The Lehigh Mountain Hawks’ field hockey team defeated the Towson University Tigers 2-1 in overtime at Goodman Campus on Sunday to earn its first win of the season.
The Mountain Hawks began the season with a 0-5 record, losing to teams such as Cornell University, Monmouth University and Saint Joseph’s University. Lehigh came into this game with winning on their minds.
The game began with a goal by sophomore forward Gabby Tofig. The Newtown, Pennsylvania native said that she had a mission to win the game.
“I just really wanted to win,” Tofig said. “That was kind of the mentality coming in today; everybody just really wanted to win. We wanted to get that ‘W’ on the board and prove what we have been saying all along: that we are a great team and we can work together to win these games. Our coaches have worked really hard with us, and it was time that we gave them that ‘W,’ as well.”
During the rest of the 70-minute game, Towson managed to answer Tofig’s goal with one of its own. The Mountain Hawks needed to regroup and refocus. During a timeout, coach Stacey Eversley made sure to focus on some key points to ensure their first victory of the season.
“(We wanted) to go with speed and finish; we kept getting the ball down to the circle, and then we just wanted to get it in,” Eversley said.
Once regulation time concluded with the score tied 1-1, it was time to go into sudden victory overtime. With only 15 minutes on the clock, the tension was high on the field. Towson was given a penalty during overtime, and sophomore Julia Ward had an amazing save to keep the Mountain Hawks in the game.
“Honestly, I was petrified,” Ward said. “It was honestly one of the (scariest) moments of my life. I [just]had to prepare myself and hope for the best.”
Tofig ended the game with a second goal, leading the Mountain Hawks to victory. The Mountain Hawks have more than 10 games left in their regular season before the Patriot League Tournament Championships, so they are not looking to turn down the winning momentum. Eversley said that she has a strategic plan to keep her team on the winning track.
“Certain skills we prepare in practice and then I think it is just a mindset that we take every game at a time, and you always have the opportunity to win,” Eversley said.
The field hockey team will continue its season on Sept. 20 at American University in Washington, D.C.