In its second home game of the season, the Lehigh women’s soccer team played double overtime but was unable to break a 2-2 score against Monmouth University.
Lehigh secured a 1-0 lead in the first half of the match, but the game ultimately ended in a tie. The Mountain Hawks were looking to seal a home victory after playing four consecutive games on the road.
“We had a tough start to the season playing four games in a row away, but we came out of that stronger, which will only better prepare us for Patriot League play,” junior forward Tori Pantaleo said.
Lehigh (3-2-1) started out the first half with an aggressive style of play, firing its first shots just 10 minutes into the game. Freshman midfielder/defense Clare Severe took two shots on goal in under a minute, but Monmouth goalie Sydney Lavan was able to get a piece of both of those shots.
The Mountain Hawks finally found the back of the net 34 minutes into the match when freshman midfielder Sabrina Mertz put the ball in the top left corner of the goal. They carried that lead into halftime, looking to add to the scoreboard again.
“Our team, who has struggled with scoring in the past has really taken a turn and concentrated on having a scoring mentality,” Pantaleo said.
Monmouth took charge in the second half, outshooting Lehigh 14-9 and tallying two goals within six minutes. The first shot was put in low inside the right post, and the second shot was fired into the top left corner. The Mountain Hawks answered back four minutes later in the form of a goal scored by junior defenseman Laura Courtney off of a free kick that landed just inside the right post.
In the first overtime, both teams took shots but did not find the back of the net. Lehigh controlled the ball for most of the second overtime but was forced to make two saves toward the end. Lehigh keeper Ani Nahapetian finished with 12 saves and Lavan finished with six saves. Monmouth came out on top in both shots and corner kicks, leading 31-19 and 11-3, respectively.
Lehigh found strength in its offense, especially in the first half.
“Sabrina Mertz was key with her goal and Adrian Vitello was unbelievable with her composure in the midfield,” Courtney said. “In regard to weaknesses, we struggled with our consistency throughout the entire game and finishing our plays when we were given the chance.”
The Mountain Hawks were hoping to lock in the victory on their home turf since they have struggled on the road in the past. Last season, two of their three Patriot League losses were away, so they said another goal for them is to improve on their away-game performance.
Lehigh’s next match is scheduled against Saint Joseph’s University on Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
“This season so far has been extremely competitive,” junior Madeline Walsh said. “We’ve had to battle during our games, and we are hoping to add another victory come this weekend.”