) on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Bethlehem.

The women showed some promise early when junior forward Lindsey Schott provided the assist for sophomore forward Gabby Tofig, who gave Lehigh an early lead just over seven minutes into the first period. However, Monmouth answered soon after with a direct shot off a penalty corner from midfielder Trish O’Dwyer. Monmouth proved they weren’t done as first-year forward Meg Donahue broke the tie in the final seconds of the first period to give her team the lead.

Early into the second period, Lehigh had nearly tied the score up, as junior midfielder Zoey Pacheco’s hard pass was tipped into the back of the cage by Tofig, which she thought was her second goal of the game. However, the officials thought otherwise, as the ruling on the field was that there was no tip.  The Mountain Hawks remained down 2-1.

Even with an astonishing 15 saves, sophomore goalkeeper Julia Ward could not tame the Monmouth team. They ended up scoring another goal off a penalty corner/deflection late in the second period to solidify a Monmouth victory.

Despite the tough loss, junior midfielder Erin Ricker believes that there were some positives that came out of the game.

“We worked together as a team for the full 70 minutes and never gave up,” she said. Ricker also described watching film during the week and studying the Monmouth team, both of which helped her team.

“We knew that they’d collapse on the ball, so we were ready to pull the ball back and transfer it to the other side, and that definitely helped us eliminate them and move the ball down the field,” the midfielder said.

Lehigh’s goalkeeper Julia Ward has been having a great season, but still remains hungry for improvement.

“As a goalkeeper and as a defensive unit we shouldn’t have allowed as many defensive corners,” Ward said. “I need to make sure I keep my weight forward when clearing and as a team we need to watch our feet in the circle.”

The final shots were 25-15 in favor of Monmouth, while the Mountain Hawks led in penalty corners.

“The team connected well on transitions and did a good job transferring sides which allowed us to beat their midfield line,” junior defender Taylor Mygatt said. “We still need to improve on finishing in the circle and taking quick shots.”

The Mountain Hawks are far from giving up as this team will look to turn things around within the next week as they have a pair of home games. Lehigh will look to prepare for the Cornell Big Red, who they host Friday at 7 p.m., a game that will be followed by a matchup with the Towson Tigers, who will come to campus on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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