Danny Gonzalez walks off Goodman Field during the men's soccer game Sept. 23. Lehigh won 3-1 in its match against Colgate on Nov. 1, securing it a spot in the Patriot League Playoffs.

Lehigh men’s soccer clinches Patriot League playoff spot

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Last year, the men’s soccer team won two games all season. This year, the Hawks won their first two games of the season and are guaranteed to finish with a winning record. And now, they are going to the Patriot League playoffs.

Saturday, the team defeated Colgate University 3-1 to earn three points. With Loyola University (Maryland) and Navy finishing in a double overtime tie Saturday, both teams were given only one point in the standings, and Lehigh was able to officially secure a spot in the Patriot League playoffs.

“I am proud of the team and their commitment this past spring and summer to improve the areas necessary to be more successful,” coach Dean Koski said.

The team was off to a great start this season, winning six of its first nine games of the season, including its first two games inside the Patriot League. Then the Hawks dropped off a bit, losing their next four games, three of which were inside the conference. Their season was nowhere near over, though.

Koski recognized the dedication of the team to bounce back from last year’s poor season.

“It is a direct result of the team establishing both a mindset and goals to change attitudes and culture,” Koski said. “I appreciate the work that they all put in to help us achieve this first goal of making the playoffs.”

The team has won three of its last four games, with the other game ending in a tie against Navy, who is currently second in the Patriot League.

Now, with a spot already reserved for them in the playoffs, the Hawks can begin to focus on what they need to do in the postseason.

“We just need to tidy up some areas of inconsistency and make sure our S-A’s are rested and fresh,” Koski said.

Based on the standings right now, Lehigh is 4-3-1 in the Patriot League and has 13 points. This puts the team in 4th place in the conference, just one point behind 3rd place American University.

The Hawks will play their final game of the season next Saturday when they travel to take on College of the Holy Cross at 7 p.m.

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