In the team’s first eight games, freshman forward/midfielder Mark Forrest had just one goal. Tuesday night, he had three.
The rainy weather seemed have no effect on Lehigh men’s soccer on Tuesday as the defense got its fifth shutout of the season, winning 3-0 over Fordham University at the Ulrich Sports Complex.
“Mark Forrest was no doubt the man of the match with his hat trick,” senior midfielder Brian Vail said. “The guy is a class act and will, without a doubt, be one of the most effective forwards to come through this program.”
The Mountain Hawks (5-3-1) played well in the first 15 minutes of the game with two attempted shots and a goal. The defense did not give Fordham any room to score and maintained consistency throughout the match.
“I think our team had a great start to the game tonight,” senior defender Ben Davis said. “The first 10 minutes of every game are always important, and for us to come out with high energy was crucial for setting a tone for the rest of the game for us.”
Although the slippery playing conditions were hard to work with, the Hawks stayed in control and did not allow any unforced errors to hurt their playing.
As the game continued, Lehigh defense did not let up and offense put pressure on Fordham’s own defenders. In the 13th minute, Forrest scored his first goal with an assist from freshman defender Matt Morana.
At the end of the first half, the Mountain Hawks were able to hold their 1-0 lead. Sophomore goalkeeper Joe Bogan had two saves going into halftime.
The team came out just has strong the second half of the match. In the 65th minute, Forrest came in and scored again, giving them a 2-0 lead.
Forrest was not done scoring though. In the 83rd minute, he faced Fordham’s defense and got past them to score his third goal of the evening, securing a hat trick, which has not been done on the Lehigh men’s soccer team since 2007.
In addition to Forrest’s three goals, Morana and sophomore forward Doyle Tuvesson each had an assist, and Bogan finished the game with three saves.
“The key to our team’s success is consistency and resiliency,” Vail said. “We feel very confident with the talent and work ethic we have so it’s just a matter of showing up and playing hard every single game.”
Although this was an out-of-conference game, the team agreed that this was an important one to win, especially after its loss to College of the Holy Cross.
“This game was very important for our confidence going into Colgate,” senior midfielder Ryan Bertrando said. “We want to be back on the right track for the Patriot League.”
The Mountain Hawks’ next game against Colgate University is Oct. 3 and will played at the Ulrich Sports Complex at 7 p.m.