Madeline Walsh, '17, runs across the soccer field on Goodman Campus during a practice on Tuesday, Sept. 30, 2014. The women's soccer team is preparing for their upcoming game against Boston University on Saturday, October 4. (Elissa Miolene/ B&W photo staff)

Lehigh women’s soccer prepares for Boston University, aims to keep up momentum


The Lehigh women’s soccer team has had a solid start to their season, and they hope to continue this momentum when they host Boston University on Saturday.

This year’s team has already improved upon last year’s record of 5-10-2. The 2014 team brings a 4-2-2 record into the Saturday matchup.

The coming weeks will be crucial in Lehigh’s bid to win the Patriot League this year. So far, the team has navigated well through the Patriot League stretch, going 2-0-1, but the ride is far from over. The team will eventually have to play each of the nine other members of the league.

“We have definitely seen that we have the potential to be great and win the Patriot League, so that is our goal,” said freshman defender Amanda Stratton, before the game against Lafayette College. “We haven’t given up a goal in the Patriot League, which is great. We want to continue that and also we just want to make sure we execute. We want to make sure we play to our best, especially in the games going forward.”

Offensively, the team has received standout performances this season from freshman Grace Correll with ten points. Trailing behind her is senior Darby Weigand with seven points. They, along with junior Madi Morgan and freshman Adrian Vitello, have taken a double-digit amount of shots. Senior goalkeeper Ashley Blanks and junior Ani Nahapetian have split time and allowed only five goals combined, while also having 32 saves.

The players feel strong about their start, but they know that they have to keep their feet on the gas pedal.

“I think we have put ourselves in a good spot for the beginning, but I know that we want to achieve greatness in the Patriot League this year,” sophomore Madeline Walsh said.

Boston University represents some of the toughest competition that Lehigh has seen so far. Although they are a young team, they show talent and have a 5-3-2 record to show for it. Last year, in just its first year as a Patriot League member,the Boston team took the league by storm and came out on top. Their road to that title included a 3-0 win over Lehigh in Boston.

The Lehigh squad is hoping for a much different head-to-head result this time, and the fact that they meet in Bethlehem this time might help their cause.

“The small advantage we have is that they play on turf up at Boston,” head coach Eric Lambinus said. “When we went up there, we struggled a little bit last year. But they are going to come play on our home field, which is a grass field. So it gives us a little bit of an advantage.”

The team must have a solid plan to achieve success not only in the Boston University game, but also going forward.

“We need to score goals against BU,” Walsh said. “We are really good at creating chances. Our backline is really good at stopping people from creating their chances. We worked on moving the ball forward, and we create chances in the final third. But the key to beating BU will be to put those chances away.”

Another area of significance regarding this game is that it will take place over Pacing Break, which is a time where very few students will be on campus. Like other students, the women’s soccer players look forward to a period of time where they do not have to be preoccupied with 4 o’clock exams. However, the game and practices are on the schedule, even when classes are not.

According to Lambinus, the team will have a routine weekend practice schedule, which entails having a recovery practice session on Sunday morning — the day after the game. They will receive Monday off before resuming practice on Tuesday.

Lambinus sees this Patriot League match-up as a big game, and one that is worth watching even with students likely planning on going home for the break.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for us to play a really good team on our home field and see where we match up against the team that won the league last year,” Lambinus said.

The game will be played at 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Ulrich Sports Complex.

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