The Lehigh men’s soccer team beat Cornell University in a close 1-0 win Monday at Ulrich Sports Complex.
It was a scoreless first half with the only excitement steaming from three yellow cards: One from Cornell’s Tommy Griffin at 22:26 and two on Lehigh. David Zipkin received the first at 23:12 and Matt Morana received the other at 27:55.
At the 49:11 mark, one of Cornell’s men scored an own goal putting Lehigh ahead 1-0, a lead the Hawks managed to hold onto for the rest of the game even with Cornell’s best efforts with nine shots in the second half alone. Lehigh (3-1), not to be out-done, had an impressive 15 shots in the second half.
The second half saw two yellow cards, with one per team. Lehigh’s Gianfranco Giammatteo was given the card at the 62:30 mark, while Cornell’s Allen Michael Capo was given a yellow card at the 79:11 mark. The game was slow at times, and the Cornell team had an obvious height advantage over Lehigh.
“It was tough,” said defenseman Justin Worley. “They were a good team. Our coach emphasized the point that he wanted us to move the ball quickly because they had the size advantage and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.”
The game progressed slowly. Coach Dean Koski described the pace of play as casual. Koski said if the ball spends too much time in Mountain Hawk territory – as it did in the last 20 minutes of the game – it’s usually dangerous. He said the team was lucky Cornell wasn’t able to capitalize on their 12 shots on goal.
“It was a tough game to watch,” Koski said. “I thought there were times when we did a really good job with ball movement and creating opportunities, but the second half, it just got casual in the final third. Our attitude to find opportunities to score wasn’t where I’d like it to be and if you’re casual you’re going to struggle and we were casual, so we have to sharpen up.”
This game marks the second win in a row for the men’s team. The Mountain Hawks hope the streak continues into their next game at University of Delaware on Sept. 13 at noon. The team has its goals set for this week’s practices leading up to the next game, as well as its goals going into every game.
“We created a number of chance,” said forward/midfielder Jamie Luchini. “Our goal is to get 10 on frame and we got 11 tonight. Obviously we wish we could have put a couple of those away on the attacking part of it.”