The Lehigh women’s lacrosse team is looking to bounce back in league play for the final stretch of its schedule to have a chance to earn a spot in the Patriot League Tournament. Lehigh is currently 1-5 in the conference and has three Patriot League opponents left to play.
Lehigh defeated Holy Cross 12-8 on Saturday during senior day, breaking its five-game losing streak.
Wednesday’s game against rival Lafayette is a crucial win for the Mountain Hawks. If Lehigh were to win its remaining games, it would be in contention for a spot in the Patriot League Tournament for the sixth straight year.
Junior midfielder Sondra Dickey said there is a different sense of urgency heading into this week’s game. She said there is no doubt that the team has a must-win mindset.
Lehigh played the toughest part of its schedule in the Patriot League during its losing streak. However, the team is looking to use the top-heavy start of Patriot League play to build confidence for its last three regular-season match-ups.
“I think going up against the hardest teams first always makes it easier to play the other half and so it is really important that each week we continue to improve,” Dickey said. “Every game for us is a big game right now, so we can’t take anyone lightly.”
The first five league games for Lehigh were against the top five teams in the Patriot League — Boston, Loyola, Navy, Army and Colgate.
Dickey has been one of the few bright spots for the Mountain Hawks this season. Dickey was a First Team All-Patriot League selection last season and is having a similar campaign in 2019. She leads the team with 38 goals and 46 points.
Junior defenseman Kate Derrenbacker said Dickey is “the anchor to this team.”
“She does all the dirty work and isn’t afraid to drive and take the hits,” Derrenbacker said. “Sondra (Dickey) is reliable on all parts — offense, defense and the draw — and she plays 100 percent for the entire game, no matter how many we are winning by or losing by.”
Last Saturday, Lehigh started five freshmen in its game against Colgate where it lost 16-4.
At the collegiate level, most freshmen go through learning curves throughout the season. Former Lehigh lacrosse standout and now assistant coach Allison Labeau, ’17, said with every game, they keep improving.
“I think the freshmen have a lot of room to grow as everyone makes mistakes in games,” Labeau said. “They are taking on some big roles and seeing significant minutes which makes it easier when you love lacrosse like these girls do.”
Lehigh is averaging just over seven goals a game while giving up a little over 16 goals a game. Lehigh is looking to flip those numbers in the remaining games of the season.
“Offensively, we have to do a better job of communicating out on the field and just trust our system,” Dickey said. “Defensively, we have to do a better job of staying in front of our guys and playing disciplined. Every game we have to stick to our game plan.”
The Mountain Hawks will play the Lafayette Leopards on Wednesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. at the Metzgar Fields Complex.