Senior Tori Pantaleo fends off an opposing player during the Patriot League Tournament quarterfinal game against Lafayette on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016 at the at the Ulrich Sports Complex. Pantaleo was forced to leave the game with an injury in the 83rd minute, and Lehigh would eventually go on to lose 1-0 after getting scored on in the second overtime period. (Annie Henry/B&W Staff)

Double overtime goal by Lafayette eliminates Lehigh women’s soccer team from Patriot League Tournament


After a defensively dominated game, the Lehigh women’s soccer team suffered a season-ending 1-0 upset by cross-town rival Lafayette in the final two minutes of the second overtime period.

Lafayette’s Joanna Scotti scored the sudden-death goal to win the game with just 1:05 separating the match from penalty kicks. Her header came off of an assist from Kaelin King’s corner kick to advance her team to the semifinals.

The Mountain Hawks were seeded No. 3 going into this Patriot League quarterfinal game and had successfully qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2012.

“Lafayette put pressure on us, and I’d like to give them a lot of credit for tonight,” coach Eric Lambinus said.

After coming off of wins in its last three Patriot League games, including a 1-0 win against Lafayette, Lehigh’s offensive efforts were lacking. The Mountain Hawks only fired off two shots on goal out of 11 attempts compared to Lafayette’s eight on goal out of 16 shot attempts.

“We fell short not being able to put the ball in the back of the net,” senior defender Madeline Walsh said. “We had the opportunities but couldn’t capitalize.”

Lehigh’s key opportunities to score included when freshmen forward Sidonie Warnecker was set up by junior Adrian Vitello for a shot in the 54th minute, but it went right into the hands of the Lafayette goalkeeper. A second opportunity came when sophomore midfielder Sabrina Mertz received a free kick at the 69-minute mark, but the shot went wide to the left post.

Despite the shortfalls on offense, Lehigh had a solid defensive effort going into the sudden death, including seven saves from standout freshmen goalie Sam Miller. Junior defender Alyssa Riporti also had a strong defensive effort for the Mountain Hawks, but in the end it wasn’t enough to earn a victory.

Two key players, senior forward Tori Pantaleo and Vitello, both suffered injuries at about the 69-minute mark in the second half, but were both able to return to the game. Pantaleo, the team’s leading scorer with seven goals this season, went down again with a knee injury with 7:32 remaining in the second half of regulation and was unable to return a second time.

Despite the upset, this was the first time Lehigh had hosted a home playoff game since 2005, when they were the No. 1 seed in the tournament.

“We really did have a great season, and we worked really hard to make the playoffs, which was a big step from last year,” junior forward Lexi Chang said.

Lehigh will graduate four seniors, including Pantaleo and Walsh as well as defender Laura Courtney and forward Kalin Ojert. Although the team does lose several key players, it will return next season with a group that has now experienced what it takes to make it to the playoffs and what it’s like to play in a tournament game.

“It’s tough no doubt, but this group of girls are so incredibly special and deserve the best,” Walsh said. “They gave us the best senior year we could have asked for, and everyone should get ready for things to come from them.”

Even though the season didn’t end as they hoped, Chang says she is excited and optimistic for next season as the team has made some large strides by making this playoff appearance. The season was highlighted by 11 wins, including an eight-game unbeaten streak at the beginning of the season in which Miller did not allow a single goal.

“It was really great going out there and playing for our seniors and for each other this playoff game,” Chang said.

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