The Lehigh field hockey team running drills during practice on Tuesday, Oct. 15th, at Ulrich Sports Complex. The team is 5-10 coming into their last three games of the season. (May Naish/B&W Staff)

Despite losing record, field hockey team emphasizes resiliency

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The Lehigh field hockey team fell 1-0 to second-place division rival Lafayette in a Patriot League showdown on Oct. 18. Since then, the Mountain Hawks shifted their focus back to the basics of hard work, and the players are looking to finish the season strong for each other.

Lafayette’s offensive pressure paid off early in the game, and the Leopards’ lone goal in the 18th minute secured the victory against the Mountain Hawks, dropping Lehigh to sixth place in Patriot League standings

Assistant head coach Taylor Dyer said although Lehigh matched Lafayette’s level of play, the team fell just short of the mark. Despite the loss, Dyer said the Mountain Hawks have the skill to compete in the Patriot League. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a resilient mindset, regardless of game results.

Lehigh’s current 5-11 record does not qualify the team for the post-season tournament, but Dyer said she believes this campaign will prove to be one of the most successful in program history. She added that the team still has a lot to show, and will maintain a positive outlook moving into the final weeks of play in early November.

Freshman goalkeeper Maddie Kahn said there is more to the team than what is reflected in the standings. Kahn was instantly impressed by the team’s culture and said she was welcomed to the program with open arms.

“Being on this team gives me a renewed passion for field hockey every time I play,” Kahn said. “I tore my meniscus before (coming to college), and it taught me to not take playing for granted. I am always excited to go to practice and get better as a player.”

Khan shares a similar commitment to the team as junior forward Andrea Pecora, who returned from a major knee injury that kept her off the field for the past nine months.

Pecora leads the Mountain Hawks in goals (12) and assists (3) through 16 games this season.

Junior defender and midfielder Lenke Havas has also impressed on the offensive side, recording five goals and five assists this season, while sophomore midfielder and forward Leah Mullery found the back of the net once, to compliment her two assists. 

Despite the team’s losing Patriot League record, the Mountain Hawks play with the same grit and intensity during every practice and every game, regardless of previous results.

“When we don’t play the best, we bounce back,” Pecora said. “We want to be at practice. We want to work (for each other) on the field, and we want to win for one another.”

Dyer said she plans to return the team’s focus back to where it was at the beginning of the season, when the team won five of its first six games, and consistency and execution were at the top of the priority list.

“We will persevere through the adversity and stay resilient,” Dyer said.

With three games remaining, the Mountain Hawks will look to end their Patriot League season on a positive note with an at home win against fifth-placed Boston University at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

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