After a 31-28 loss against James Madison University in Lehigh football’s home opener, the Mountain Hawks are preparing to return to action this coming Saturday when they play the University of New Hampshire in Durham.
In their game against JMU, the Mountain Hawks had a chance to tie the game with just 51 seconds remaining, but the Dukes blocked a potential game-tying field goal. For their upcoming game against the University of New Hampshire, the team is determined not to dwell on their upsetting loss, but rather, to learn from it and come back even stronger.
“Coming off the loss to JMU, we need to really focus up and bounce back for UNH this week,” said junior wide receiver Derek Knott. “We did beat them last year but they have improved a lot from last year so we need to be ready for these guys. Since it will be our second game, we are really just looking to clean up any mental mistakes and little penalties we made against JMU.”
The team is trying to learn from their shortcomings as a tool to prevent them from occurring again, and the Mountain Hawks are confident in their ability as a team.
“We have the talent and our chemistry is building,” Knott said. “We just have to capitalize on every opportunity we get during the game and play 100 percent every snap, and I think we’ll do just fine this week. Personally I just want to play faster and more mentally and physically sound this week. I have to make the big plays my team needs me to so we can have a better shot at beating these guys.”
Junior wide receiver Stefan Sansone also said that the team has learned from their game against JMU, but that the team is putting the game behind them.
“We learned from the film and now on to the next one,” said Sansone. “We’re going to work harder than ever this week to prepare for UNH this weekend. Our goal is to go out there and get after them to get a win. We know they’ll be coming after us because of last year, and we’re really looking forward to that challenge.”
Senior wide receiver Derek Gaul is another one of the players who is planning on using last week’s loss as a motivator. Like his teammates, he said that he understands the focus and intensity required in order for the team to accomplish its goals.
“As a team, we’re going to prepare the same way as we have been, but with more intensity this week,” Gaul said. “We’re still hungry for our first win and UNH is going to require more focus and attention to detail. Every week, our number one goal is to win. That is our first priority.”
Gaul said that his preparation will be more focused, and that he intends to put in more time preparing off the field by reviewing the defensive film.
“As an offense, we were in position to score multiple times last Saturday and in order to win this week, we’re going to have to take advantage of every opportunity we get,” Gaul said. “We are excited for next Saturday and I know we will not let the same result occur.”
Kickoff for the game against UNH will be at 3:30 p.m. Broadcasting will be on the American Sports Network and audio coverage will be accessible on ESPN radio 1230 and 1320 and on ESPNLV.com